Work overload and affective commitment: The roles of work engagement, positive psychological capital, and compassion

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Sung-Hoon Ko
Yongjun Choi
Sae Hoon Lee
Ji-Young Kim
Jongsung Kim
Hyun Chul Kang
Cite this article:  Ko, S., Choi, Y., Lee, S., Kim, J., Kim, J., & Kang, H. (2022). Work overload and affective commitment: The roles of work engagement, positive psychological capital, and compassion. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 50(6), e11306.


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Work overload is often inevitable in the workplace and is known to have a negative impact on employees’ attitudes and behaviors. In this study we explored the mechanism through which work overload is negatively related to employees’ affective commitment and how the negative effect of work overload could be mitigated. Using data obtained from 269 employees in South Korea, our results show that positive psychological capital and work engagement serially mediated the negative relationship between work overload and affective commitment. In addition, the negative relationship between work overload and affective commitment was moderated by the extent to which an employee experienced compassion at work. Our findings extend knowledge of how work overload is associated with employees’ affective commitment and shed light on the importance of helping employees experience compassion at work to alleviate the negative impacts of work overload. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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