Although evidence suggests that negative task and self-evaluations are associated with emotional exhaustion, little research has examined factors that buffer against these effects. We propose that perceived prosocial impact, the experience of helping others, compensates for negative task and self-evaluations by focusing attention on positive outcomes for others. In Study 1, perceived prosocial impact attenuated the associations of low intrinsic motivation and core self-evaluations with emotional exhaustion among professional fundraisers. Study 2 replicated these results among public sanitation employees and extended them to supervisor performance ratings. Mediated moderation analyses indicated that by protecting against emotional exhaustion, perceived prosocial impact compensated for low intrinsic motivation and core self-evaluations to predict higher performance ratings. Our studies extend theory and research on burnout, helping, and citizenship.
Grant, A. M., &Sonnentag, S. (2010). Doing good buffers against feeling bad: Prosocial impact compensates for negative task and self-evaluations. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 111(1), 13-22.