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J Sch Psychol. 2013 Dec;51(6):735-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jsp.2013.07.002. Epub 2013 Aug 12.

Work happiness among teachers: a day reconstruction study on the role of self-concordance.

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Department of Psychology, Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Zagreb, Croatia. Electronic address:


Self-concordant work motivation arises from one's authentic choices, personal values, and interests. In the present study, we investigated whether self-concordant motivation may fluctuate from one work-related task to the next. On the basis of self-determination theory, we hypothesized that momentary self-concordance buffers the negative impact of momentary work demands on momentary happiness. We developed a modified version of the day reconstruction method to investigate self-concordance, work demands, and happiness during specific work-related tasks on a within-person and within-day level. In total, 132 teachers completed a daily diary on three consecutive work days as well as a background questionnaire. The daily diary resulted in 792 reported work activities and activity-related work demands, self-concordance, and happiness scores. Multilevel analysis showed that-for most work activities-state self-concordant motivation buffered the negative association of work demands with happiness. These findings add to the literature on motivation and well-being by showing that the levels of self-concordance and happiness experienced by employees vary significantly on a within-day level and show a predictable pattern. We discuss theoretical and practical implications of the findings to increase employees' well-being.


Day reconstruction method; Happiness; Job demands; Self-concordance; Self-determination theory

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