Watch My Back, I Will Flourish: Secure-Base and Promotion-Tasks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report five studies that examine a nurturing relationship with the supervisor as an antecedent of promotion focus, a motivation reflecting exploration, creativity, and attention to gains versus non-gains. We hypothesize that supervisors who provide a secure base for their employees will increase the employees’ state-promotion focus and create a preference for engaging in promotion tasks over prevention tasks. We tested our hypotheses across five studies (N = 822): a correlational-field study, and four vignette experiments, and performed a mini-meta analysis of all studies that showed support for our hypothesis. Overall, our work suggests a theoretical link and an empirical test of two seminal theories, and sheds light on practical ways to affect employee-task preference at work through fulfilling relationships.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)369-394
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Management, Spirituality and Religion
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2024


  • Attachment theory
  • leadership
  • motivation
  • promotion focus
  • regulatoryfocus theory

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Religious studies
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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