"The gain spiral of resources and work engagement: Sustaining a positive worklife"
People try to acquire resources at work which they value such as autonomy, social relationships, and feedback about their performance. These job resources are functional in achieving work goals and may stimulate personal growth, learning, and development. As such, job resources initiate a motivational process that may lead to work engagement and positive organizational outcomes, including enhanced performance (Bakker & Demerouti, 2008; Schaufeli & Bakker, 2004). This premise is consistent with traditional motivational approaches such as job characteristics theory (Hackman & Oldham, 1980) and self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000). According to the former approach, particular job characteristics such as skill variety, autonomy, and feedback have motivating potential and indirectly predict positive outcomes like intrinsic motivation (a concept closely related to work engagement), through the activation of positive psychological states. In a somewhat similar vein, self-determination theory posits that job resources are motivating because they fulfill basic human needs, such as the needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Consequently, work contexts that provide resources such as job control (autonomy), feedback (competence), and social support (relatedness) would enhance well-being and increase intrinsic satisfaction at work (Ryan & Frederick, 1997).
Job and personal resources are reciprocal, because individuals, through learning experiences, may form stronger positive evaluations about themselves and in turn, they comprehend or create more resourceful work environments (Kohn & Schooler, 1982). Moreover, job resources and personal resources have a positive impact on work engagement, which, in its turn, seems to reinforce both types of resources. This dynamic, reciprocal relationship between resources and engagement as described by COR theory is compatible with and partly supports the notion of gain spirals. (p.122)
KeywordsWork Life Balance, Autonomy, Balance, Resources, Relationships, Personal Growth, Job Control, Work Engagement
ThemesPsychological Centrality of Work
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