The benefits and burdens of organizational reputation for employee well-being: A conservation of resources approach

Michael Baer, Jonathan Bundy, Niharika Garud, Ji Koung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


We consider the possibility that a positive organizational reputation brings both benefits and burdens to employees working for those organizations. Drawing from the “Red Queen” notion in competitive strategy and from conservation of resources theory, we argue that although organizational reputation can cause employees to identify more strongly with the organization, it may also pressure employees to commit more of their time to the job. In turn, increased organizational identification and time commitment have contrasting effects on employees’ emotional exhaustion. Following recent theorizing in the reputation literature, we also test the proposal that the effects of organizational reputation—a collective-level representation—are mediated through employees’ individual-level perceptions. Taken together, our theoretical model suggests that organizational reputation, through employees’ perceptions of that reputation, simultaneously serves as a benefit that reduces emotional exhaustion via organizational identification, but also as a burden that increases emotional exhaustion via additional time commitment. In turn, we demonstrate that these dynamics have both positive and negative implications for employees’ counterproductive work behavior. Our arguments are confirmed in a multiwave, multisource study of employees from a diverse range of organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-595
Number of pages25
JournalPersonnel Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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