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Employee motivation, emotions, and performance: a longitudinal diary study Abira Reizer Department of Behavioral Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ariel University, Ariel, Israel Yael Brender-Ilan Ariel University, Ariel, Israel, and Zachary Sheaffer Department of Economics and Business Management, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ariel University, Ariel, Israel Abstract Purpose 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 as potential mediators of this critical association. Design/methodology/approach The longitudinal study employed multilevel modeling for assessing the effects of motivation, emotions and work satisfaction on job performance. In total, 116 respondents provided 1,044 responses at nine consecutive measurement points. Findings Findings indicated that positive emotions and job satisfaction mediate the positive association between autonomous motivation and performance. Concurrently, negative emotions and decreased job satisfaction mediated the negative associations between controlled motivation and job performance. Research limitations/implications The results address only the within-subject and between-subject analysis 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 of emotions in understanding how motivation shapes workplace performance. Keywords Motivation, Performance appraisal, Emotions, Job satisfaction Paper type Research paper Introduction Motivation 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 as a performance enhancer (Cerasoli et al. , 2014). We draw on self-determination theory (SDT) as a motivational framework that applies to work contexts (Deci et al. , 2017). SDT distinguishes between autonomous and controlled motivation. Autonomous motivation denotes the volitional nature of individuals behavior, whereas controlled motivation transpires when individuals are faced with pressure and control. According to SDT, motivation fuels performance. While autonomous motivation has been reported to be positively associated with increased job performance, controlled motivation has drawn less scholarly attention, perhaps even producing negative effects on job performance (Deci et al. , 2017; Trépanier et al. , 2015). The study s goal is to identify the short-term dynamic fluctuations of the motivation performance linkage in the organizational practices. Furthermore, the mediating processes of this association will be explored, postulating that emotions and job satisfaction can account for daily fluctuations in the associations between motivation and performance.

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