Threat of resource loss: The role of self-regulation in adaptive task performance

Niessen, Cornelia & Jimmieson, Nerina L. (2016) Threat of resource loss: The role of self-regulation in adaptive task performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 101(3), pp. 450-462.

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Abstract

Changes at work are often accompanied with the threat of, or actual, resource loss. Through an experiment, we investigated the detrimental effect of the threat of resource loss on adaptive task performance. Self-regulation (i.e., task focus and emotion control) was hypothesized to buffer the negative relationship between the threat of resource loss and adaptive task performance. Adaptation was conceptualized as relearning after a change in task execution rules. Threat of resource loss was manipulated for 100 participants undertaking an air traffic control task. Using discontinuous growth curve modeling, 2 kinds of adaptation—transition adaptation and reacquisition adaptation—were differentiated. The results showed that individuals who experienced the threat of resource loss had a stronger drop in performance (less transition adaptation) and a subsequent slower recovery (less reacquisition adaptation) compared with the control group who experienced no threat. Emotion control (but not task focus) moderated the relationship between the threat of resource loss and transition adaptation. In this respect, individuals who felt threatened but regulated their emotions performed better immediately after the task change (but not later on) compared with those individuals who felt threatened and did not regulate their emotions as well. However, later on, relearning (reacquisition adaptation) under the threat of resource loss was facilitated when individuals concentrated on the task at hand.

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ID Code: 88889
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Resource Loss, Self-Regulation, Task Performance
DOI: 10.1037/apl0000049
ISSN: 1939-1854
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Organisational Behaviour (150311)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 American Psychological Association
Deposited On: 08 Oct 2015 23:29
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2016 01:33

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