Exploring the Link Between Feeling Good and Doing Good at Work

Topic(s): citizenship behavior, job performance, wellness
Publication: Journal of Business and Psychology
Article: Linking core self-evaluations to organizational citizenship behaviors: An approach-avoidance perspective.
Authors: D.P. Gullifor, F. Noghani, S.W. Lester, E.P. Karam, C.C. Cogliser
Reviewed by: Grace Cox

Core self-evaluations (CSEs) involve an individual’s assessment of their own self-worth, capabilities, and competencies. CSEs have gained traction over recent years as a promising new way to predict job performance and employee well-being.


In this study, researchers (Gullifor et al., 2023) asked study participants to report on their CSEs, their level of work engagement, how often they went above and beyond to help at work, and the strength of the relationship that they had with their leader.

The researchers found that as employees reported higher levels of CSEs, they also reported stronger relationships with their leaders and heightened engagement at work. Stronger leader-follower relationships also led to higher levels of work engagement. These stronger relationships and higher levels of work engagement were in turn linked to higher levels of organizational citizenship behavior by employees. This refers to discretionary behavior, where employees seek to help the organization in ways that are not formally part of their job requirements.


  • Consider including CSEs in the employee selection process. This will help organizations ensure they are staffed with employees with high levels of CSE.
  • Provide opportunities and resources that will incentivize good employee behavior and help employees develop skills. This will help them grow in the key areas that make up CSE, such as feelings of competence. This could increase employee engagement and provide benefits for both the organization and the employees themselves.
  • Encourage and foster strong leader-follower relationships. Managers may want to invest in intentional and individualized mentoring with their followers. Organizations should ensure that both employees and leaders have access to the resources necessary to develop those strong relationships.


Gullifor, D. P., Noghani, F., Lester, S. W., Karam, E. P., & Cogliser, C. C. (2023). Linking core self-evaluations to organizational citizenship behaviors: An approach-avoidance perspective. Journal of Business and Psychology, 38, 925-939.

Image credit: istockphoto/Iryna Alekseienko