Business research and education have emphasized the positive value of intrinsic motivation for over 50 years. Now, the idea of loving your work is everywhere—from inspiring graduation speeches to the tweets of popular CEOs. Mijeong Kwon, PhD, studies whether such valuation of intrinsic motivation may have an unintended dark side for employees’ value judgments about themselves and others. In her research, she argues that the valuation of intrinsic motivation in employees’ social contexts makes them associate it with positive values, i.e., moralize it. Once moralized, intrinsic motivation becomes a source of value judgments. In her primary line of work, she uses both field surveys and online and lab experiments to show that the moralization of intrinsic motivation can have potentially negative impacts on employees’ perceptions and behaviors at work.
PhD Management & Organizations, University of Michigan
MS Management, Yonsei University, Korea
Areas of expertise
Publications and presentations
Kwon, M., Lee Cunningham, J., & Jachimowicz, J. M. (2023). Discerning Saints: Moralization of Intrinsic Motivation and Selective Prosociality at Work. Academy of Management Journal, forthcoming.
Kwon, M. “Moralization of Intrinsic Motivation,” Academy of Management Annual Meeting, 2022
Kwon, M. “Intrinsic motivation display as impression management,” Academy of Management Annual Meeting, 2022
Kwon, M., Cunningham, J. L., and Jachimowicz, J. M. “Discerning saints: Intrinsic motivation and selective prosociality in teams,” Annual Convention of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, 2021
2021 LKS Fellow, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University