Personality Resources and Work Motivation: A Beneficial Synergy
The paper aims to show the motivational function of personality resources in the organizational context. Based on the Personality Potential model (Leontiev, 2011) and Self-Determination Theory (SDT), we hypothesized that personality resources facilitate productive motivation and engagement with the work environment, resulting in positive outcomes for the individual, as well as for the organization. We aimed to explore three research questions: 1) whether personality resources positively predict autonomous motivation and negatively predict controlled motivation, 2) whether work motivation mediates the effects of personality resources on well-being outcomes, and 3) whether personality resources and work motivation have synergistic effects on workplace well-being outcomes. We used data from two samples of employees of a Russian production enterprise using a cross-sectional design (Study 1, N=4,708) and a longitudinal design with a 2-year interval between measurements (Study 2, N=372). The participants completed measures of personality resources (hardiness, dispositional optimism, generalized self-efficacy, tolerance for ambiguity), work motivation, and well-being outcomes (life satisfaction, job satisfaction, work-life balance, work engagement, organizational commitment). A single dimension of personality resources emerged as a positive predictor of autonomous motivation and a negative predictor of controlled motivation, both in the cross-sectional and in the longitudinal perspective. The change in well-being outcomes was mainly explained by autonomous motivation at Time 1. Using a moderated mediation model, we found that work motivation partially mediated the effects of personality resources on well-being outcomes and exhibited the theoretically predicted interaction effects on work-life balance, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment. The results are in line with the hypothesis about the motivating function of personality resources.