Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Work-family conflicts, threat-appraisal, self-efficacy and emotional exhaustion

an article by Wendy Glaser and Tracy D. Hecht (Concordia University, Montreal, Canada) published in Journal of Managerial Psychology Volume 28 Issue 2 (2013)


The purpose of this paper is to examine associations between work-family conflicts, threat appraisals, self-efficacy, and emotional exhaustion. Threat appraisal was hypothesised to mediate relations between work-family conflicts (work-to-family and family-to-work) and emotional exhaustion. Self-efficacy was hypothesised to moderate relations between work-family conflicts and threat appraisal, with relations expected to be weaker for individuals high in self-efficacy.

University employees (n=159; 67 percent female) participated in this non-experimental study. Data were gathered via questionnaire. Two-thirds of participants completed measures of work-family conflicts and threat-appraisal a few weeks prior to completing measures of self-efficacy and emotional exhaustion; remaining participants completed one cross-sectional survey.

Observed relations were consistent with predicted mediation hypotheses. Contrary to predictions, self-efficacy did not moderate relations between work-to-family conflict and threat-appraisal and the relation between family-to-work conflict and threat-appraisal was stronger for those with higher self-efficacy. Self-efficacy was negatively related to emotional exhaustion.

Practical implications
Organisations should foster positive work-family climates to help alleviate work-family conflicts. Managers should demonstrate compassion when dealing with employees who have serious family concerns, as even efficacious individuals may find such situations threatening.

This research integrates stress theories with research on the work-family interface. The relevance of threat appraisal and the role of self-efficacy are highlighted.

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