Exploring the antecedents of compassionate responding in organizations
Analysis of the literature suggests organizational compassion is a four-construct process of noticing, empathising, assessing and responding (NEAR), which occurs at the interpersonal level (i.e. between colleagues) but is supported by organizational processes, routines, values and leadership. The literature further suggests that the unfolding of compassionate responding is sequential, and although the exact order is uncertain, it is generally assumed to be preceded by noticing, empathising and assessing. That is, noticing another colleague suffering contributes to empathy, which contributes to assessments and finally informs appropriate responding. Another important consideration is that compassion is most likely to unfold in workplaces where employees experience a high level of perceived organizational support (POS), and there remain questions concerning organizational compassion as an extension of POS. However, as past organizational compassion research has been almost solely qualitative and constructivist in nature, it remains a challenge to test these propositions, and moreover, compare the concept’s universality outside of influential case studies. In response, the current paper explores the development, validity and reliability of a quantitative psychometric tool to account for these related conceptualizations of organizational compassion. It further tests hypotheses generated from the previous qualitative research specifically concerning the antecedents of organizational compassionate responding, and the relationship between POS and organisational compassion. The potential for a robust quantitative tool to examine organisational compassion complements the existing qualitative research and has the potential to constitute a significant contribution to the literature.
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