Research has shown that individual differences in adult attachment predict several organizational outcomes. However, little is known about the mechanism that underlies these associations. The current study examines whether self-compassion can serve as a potential mediator explaining the associations between individual differences in attachment and organizational outcomes. Four outcome measures were evaluated: job performance (HPQ; Kessler et al., 2003), organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) (Goodman and Svyantek, 1999), turnover intentions (Abrams et al., 1998), and emotional exhaustion (Schaufeli et al., 1996). In addition, participants (N = 202, response rate 81%) also completed several questionnaires assessing attachment style (ECR; Brennan et al., 1998) and self-compassion (SCS; Neff, 2003). Using structural equation modeling (SEM) for testing the research hypotheses, the hypothesized model was supported, with self-compassion mediating the relationship between attachment styles and all four work-related outcomes. The research findings suggest that self-compassion can provide a solid mechanism for understanding organizational outcomes and for understanding individual differences related to attachment functioning in the workplace.
Keywords: OCB; SEM; anxious attachment style; avoidance attachment style; emotional exhaustion; job performance; self-compassion; turnover intentions.