Trait resilience fosters adaptive coping when control opportunities are high : implications for the motivating potential of active work

Parker, Stacey L., Jimmieson, Nerina L., Walsh, Alexandra, & Loakes, Jennifer (2015) Trait resilience fosters adaptive coping when control opportunities are high : implications for the motivating potential of active work. Journal of Business and Psychology, 30(3), pp. 583-604.

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Abstract

Purpose: We examine the interaction between trait resilience and control in predicting coping and performance. Drawing on a person–environment fit perspective, we hypothesized resilient individuals would cope and perform better in demanding work situations when control was high. In contrast, those low in resilience would cope and perform better when control was low. Recognizing the relationship between trait resilience and performance also could be indirect, adaptive coping was examined as a mediating mechanism through which high control enables resilient individuals to demonstrate better performance.

Methodology: In Study 1 (N = 78) and Study 2 (N = 94), participants completed a demanding inbox task in which trait resilience was measured and high and low control was manipulated. Study 3 involved surveying 368 employees on their trait resilience, control, and demand at work (at Time 1), and coping and performance 1 month later at Time 2.

Findings: For more resilient individuals, high control facilitated problem-focused coping (Study 1, 2, and 3), which was indirectly associated with higher subjective performance (Study 1), mastery (Study 2), adaptive, and proficient performance (Study 3). For more resilient individuals, high control also facilitated positive reappraisal (Study 2 and 3), which was indirectly associated with higher adaptive and proficient performance (Study 3).

Implications: Individuals higher in resilience benefit from high control because it enables adaptive coping.

Originality/value: This research makes two contributions: (1) an experimental investigation into the interaction of trait resilience and control, and (2) investigation of coping as the mechanism explaining better performance.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
2 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 77833
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Trait Resilience, Control, Coping Strategies, Mastery, Performance
DOI: 10.1007/s10869-014-9383-4
ISSN: 0889-3268
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Organisational Behaviour (150311)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright Springer Science+Business Media
Deposited On: 20 Oct 2014 00:33
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 00:51

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