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Off-the-job embeddedness moderates work intensity on employee stress

Gerrit J.M. Treuren (UniSA Business, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)
Erich C. Fein (School of Psychology and Counselling, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia)

Evidence-based HRM

ISSN: 2049-3983

Article publication date: 22 October 2021

Issue publication date: 9 February 2022




Work intensity causes employee stress. This paper demonstrates that off-the-job embeddedness (OffJE), a potential source of social support resources, buffers the negative effect of work intensity on employee stress.


Guided by conservation of resources (COR) and job embeddedness theory (JET), this paper reports on the moderated regression analysis of the survey responses of 385 adult employees from a variety of industries in Queensland, Australia, using a student-recruited sampling strategy.


Higher levels of work intensity were found to be associated with higher levels of employee stress. However, this effect was weaker for employees who had higher OffJE. In this sample, work intensity has no relationship with stress for employees who report OffJE beyond the 70th percentile.


This paper demonstrates the positive role of outside workplace relationships embodied in OffJE on workplace employee experience, justifies employer work-life balance initiatives and community involvement, demonstrates the potential positive return for employer involvement in helping employees manage the experience of work intensity and contributes to the social support, COR and job embeddedness literature studies.



Treuren, G.J.M. and Fein, E.C. (2022), "Off-the-job embeddedness moderates work intensity on employee stress", Evidence-based HRM, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 103-118.



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