Good People: How Coworker Competence and Support Influence Engagement and Contextual Performance



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Organizational structures are flattening; as a consequence, relationships with coworkers are becoming increasingly influential in the workplace (Cascio, 2003; Nijssen & Pauuwe, 2012). Based on the Stereotype Content Model (Fiske, Cuddy, Glick, & Xu, 2002), I argue that two perceptions of coworkers, competence and warmth (i.e., support), relate to employee engagement and subsequent performance. Applying the Job Demands-Resources Model (Demerouti, Bakker, Nachreiner, & Schaufeli, 2001), I hypothesized that perceptions of coworker competence and support, two job resources, predict employee emotional and social engagement. These claims were partially supported. Using a longitudinal structural equation model, I found that coworker support predicted both social and emotional engagement, while coworker competence significantly predicted social engagement. I also found that emotional and social engagement yield organizational citizenship behaviors. Accordingly, I hypothesized that emotional and social engagement fully mediate the relationships of coworker competence and support with organizational citizenship behaviors. Coworker support indirectly resulted in organizational citizenship behaviors through both emotional and social engagement However, coworker competence only produced organizational citizenship behaviors via social engagement. The current study also introduces a new scale for measuring coworker competence, an important, yet largely ignored concept in organizational literature.



Coworkers, Competence, Support, Engagement, OCB