Unpacking the curvilinear relationship between negative affectivity, performance, and turnover intentions: The moderating effect of time-related work stress


Journal of Management & Organization. DOI: 10.1017/jmo.2016.10


This study explores the relationships of negative affectivity with two frequently studied outcome variables job performance and turnover intentions. Conventional wisdom holds that negative affectivity has a harmful impact on both job performance and intentions to leave; however, we propose a more nuanced perspective using empirical and theoretical arguments (e.g., self-regulation theory) to highlight the functional effects of negative affectivity. To test our hypotheses, we collected self-reported and supervisor-reported data from seven organizations in Pakistan. The findings based on data collected from 280 employees show that while negative affectivity is detrimental for job performance, this effect is mitigated as negative affectivity increases. It further shows that the linear negative main effect of negative affectivity on job performance is more pronounced when employees experience less time-related work stress. Finally, the curvilinear relationship between negative affectivity and turnover intentions is moderated by time-related work stress. The relationship has a U shape at high levels of time-related work stress, whereas at low levels it has an inverted U shape. A discussion of the limitations, future research, and implications for theory building and practice conclude the article.