The Association between Work–Family Guilt and Pro- and Anti-Social Work Behavior

Authors

  • Whitney Botsford Morgan,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Houston Downtown
      Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Whitney Botsford Morgan, Department of Management, Marketing, and Business Administration, University of Houston-Downtown, One Main Street B-466, Houston, TX 77004 [e-mail: morganw@uhd.edu].
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  • Eden B. King

    1. George Mason University
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Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Whitney Botsford Morgan, Department of Management, Marketing, and Business Administration, University of Houston-Downtown, One Main Street B-466, Houston, TX 77004 [e-mail: morganw@uhd.edu].

Abstract

This article explores the behavioral outcomes of an understudied emotion, guilt, in the context of the work–family domain. Specifically, we propose that work–family guilt motivates both pro- and anti-social behaviors in the workplace. Working undergraduate students in the United States completed qualitative and quantitative indicators of behavioral responses to work–family guilt. Results demonstrated that when individuals experienced family-to-work guilt, they responded with helping behaviors directed toward individuals. When individuals experienced work-to-family guilt, they responded by shirking of work responsibilities. Thus, work–family guilt may be a critical and underexplored determinant of extrarole behaviors and an important emotion to manage in order to sustain career and care roles.

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