The bright side of loving your work: Optimism as a mediating mechanism between work passion and employee outcomes
Personality and Individual Differences
School of Business and Law / Centre for Work + Wellbeing
Building on the limited investigations that account for mechanisms that explain the relationship between work passion and employee outcomes, this study investigated the indirect effect of harmonious and obsessive passion on in-role performance, career satisfaction, and psychological wellbeing via state optimism. Guided by the dualistic model of passion and theory of optimism, we argued that harmoniously passionate employees are more likely to experience state optimism than their obsessively passionate counterparts, enabling the former to benefit from optimal work and wellbeing outcomes. Survey data came from an online panel of 249 Australian full-time employees, distributed across two time points. Results revealed that harmoniously passionate individuals a) performed better at work, b) were more satisfied in their careers and c) experienced greater psychological wellbeing via increased levels of state optimism. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.