Perceived Gratitude; Relational Energy; Occupational Identity; Work-Family Spillover;
Conventional research on gratitude has focused on the benefits of expressing or experiencing gratitude for the individual. However,recent theory and research have highlighted that there may too be benefits associated with receiving others’ gratitude. Grounded in the Work-Home Resources model (W-HR), we develop a conceptual model to understand whether, how, and for whom service providers (i.e., healthcare professionals) benefit from receiving service beneficiaries’(i.e., patients)gratitude in their daily work. We hypothesize that perceived gratitude from service beneficiaries enhances service providers’ relational energy at work, which spills over to benefit their family lives later in the day. In addition, we hypothesize that the effect of gratitude on relational energy and its subsequent spillover effect to the family,are contingent on employees' occupational identity. Two experience sampling studies with data collected from healthcare professionals and their spouses for two consecutive weeks(each) provided support for our hypothesized model. We conclude by discussing the theoretical and practical implications of our work.