The moderating role of task characteristics in determining responses to a stressful work simulation

Jimmieson, Nerina L. & Terry, Deborah J. (1999) The moderating role of task characteristics in determining responses to a stressful work simulation. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 20(5), pp. 709-736.

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Two experimental studies were conducted to examine whether the stress-buffering effects of behavioral control on work task responses varied as a function of procedural information. Study 1 manipulated low and high levels of task demands, behavioral control, and procedural information for 128 introductory psychology students completing an in-basket activity. ANOVA procedures revealed a significant three-way interaction among these variables in the prediction of subjective task performance and task satisfaction. It was found that procedural information buffered the negative effects of task demands on ratings of performance and satisfaction only under conditions of low behavioral control. This pattern of results suggests that procedural information may have a compensatory effect when the work environment is characterized by a combination of high task demands and low behavioral control. Study 2 (N=256) utilized simple and complex versions of the in-basket activity to examine the extent to which the interactive relationship among task demands, behavioral control, and procedural information varied as a function of task complexity. There was further support for the stress-buffering role of procedural information on work task responses under conditions of low behavioral control. This effect was, however, only present when the in-basket activity was characterized by high task complexity, suggesting that the interactive relationship among these variables may depend on the type of tasks performed at work.

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31 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 85929
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Task Characteristics, Stressful Work Simulation
DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1379(199909)20:5<709::AID-JOB954>3.0.CO;2-7
ISSN: 1099-1379
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
Deposited On: 23 Jul 2015 00:51
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2015 00:51

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