A self-regulation perspective on how and when regulatory focus differentially relates to citizenship behaviors.

Although previous research suggests that regulatory focus matters for organizational citizenship behaviors, it is unclear how promotion and prevention focus relate to such behaviors. Integrating regulatory focus theory with theories of self-regulation, we propose a conceptual model that links trait promotion and prevention foci with specific citizenship behaviors through an emotion-related self-regulation mechanism. Using a sample of 227 nurses working in a hospital context, we observed that trait promotion focus and trait prevention focus predict helping and voice via differential effects on emotional exhaustion. Specifically, trait promotion focus had unconditional indirect effects on helping (positive) and voice (negative) through lower levels of emotional exhaustion. In contrast, trait prevention focus was positively related to voice but negatively related to helping through higher levels of emotional exhaustion. Moreover, these indirect effects of trait prevention focus were moderated by employees’ reappraisal of their emotional experiences at work, such that trait prevention focus had weaker relations with helping and voice when reappraisal was higher (vs. lower). We discuss theoretical and practical implications of these findings and highlight avenues for future research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)