Publication: Applied Psychology: An International Review (APR09)
Article: Consequences of positive and negative feedback: The impact on emotions and extra-role behaviors
Authors: F. D. Belschak, D. N. Den Hartog
Reviewed By: Sarah Teague
Two recent studies conducted by Belschak and Den Hartog (2009) investigated the impact of positive and negative feedback on emotions and several important work outcomes. Not surprisingly, results suggest that positive feedback leads to more positive emotions, while negative feedback leads to more negative emotions. More importantly, they found that these negative emotions led to a decrease in both organizational commitment (feelings of attachment to one’s organization) and intent to perform organizational citizenship behaviors (voluntary actions that help the organization). They also led to an an increase in counterproductive work behaviors (behaviors that hurt the organization) and turnover
Taken together, people who receive positive feedback are happier and consequently more committed and productive to their organizations. In cases when negative feedback must be given, the authors suggest framing the feedback in a positive way (e.g. think learning experiences instead of mistakes) and generally being supportive.
Belschak, F. D., & Den Hartog, D. N. (2009). Consequences of positive and negative feedback: The impact on emotions and extra-role behaviors. Applied Psychology:
An International Review, 58(2), 274-303.