Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 1573–1592 | Cite as

Being Helped and Being Harmed: A Theoretical Study of Employee Self-Concept and Receipt of Help

  • Shih Yung Chou
  • Tree Chang
Research Paper


Employee self-concept has long been recognized as a critical factor determining employee performance-related outcomes. As such, a considerable amount of research attention has been paid to exploring employee self-concept. However, relatively little is known about how an employee’s self-concept may be affected when the employee is the recipient of help-giving behavior exhibited by other organizational members. Consequently, we attempt to develop a theoretical model describing how an employee’s self-concept, in the forms of task-specific self-efficacy (TSSE) and organization-based self-esteem (OBSE), is affected by receipt of help. Additionally, we investigate the moderating roles of locus of control (LOC) and individualism–collectivism. In particular, we propose that higher levels of help received result in lower levels of TSSE and OBSE perceived. Moreover, we posit that internal LOC strengthens the negative impact of receiving help on TSSE and OBSE. Furthermore, we argue that individualistic tendencies strengthen the negative relationship between receiving help and TSSE and OBSE. Consequently, our theoretical model provides important insights into understanding employee self-concept in the organization.


Self-concept Task-specific self-efficacy Organization-based self-esteem Receipt of help Locus of control Individualism–collectivism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Business & EngineeringThe University of Texas of the Permian BasinOdessaUSA
  2. 2.Tatung Institute of TechnologyChiayi CityTaiwan

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