Self-regulation is the situation where an individual attempts to control or alter his/her behavior. Research in social psychology has demonstrated that the act of self-regulation during one task can lead to impaired performance on a subsequent, unrelated task, because individuals have limited cognitive resources. In situation where companies are trying to limit the effect of interruptions due to persistent conversation by establishing workplace policies and regulations, the employees’ performance might be thus adversely affected. This state of fatigue which results from the depletion of cognitive resources is termed ego depletion. The current study analyzes the effects of self-regulating behavior and motivation on task performance in a simulated organizational setting. Consistent with the findings in social psychological research, the results of this experiment support an adverse effect of self-regulating behavior on task performance. Although the directions of the means suggest a moderating role of motivation, no statistical support was found. However, ego-depleted participants in the high-motivation condition did not display weaker performance than participants in the nondepleted conditions. The implications of these results on organizational computer use policy and future research are discussed.
Schneider, Christoph; Parboteeah, D.; and Valacich, Joseph S., "The effects of motivation and computer usage policies and procedures on task performance" (2006). ECIS 2006 Proceedings. 36.