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2019 International Association for Conflict Management Conference

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Penchant for Passion: How Presentations of Work Passion Influence Employment Outcomes

Keywords: impression management, hiring, communication, work passion

Abstract: Organizations frequently promote work passion as a valuable employee attribute, yet we have little knowledge of how expressions of that passion influence employment decisions. Examining work passion as an impression management technique, we investigate how evaluators respond to presentations of work passion from job candidates. We focus on two critical employment outcomes: hiring and salary decisions. Across three studies, we find that evaluators prefer to hire self-described passionate candidates over job candidates who use related impression management techniques, and that this preference is mediated by perceptions of intrinsic motivation. We find no evidence that this preference is associated with increased monetary rewards or that evaluators attempt to exploit passion through lower salary offers.

Andrea Freund, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Margaret Neale, Stanford Graduate School of Business


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