You want me to do what? Two daily diary studies of illegitimate tasks and employee well-being

Eatough, E. M.; Meier, L. L.; Igic, Ivana; Elfering, Achim; Spector, P. E.; Semmer, Norbert (2016). You want me to do what? Two daily diary studies of illegitimate tasks and employee well-being. Journal of organizational behavior, 37(1), pp. 108-127. Wiley 10.1002/job.2032

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Illegitimate tasks, a recently introduced occupational stressor, are tasks that violate norms about what an employee can reasonably be expected to do. Because they are considered a threat to one's professional identity, we expected that the daily experience of illegitimate tasks would be linked to a drop in self-esteem and to impaired well-being. We report results of two daily diary studies, one in which 57 Swiss employees were assessed twice/day and one in which 90 Americans were assessed three times/day. Both studies showed that illegitimate tasks were associated with lowered state self-esteem. Study 1 demonstrated that high trait self-esteem mitigated that relationship. Study 2 showed that illegitimate tasks were associated with not only lowered state self-esteem but also lower job satisfaction and higher anger and depressive mood, but not anger or job satisfaction remained elevated until the following morning

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Work and Organisational Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Igic, Ivana (A), Elfering, Achim, Semmer, Norbert Karl


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology








Christin Schild

Date Deposited:

17 Jul 2017 15:45

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:35

Publisher DOI:





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