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Help Comes From Understanding: The Positive Effect Of Communication Visibility On Employee Helping Behavior

Liang Liang, Guyang Tian, Xue Zhang, Yezhuang Tian

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Extant research focuses on the antecedents of employee helping behavior, but the role of social technologies in enhancing employee helping behavior remains understudied. The purpose of our research is to investigate the relationship between communication visibility and employee helping behavior. Drawing on both communication visibility theory and social cognitive theory, we propose that the association between communication visibility and helping behavior is mediated by employee psychological state assessed by a cognitive state variable: trust in coworkers. Further, we also propose that proactive personality moderates the positive effect of trust in coworkers on employee helping behavior. We examined our hypothesized relationships using 149 employees collected in a field experiment in China. As hypothesized, we find that trust in coworkers mediates the relationship between communication visibility and helping behavior. Moreover, proactive personality strengthens the effectiveness of communication visibility. We discuss the implications of our findings for future research and practice.