Negative work events impede daily self-efficacy through decreased goal attainment: Are action orientation and job autonomy moderators of the indirect effect?

Antje Schmitt*, Oliver Weigelt

*Corresponding author for this work

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Work-related self-efficacy has been found to predict outcomes such as daily work motivation and performance. However, the way in which self-efficacy changes within workdays and how such changes emerge remain unclear. This study integrates research on work events with a self-regulation perspective to explain changes in daily self-efficacy. We argue that negative events hamper daily goal attainment, reducing employees’ self-efficacy. We also investigate differences in employees’ reactivity to negative events, assuming that the strength of the indirect effect differs based on their ability to self-regulate in threatening and demanding situations (indicated by threat- and demand-related action orientation) and to make autonomous decisions (indicated by job autonomy). The model was tested in a diary study across five workdays (N = 101 individuals). The findings indicate that decreased goal attainment explains impairments in self-efficacy on days with more negative events. The negative relationship was stronger for employees with lower demand-related action orientation. However, the indirect effect was not contingent on threat-related action orientation and job autonomy. Our findings contribute to the self-efficacy literature and the growing research on work events by providing knowledge regarding the mechanisms and conditions that can partially explain how and when negative work events reduce employees’ daily self-efficacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-431
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 24-Jan-2023

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