Researchers have obtained conflicting results about the role of prosocial motivation in persistence, performance, and productivity. To resolve this discrepancy, I draw on self-determination theory, proposing that prosocial motivation is most likely to predict these outcomes when it is accompanied by intrinsic motivation. Two field studies support the hypothesis that intrinsic motivation moderates the association between prosocial motivation and persistence, performance, and productivity. In Study 1, intrinsic motivation strengthened the relationship between prosocial motivation and the overtime hour persistence of 58 firefighters. In Study 2, intrinsic motivation strengthened the relationship between prosocial motivation and the performance and productivity of 140 fundraising callers. Callers who reported high levels of both prosocial and intrinsic motivations raised more money 1 month later, and this moderated association was mediated by a larger number of calls made. I discuss implications for theory and research on work motivation.
Grant, A. M. (2008). Does intrinsic motivation fuel the prosocial fire? Motivational synergy in predicting persistence, performance, and productivity. Journal of applied psychology, 93(1), 48-58.