Better to give and to compete? prosocial and competitive motives as interactive predictors of citizenship behavior

M. Teresa Cardador, Amy Wrzesniewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research has returned mixed results concerning the relationship between prosocial motivation and citizenship behavior. Building from research suggesting that mixed motives might explain these equivocal findings, we conducted two field studies examining the interaction between prosocial and competitive motives and two types of citizenship behavior. Prosocial motivation, but not competitive motivation, was positively related to citizenship behavior directed at others, though this relationship was weakened when prosocial motives were accompanied by competitive motives. Prosocial motives compensated for weak competitive motives to predict citizenship behavior directed toward the organization. Our studies expand research on prosocial and competitive motivation, mixed-motives, and citizenship behavior. Further, they carry personnel implications given that many organizations seek to hire employees high on both competitive and prosocial motivation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-273
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 4 2015


  • citizenship behavior
  • competitive motivation
  • mixed motives
  • prosocial motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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