Generativity at work: A meta-analysis

Friederike Doerwald*, Hannes Zacher, Nico W. Van Yperen, Susanne Scheibe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Generativity entails both the motive and the behavior to support and guide younger people and to benefit “future generations.” Given its relevance for work and career outcomes, research on generativity in the work context has accumulated over the last three decades. To synthesize this work, we developed a conceptual model based on generativity, lifespan, resource, and motivation theories and conducted a meta-analysis (k = 48, N = 15,356). The results show that the generativity motive is positively related to person-related (e.g., age, tenure, agency and communion, work centrality) and context-related antecedents (e.g., challenging job demands, job autonomy). Moreover, the generativity motive is positively associated with motivational (i.e., work motivation, occupational self-efficacy), well-being (e.g., positive affect, job satisfaction, self-esteem), and career-related outcomes (e.g., mentoring relationship quality, career satisfaction). The fewer studies on generative behavior largely show a similar pattern. Overall, the findings (1) improve understanding of the nomological network of both the generativity motive and generative behavior at work, (2) point to the importance of generativity for favorable work outcomes, and (3) highlight that future research is needed to better understand the mechanisms and boundary conditions of effects of generativity at work.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103521
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Early online date23-Dec-2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2021

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