Thursday, September 25, 2008

I hope you're in a good mood this morning

I recently heard a presentation by Nancy Rothbard of Wharton on employee emotional affective reactions and their effect on work performance. Her study is fascinating (I won't cite from it, as it's a work in progress and under review) in how it operationalized an arguably non-controversial idea: your mood affects how you engage others, and your subsequent interactions throughout a day, and your performance and engagement on the job. Things like a commute, stress at home, your physiological health (restfulness) and chemical factors (caffeine, meds) affect your work, and hardly any of us really check our problems at the door of the office--even though we're expected to. Her findings are interesting, and so look out for this paper in the future. Implications of course, for how organizations recognize and deal with outside-of-work employee stressors if they want to improve performance and engagement, with implications for work/life balance.

Also of interest to those who like the micro foundations of organizational behavior: a theory of geographical variations in psychological characteristics. Here's a WSJ article with an accompanying interactive map so that you can see how neurotic or agreeable you are! H/T to OrgTheory.