To read this content please select one of the options below:

Organizational helping behavior and its relationship with employee workplace well-being

Jinyun Duan (Business School, Central South University, Changsha, China)
Macy Wong (School of Professional Education and Executive Development, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
Yumeng Yue (Organisational Studies Group, Business School, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 15 November 2018

Issue publication date: 31 January 2019




Research examining the effect of helping on outcomes related to helpers has gained some mixed results. The purpose of this paper is to reconcile such inconsistency by understanding the multi-dimensional nature of helping behavior.


The authors first develop a helping behavior scale that differentiates between the proactive and reactive form of helping. Furthermore, the authors also examined whether these two forms of helping are differently related to employees’ well-being. Data were collected from 448 employees and their immediate supervisors working in different organizations in the South Jiangsu province, in which the authors examined the main relationship and also explored the mediating effect of meaningfulness.


Results provided corroborating evidence that helping behavior was a multi-dimensional construct, consisting of proactive and reactive dimensions. Furthermore, the authors are also able to support discriminatory validity between these two dimensions by showing that they are differently related to employees’ well-being.

Practical implications

This paper contributes to management practice by specifying the benefits and detriments of different kinds of helping behaviors.


The findings of this study do not only provide ideas to explain contradictions in the effect of helping behaviors on helpers themselves, but also deepens scholars’ knowledge and understanding toward helping behavior.



The authors fully acknowledge the funding support from the National Science Foundation of China (No. 71372180).


Duan, J., Wong, M. and Yue, Y. (2019), "Organizational helping behavior and its relationship with employee workplace well-being", Career Development International, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 18-36.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles