Effects of compassion on employees' self-regulation

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Hyung Jin Choi
Sangmin Lee
Se-Ri No
Eung Il Kim
Cite this article:  Choi, H., Lee, S., No, S., & Kim, E. (2016). Effects of compassion on employees' self-regulation. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 44(7), 1173-1190.


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We examined how compassion can alleviate employees’ negative emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. On the basis of self-regulatory resources theory, we hypothesized that there would be relationships between the 2 mediating variables of self-esteem and self-efficacy, and the dependent variables of anxiety, burnout, workplace deviance, and intention to quit. We collected data on these variables from 284 nurses, who work in a stressful job that necessitates compassion from colleagues, to test our theoretical model. The results revealed that compassion alleviated negative emotions (anxiety and burnout), behavior (workplace deviance), and thoughts (intention to quit), with both self-esteem and self-efficacy having mediating effects. Thus, we demonstrated the specific path through which compassion can have positive effects on an organization’s employees. We discuss the observed relationship between compassion and self-regulation, and theoretical contributions regarding differences between self-esteem and self-efficacy, as well as between anxiety and burnout.

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