Are You Exhausted, Good Soldiers? Exploring the Impacts of Extra-role Behaviors and Regulatory Focus on Emotional Exhaustion from a Resource Conservation Perspective
Extra-role behavior in the workplace is an issue that has gained much attention among organizational scholars. Despite abundant evidence indicating the advantage of such behavior, recent research suggests that performing extra-role behavior is likely to bring negative effects to employees. However, we have no idea whether all kinds of extra-role behavior may influence negatively to all employees regardless of individual differences. This study attempts to delve into this issue. On the premise that extra-role behavior may result in negative effects on employees, we draw on resource conservation theory to investigate how voice and helping behaviors would impact on employees’ emotional exhaustion. We also examined if the relationships between the extra-role behaviors and emotional exhaustion may vary with employees’ regulatory focus. To minimize common method variance, we collected data from employees and their supervisors at two points in time. With 122 supervisor-subordinate dyads, the results showed that the more the employees performed voice behavior, the more likely they were exhausted, whereas the more the employees performed helping behavior, the less likely they were exhausted. Furthermore, trait-like prevention focus enhanced the positive relationship between voice behavior and emotional exhaustion, whereas trait-like promotion focus enhanced the negative relationship between helping behavior and emotional exhaustion. Implications of the findings for theory and practice are addressed.