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The roller coaster of happiness: An investigation of interns' happiness variability, LMX, and job-seeking goals
Journal of Vocational Behavior  (IF6.065),  Pub Date : 2021-10-27, DOI: 10.1016/j.jvb.2021.103654
Courtney Masterson, Jiaqing Sun, Sandy J. Wayne, Donald Kluemper

In the context of internships, we develop and test theory regarding the relationship between interns' happiness and their perceptions of leader-member exchange (LMX). Adopting a discrete and dynamic emotions perspective, we examine interns' happiness that is elicited by the most memorable daily interactions with their supervisor and bring attention to the construct of happiness variability (i.e., between-person differences in the fluctuation of happiness over time). Integrating Affective Events Theory and Feelings as Information Theory, we theorize and investigate how interns' happiness variability interacts with their psychological resources (i.e., optimism and core self-evaluation) to inform their perceptions of LMX, and ultimately, is indirectly associated with interns' job-seeking goals related to future employment with the organization. Findings from our daily field study reveal a positive relationship between happiness variability and LMX among interns low in optimism and interns low in core self-evaluation. The findings also provide evidence of a conditional indirect relationship between interns' happiness variability and a key employment outcome, job-seeking goals, via their perceptions of LMX. Extending our results, we discuss theoretical and empirical implications for future research and practice.