Affective Events Theory (AET) is a model developed by organizational psychologists Howard M. Weiss (Purdue University) and Russell Cropanzano (University of Arizona) to explain how emotions and moods influence job performance and job satisfaction. The model explains the linkages between employees' internal influences (e.g., cognitions, emotions, mental states) and their reactions to incidents that occur in their work environment that affect their performance, organizational commitment, and job satisfaction. The theory proposes that affective work behaviours are explained by employee mood and emotions, while cognitive-based behaviours are the best predictors of job satisfaction. The theory proposes that positive-inducing (e.g., uplifts) as well as negative-inducing (e.g., hassles) emotional incidents at work are distinguishable and have a significant psychological impact upon workers' job satisfaction. This results in lasting internal (e.g., cognition, emotions, mental states) and external affective reactions exhibited through job performance, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment.
Alternatively, some research suggests that job satisfaction mediates the relationship between various antecedent variables such as dispositions, workplace events, job characteristics, job opportunities, and employee behaviour exhibited while on the job (e.g., organizational citizenship behaviors, counter-productive work behaviours, and job withdrawal). To that end, when workers experience uplifts (e.g., completing a goal, receiving an award) or hassles (e.g., dealing with a difficult client, reacting to an updated deadline), their intention to continue or quit depends upon the emotions, moods, and thoughts associated with the satisfaction they derive from their jobs.
Other research has demonstrated that the relationship between job satisfaction and turnover is fully mediated by intention to quit; workers who report low job satisfaction are likely to engage in planned quitting. However, this relationship does not account for employees who report high job satisfaction, but quit unexpectedly. Although extrinsic rewards, such as better job offers outside their current organization, may influence their decisions, employees' personality factors may also impact their decisions to exit early from otherwise ideal jobs under ideal working conditions.
Recipients often refer to specific events in exit interviews when voluntarily leaving their current jobs. Minor events with subtle emotional effects also have a cumulative impact on job satisfaction, particularly when they occur acutely with high frequency. For example, perceived stressful events at work are often positively associated with high job strain on the day that they occur and negatively associated with strain the day after, resulting in an accumulation of perceived job-related stress over time. This is consistent with the general understanding in vocational psychology that job satisfaction is a distal, long-term outcome that is mediated by perceived job stress.
Read more about Affective Events Theory: Factors Affecting Employee Experience At Work, Five Factor Model of Personality and AET, Mood and AET, Mitigating Negative Affect Experienced From Work-related Events, Psychosomatic Complaint and Health Concerns Due To Emotions Experienced At Work, Emotions At Work, Feedback and Motivation
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