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Family incivility, work alienation beliefs and submissive behaviors among Pakistani employees: the mitigating role of ego resilience

Dirk De Clercq (Goodman School of Business, Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada)
Tasneem Fatima (International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Bushra Khan (International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 20 December 2022

Issue publication date: 5 January 2024




This research seeks to unpack a relevant, hitherto overlooked connection between employees' perception that family incivility is undermining their work and their displays of submissive behavior. The authors predict and test a mediating role of employees' work alienation beliefs and a moderating role of their ego resilience in this connection.


The research hypotheses were tested with survey data collected in three rounds, separated by three weeks each, among employees who work in the education sector in Pakistan. The statistical analyses relied on the PROCESS macro, which supports the simultaneous estimation of the direct, mediation and moderated mediation effects that underpin the proposed theoretical framework.


An important reason that victims of disrespectful treatment at home fail to fight for their rights at work is that they develop parallel beliefs of being disconnected from work. This intermediary role of work alienation beliefs is less prominent though when employees can rely on their personal resource of ego resilience.

Practical implications

For human resource (HR) managers, this research offers a critical explanation, related to a sense of being estranged from work, for why family-induced work hardships might cause employees to exhibit subservient behaviors at work. It further reveals how this process can be contained if employees have the capability to adapt flexibly to different situations.


This study contributes to extant research by explicating how and when family-induced work hardships might escalate into work responses that mirror employees' experiences at home.



De Clercq, D., Fatima, T. and Khan, B. (2024), "Family incivility, work alienation beliefs and submissive behaviors among Pakistani employees: the mitigating role of ego resilience", Personnel Review, Vol. 53 No. 1, pp. 228-246.



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