How Dark Triad Traits Moderate the Relationship between Motivation and Affective Commitment

Lode De Waele, Eleonore Smalle, Tobias Polzer, Lisa Schmidthuber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The relationship between employee motivation and affective organizational commitment is an important research-topic, but not a straightforward one. This is because the relationship is possibly moderated by individual characteristic traits, next to interactions that take place within the organization. This article analyzes how intrinsic and extrinsic motivation impact affective commitment and to what extent Dark Triad characteristic traits moderate this relationship. A quasi-experimental research design is employed, in which traditional survey-techniques were combined with vignette-techniques. The study comprises 254 respondents from a private sector organization in Belgium, which has been considered as a benchmark in terms of its organizational culture. The findings are threefold. First, we find that higher levels of intrinsic motivation increase an individuals’ affective commitment to the organization, which aligns prior studies. Second, on the contrary, extrinsic motivation negatively impacts affective commitment. Third, depending on the sort of Dark Triad trait, these personality traits appear to play a role in explaining these relationships. Yet, findings between the different techniques were not always consistent, nuancing the results of the study.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAcademy of Management Proceedings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


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