Losing the benefits of work passion? The implications of low ego-resilience for passionate workers

Wayne Hochwarter, Samantha L. Jordanno, Ashlee Fontes-Comber, D. C. De La Haye, Abdul Karim Khan, Mayowa Babalola, Jennifer Franczak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This research assessed the interactive effects of employee passion and ego-resilience (ER) on relevant work outcomes, including job satisfaction, citizenship behavior, job tension, and emotional exhaustion. The authors hypothesize that higher work passion is associated with less positive work outcomes when employees are low in ER. Design/methodology/approach: The authors collected data from three unique samples (N's = 175, 141, 164) to evaluate the moderating effect across outcomes. The authors conducted analyses with and without demographic controls and affectivity (e.g. negative and positive). The authors used a time-separated data collection approach in Sample 3. The authors also empirically assess the potential for non-linear passion and ER main effect relationships to emerge. Findings: Findings across samples confirm that high passion employees with elevated levels of ER report positive attitudinal, behavioral, and well-being outcomes. Conversely, high passion employees do not experience comparable effects when reporting low levels of ER. Results were broadly consistent when considering demographics and affectivity. Research limitations/implications: Despite the single-source nature of the three data collections, The authors took steps to minimize common method bias concerns (e.g. time separation and including affectivity). Future research will benefit from multiple data sources collected longitudinally and examining a more comprehensive range of occupational contexts. Practical implications: Passion is something that organizations want in all employees. However, the authors' results show that passion may not be enough to lead to favorable outcomes without considering factors that support its efficacy. Also, results show that moderate levels of passion may offer little benefit compared to low levels and may be detrimental. Originality/value: As a focal research topic, work passion research is still in early development. Studies exploring factors that support or derail expected favorable effects of work passion are needed to establish a foundation for subsequent analyses. Moreover, the authors comment on the assumed “more is better” phenomenon. The authors argue for reconsidering the linear approach to predicting behavior in science and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)526-546
Number of pages21
JournalCareer Development International
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 15 2022


  • Citizenship behavior
  • Ego-resilience
  • Job satisfaction
  • Proactivity
  • Tension
  • Work passion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Losing the benefits of work passion? The implications of low ego-resilience for passionate workers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this