The mediating effects of organizational compassion in reducing antisocial withdrawal and promoting pro-social behavior in crisis.

European Academy of Management
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
EURAM 2013: 13th Annual Conference of the European Academy of Management, 2013, pp. 1 - 35
Issue Date:
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How employees react to disaster, injury, or grief has been represented by research in two contradictory ways. One perspective, generativity theory, suggests greater pro-social engagement, while terror management theory suggests that defensive social withdrawal is more likely. Reconciliation theorists seek to resolve this contradiction with a number of plausible explanations. One oversight of these explanations is that they don't consider the role organisational compassion can play in transforming employees anxiety and panic in the face of tragedy, into peace of mind, gratitude, and care for others. Presenting findings from the Queensland Floods of 2010/2011, we suggest that by responding to employee anxiety with compassion, organizations can mediate the effects of employee distress or existential anxiety, and facilitate a generative pro-social response of engagement, commitment, satisfaction, and supportive co-worker relations.
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