Although we know that individuals who tend to reveal their true selves to others at work are better performers, little is known about why this is the case or in which workplace environments this trait will be most helpful. In the present study, we leveraged self-verification theory to better understand the internal and interpersonal effects that self-verification striving has on employees. Specifically, we proposed and found that self-verification striving serves to increase both employee vigor and demand-ability fit, ultimately leading to better job performance. Results of a multilevel, two-wave study involving 222 employees and their supervisors further revealed that ethical climates also play a critical role in affecting the self-verification striving-employee outcome relationship. Specifically, self-verification striving leads to higher vigor and better demand-ability fit and subsequently higher job performance only in teams with high ethical climates. Our results contribute to the literature by describing how and when self-verification striving may augment performance.
Conservation of resource theory
78th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
Prior scholars (Cable & Kay, 2012) have noted that some individuals tend to reveal their true selves more than others by behaving in alignment with their self-concepts. In the present study, we investigated how self-verification striving serves to increase employee vigor, ultimately leading to better job performance. Results of a multilevel, two-wave study involving 222 employee-supervisor pairs revealed that self-verification striving increased employees’ physical, cognitive, and emotional vigor. In addition, physical and cognitive vigor significantly mediated the relationship between self- verification striving and job performance. Moreover, we found that ethical climate significantly moderated both the direct relationship between self-verification striving and physical and emotional vigor and the indirect effect of self-verification striving on job performance through these mediators. We also found that these effects were stronger in employees working in teams with a strong ethical climate than those with an unethical climate. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our findings for the self-verification and ethics literatures.