Confirmation of Maslow’s Hypothesis of Synergy: Developing an Acceptance of Selfishness at the Workplace Scale

Abstract

This study aimed to develop a new Acceptance of Selfishness at the Workplace Scale (ASWS) and to confirm Maslow's hypothesis of synergy: if both a sense of contribution and acceptance of selfishness at the workplace are high, workers are psychologically healthy. In a cross-sectional study with employees of three Japanese companies, 656 workers answered a self-administered questionnaire on paper completely (response rate = 66.8%). Each questionnaire was submitted to us in a sealed envelope and analyzed. The ASWS indicated high internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.86). Significant (p < 0.001) positive moderate correlations between ASWS scores and job control scores support the ASWS's convergent and discriminant validity. Significant (p < 0.001) associations of ASWS scores with psychological distress and work engagement supported the ASWS's criterion validity. In short, ASWS was a psychometrically satisfactory measure. Significant (p < 0.05) interactions between a sense of contribution and acceptance of selfishness at the workplace in linear regression models showed that when those two factors are low, psychological distress becomes high. However, when a sense of contribution and acceptance of selfishness are high, work engagement also becomes high. Thus, Maslow's hypothesis of synergy was confirmed.

DOI: 10.3390/ijerph13050462

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