Social desirability at work : a new look at who does it and its consequences from a goal driven approach
Chia, Sherwin Ignatius Tse Min
Date of Issue2015
College of Business (Nanyang Business School)
In this dissertation, a goal-driven approach was used to study socially desirable responding and self-verification. This dissertation proposed that the way individuals regulate their goal pursuit or regulatory mode can affect how much individuals engage in socially desirable responding or self-verification and that this relationship operates through the need for cognitive closure. Also, it was proposed that these effects explain citizenship behaviors, which are important to performance in organizations. Five studies were conducted to test the proposed relations, of which four studies were used to test the relationships of regulatory mode on the two components of socially desirable responding and self-verification. Both survey and behavioral measures were utilized to test these relationships. The last study explored the regulatory mode-citizenship behavior link. Overall, the findings suggested that individuals high in locomotion mode (locomotors) who want to get things done tend to be decisive and believe in the positive characteristics about themselves. Individuals high in assessment mode (assessors) who want to get things done right tend to be consistent in their self-concept. At work, locomotors believe that they have positive characteristics and are inclined to impress others which lead them to effect changes in organizations (challenging citizenship behaviors) and help their coworkers (affiliative citizenship behaviors) respectively. In contrast, assessors tend to engage in challenging citizenship behaviors only. These findings can bridge research in socially desirable responding and self-verification, as well as, address the issue of faking in personnel selection and placement from a new goal-driven perspective of regulatory mode.