Based on the transactional theory of stress and coping, this study aims to understand the daily impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on employee goal progress. In particular, the authors explore how COVID-19 induces anxiety related to task setbacks that consequently influences one's goal progress.
A daily diary study was conducted with a total of 558 observations from 60 participants. The data were analyzed using multilevel path analysis with random slopes.
The perceived risk of COVID-19 infection was positively associated with COVID-19 task setback anxiety, which in turn improved end-of-day goal progress. Lower employee conscientiousness strengthened the relationship between perceived risk of COVID-19 infection and COVID-19 task setback anxiety, and lower supervisor bottom-line mentality strengthened the relationship between COVID-19 task setback anxiety and end-of-day goal progress.
Although COVID-19 task setback anxiety results in higher end-of-day goal progress, the authors recommend caution as the cost of coping exists. Thus, supervisors should focus on supporting the employees rather than having a bottom-line mentality.
This study advances stress and coping literature by examining how employees appraise and cope with COVID-19 in work context. The authors demonstrate that a perceived risk of COVID-19 induces task setbacks related to anticipatory anxiety, which in turn influences employee outcomes. In addition, the authors identify employee conscientiousness and supervisor bottom-line mentality as a boundary condition of this process.
This study was supported by the Institute of Management Research at Seoul National University.
Seo, D., Mah, S., Yoo, S.M., Oh, M., Kim, B.-I., Lee, J.-Y. and Yun, S. (2023), "Working in times of COVID-19: investigating the effect of daily risk perception of COVID-19 infection on goal progress", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-03-2022-0121
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