Employee motivation, emotions,and performance: a longitudinaldiary studyAbira ReizerDepartment of Behavioral Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities,Ariel University, Ariel, IsraelYael Brender-IlanAriel University, Ariel, Israel, andZachary SheafferDepartment of Economics and Business Management,Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ariel University, Ariel, IsraelAbstractPurpose–Numerous studies have focused on the effect of motivation on performance in the workplace.The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the somewhat overlooked role of positive and negative emotions aspotential mediators of this critical association.Design/methodology/approach–The longitudinal study employed multilevel modeling for assessing theeffects of motivation, emotions and work satisfaction on job performance. In total, 116 respondents provided1,044 responses at nine consecutive measurement points.Findings–Findings indicated that positive emotions and job satisfaction mediate the positive associationbetween autonomous motivation and performance. Concurrently, negative emotions and decreased jobsatisfaction mediated the negative associations between controlled motivation and job performance.Research limitations/implications–The results address only the within-subject and between-subjectanalysis of temporal variations in emotions and behavior. Future studies can include higher levels of analysis,such as group, team and organizational contexts.Originality/value–This research contributes to self-determination theory by highlighting the role ofemotions in understanding how motivation shapes workplace performance.KeywordsMotivation, Performance appraisal, Emotions, Job satisfactionPaper typeResearch paperIntroductionMotivation is a meaningful construct and an important workplace mechanism. Hence,motivating employees constitutes a noticeable challenge in contemporary organizations.Substantial research has been devoted to workplace motivational aspects and to motivation asa performance enhancer (Cerasoliet al., 2014). We draw on self-determination theory (SDT) as amotivational framework that applies to work contexts (Deciet al., 2017). SDT distinguishesbetween autonomous and controlled motivation. Autonomous motivation denotes the volitionalnature of individuals’behavior, whereas controlled motivation transpires when individuals arefaced with pressure and control. According to SDT, motivation fuels performance. Whileautonomous motivation has been reported to be positively associated with increased jobperformance, controlled motivation has drawn less scholarly attention, perhaps even producingnegative effects on job performance (Deciet al., 2017; Trépanieret al., 2015). The study’s goal isto identify the short-term dynamic fluctuations of the motivation–performance linkage in theorganizational practices. Furthermore, the mediating processes of this association will beexplored, postulating that emotions and job satisfaction can account for daily fluctuations inthe associations between motivation and performance.