Moderating Role of Demands: Abilities Fit in the Relationship between Work Role Stressors and Employee Outcomes

Moderating Role of Demands: Abilities Fit in the Relationship between Work Role Stressors and Employee Outcomes

Bindu Chhabra (International Management Institute, India)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0902-8.ch016
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Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to explore the direct effect of work role stressors and Demands-Abilities (D-A) fit on the employee outcomes of job satisfaction, organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and turnover intentions. The study further aimed to investigate the moderating role of D-A fit in the relationship between work role stressors and the above mentioned employee outcomes. The study was conducted using structured questionnaires for measuring the above mentioned variables. The sample of the study was 317professionals from five sectors. Hierarchical multiple regression was used to analyze the data. Hierarchical multiple regression results showed that the work role stressors were negatively related to job satisfaction and OCB and positively related to turnover intentions. D-A fit was seen to be positively related to job satisfaction and OCB and negatively related to turnover intentions. The analysis also found some support for the stress buffering effect of high D-A fit in the prediction of job satisfaction, OCB and turnover intentions. This study contributes to the organizational behavior literature by focusing on the fact that the negative effects of work role stressors on employee outcomes can be mitigated by identifying the variables which act as a buffer to weaken this effect. The results of the study provide support for the fact that matching employees to their job can help in the mitigation of employees' stress resulting in positive employee outcomes, hence benefiting the organization in the long run.
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Introduction

The menace of stress is taking its toll on working adults and has negative implications for both employees and organizations. Across a range of organizational contexts and cultures, research has consistently shown that experienced stress has deleterious effects on employees’ mental and physical health, as well as on organizational outcomes such as job satisfaction, job performance and employee turnover (Ngo, Foley & Loi, 2005; Kahn & Brosier, 1992; Newton & Jimmieson, 2009; O'Driscoll & Beehr, 1994). The detrimental effects of stress are building up in India as in United States and other developed countries. According to a survey by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India in 2015, increasingly demanding schedules and high stress levels in the private sector employees are leading to depression or general anxiety disorders and have wide range of effects like daytime fatigue, physical discomfort or low pain threshold leading to increased absenteeism and performance deterioration. The survey further points out that nearly 45% of the corporate employees in private sector sleep less than 6 hours a day, leading to severe sleep disorders. A large number of factors, ranging from technological changes, global competitive pressures, job insecurity and ever demanding customers to hazardous work environments and overbearing bosses, contribute to this stress. To promote employee physical and psychological health, positive job-related attitudes and performance, effective management of stress for employees has been a great challenge for the human resource practitioners.

Although the deleterious effects of work stress on employees’ physical and mental health cannot be undermined, researchers have investigated a large number of factors that may moderate the negative effects of work role stressors on the organizational outcomes. This kind of research can be extremely beneficial to the human resource practitioners and other managers as it can help in designing the strategies which can reduce negative effect of work role stress. Researchers have investigated large number factors that may moderate the negative effects of stressors or job demands on the employee outcomes. These include Type A behavior (Kushnir & Melamed, 1991), locus of control (Daniels & Guppy, 1994; Vahtera, Pentti & Uutela, 1996), self-efficacy (Jimmieson, 2000), self-esteem (Makikangas & Kinnunen, 2003), proactivity (Parker & Sprigg, 1999), trust in management (Harvey, Kelloway & Duncan-Leiper, 2003), perceptions of the balance between effort and rewards (Siegrist, 2002) and subjective fit with organizational culture (Newton & Jimmieson, 2009). While many such task and individual variables have been identified, there is the need to identify additional variables that can buffer this negative effect. Identification of such variables can help in creating a healthy work environment without lowering the job demands. The present study aims to investigate the stress buffering effect of demands-abilities (D-A) fit.

The D–A fit has been defined as the extent to which a person’s knowledge, skills, and abilities are congruent with the demands and requirements of their jobs (Edwards, 1996; Werbel & Johnson, 2001). This fit is complementary since the individual provides resources that respond to the demands of his/her environment (Muchinsky & Monahan, 1987).

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