Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2017

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Business Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Must engagement with tasks feel depleting? This seemingly simple question remains surprisingly difficult to answer. Various theoretical perspectives make partially competing claims, which are seldom adjudicated or integrated. The purpose of this dissertation is to shed new light on this old question by surfacing key conceptual tensions in the literature, proposing a more dynamic model of the engagement-depletion relation, and then bringing empirical results from a field experiment to bear on this model. Taken as a whole, this dissertation suggests that the various perspectives all have merit, but mostly hold under particular boundary conditions that have thus far been underspecified. Whether engagement at one time produces feelings of depletion at a later time depends on specific task environment factors and metacognitive processes that can be trained. By proposing and testing a model that incorporates these interactions, I produce findings that have clear applied value to organizational practitioners, which I discuss at the close of the dissertation.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Markus Baer

Committee Members

William P. Bottom, Andrew P. Knight, Todd Braver, Jochen Reb,


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