Time Pressure Promotes Work Engagement: Test of Illegitimate Tasks as Boundary Condition

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Based on activation theory and appraisal theory, this study examines the curvilinear relationship between time pressure and work engagement. Further, we argue that this curvilinear relation holds only if time pressure is not induced by unreasonable or unnecessary tasks. We tested our hypotheses in a heterogeneous sample of 191 employees. Results of moderated hierarchical multiple regression analyses provide evidence for an inverted U-shape relation between time pressure and work engagement. Our findings show that the motivating effect of a moderate level of time pressure holds only when employees are assigned to tasks with a low unreasonability rating. Our findings have implications for research on antecedents of work engagement and the job demands-resources model.

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