State or trait: effects of state optimism on job-related outcomes
Article first published online: 29 JAN 2009
Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Organizational Behavior
Special Issue: The Emerging Positive Agenda
Volume 30, Issue 2, pages 209–231, February 2009
How to Cite
Kluemper, D. H., Little, L. M. and DeGroot, T. (2009), State or trait: effects of state optimism on job-related outcomes. J. Organiz. Behav., 30: 209–231. doi: 10.1002/job.591
- Issue published online: 29 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 29 JAN 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 NOV 2008
State optimism was hypothesized to be significantly related to six organizationally relevant outcomes above and beyond the effect of trait optimism. Moreover, state optimism was hypothesized to have effects on these six outcomes beyond the effects of positive and negative affect. Conversely, trait optimism was expected to be unrelated to the six outcome variables when controlling for state optimism as well as when controlling for affect. These hypotheses were tested with two samples. First, 772 undergraduate students were assessed to determine the impact of state versus trait optimism on task performance in the form of course grade. From this sample, the 261 students working at least 20 hours per week were similarly assessed with regard to work related distress, burnout, affective commitment, and job satisfaction. Then, a field sample of 106 employees assessed distress, burnout, affective commitment, job satisfaction, and supervisor rated task and contextual job performance. Results indicate state optimism (but not trait optimism) is a potentially powerful indicator of important organizational outcomes, even after controlling for the effects of positive and negative affect. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.