Organization-based self-esteem and well-being: empirical examination of a spillover effect

Jon L. Pierce, Donald G. Gardner, Courtney Crowley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Global self-esteem is believed to be a major determinant of both subjective and eudaimonic (psychological) well-being (Diener, E. (1984). Subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 95, 542–575. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.95.3.542; Ryff, C. D. (1989). Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 1069–1081. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.57.6.1069). This relationship is termed a spillover effect because it is believed that self-esteem “spills over” onto general well-being. In light of the dominant role that work plays in the lives of many people, we asked whether there is also a spillover effect of self-esteem formed around one’s work and organizational experiences (viz., organization-based self-esteem) on general well-being. Building from disposition theory we posited a positive relationship between organization-based self-esteem and well-being. Drawing upon evidence from two field studies, involving focal participant and co-worker reports, we present evidence in support of the hypothesized relationships. In addition, we observe evidence suggesting that work engagement may play a role by influencing the extent to which this spillover effect might occur. Implications of this research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-199
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 3 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor & Francis.


  • depression
  • eudaimonic well-being
  • organization-based self-esteem
  • spillover
  • subjective well-being


Dive into the research topics of 'Organization-based self-esteem and well-being: empirical examination of a spillover effect'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this