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Do the Hustle! Empowerment from Side-Hustles and Its Effects on Full-Time Work Performance

Journal(s): Academy of Management
Published: February 18, 2021
Author(s): Hudson Sessions, Jennifer D. Nahrgang, Manuel J. Vaulont, Raseana Williams, Amy L. Bartels

General Description
Side-hustles, income-generating work done outside of full-time jobs, can empower employees and enrich performance in their main careers. Dr. Amy Bartels, assistant professor of management, examines the positive effects of having a side-hustle and its influence on work performance in full-time jobs.

Academic Abstract
Side-hustles, income-generating work performed alongside full-time jobs, are increasingly common as the gig economy provides opportunities for employees to perform supplementary work. Although scholars have suggested that side-hustles conflict with full-time work performance, we assert that psychological empowerment from side-hustles enriches full-time work performance. We argue that side-hustle complexity—the motivating characteristics of side-hustles—positively relates to empowerment and that side-hustle motives moderate this relationship. A study of 337 employees supports these assertions. We then investigate the spillover of side-hustle empowerment to full-time work performance in a 10-day experience-sampling method study of 80 employee–coworker dyads. We address an affective pathway in which daily side-hustle empowerment enriches full-time work performance through side-hustle engagement and positive affect at work. We also consider a cognitive pathway wherein side-hustle empowerment distracts from full-time work performance through side-hustle engagement and attention residue—persistent cognitions about side-hustles during full-time work. Overall, performance enrichment from side-hustles was stronger than performance conflict. We also consider affective shift from full-time work to side-hustles, finding negative affect from full-time work strengthens the relationship between side-hustle empowerment and engagement. Combined, our two studies examine the source of side-hustle empowerment and how side-hustle empowerment influences affective and cognitive experiences during full-time work.

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