Although death awareness is pervasive in organizations and can have powerful effects on employees’ experiences and behaviors, scholars have paid little attention to it. We develop a theoretical model of the nature, antecedents, and consequences of death awareness at work. We differentiate death anxiety and reflection as distinct states that strengthen self-protective versus prosocial motivations, examine how mortality cues and aging processes trigger these states, and explore their impact on withdrawal and generative behaviors.
Grant, A. M., & Wade-Benzoni, K. A. (2009). The hot and cool of death awareness at work: Mortality cues, aging, and self-protective and prosocial motivations. Academy of Management Review, 34(4), 600-622.