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Article
Publication date: 13 January 2022

Outi Vanharanta, Matti Vartiainen and Kirsi Polvinen

The study aims to explore job demands experienced by employees and managers in micro-enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Drawing on the job demands

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to explore job demands experienced by employees and managers in micro-enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Drawing on the job demands framework, the study discusses the experienced demands from the perspective of challenges that create opportunities for learning and achievement and hindrances that create obstacles for work. The study builds on the idea that the same demand can be perceived both as a challenge and a hindrance. That approach opens a path to responding to challenges by reformulating working practices and removing hindrances by designing, developing and crafting jobs and tasks.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors analyzed open-ended survey responses (N = 306) to study experienced job demands in 50 micro-enterprises and SMEs, how the perceived demands differ between employees and managers and whether they represent challenge or hindrance demands.

Findings

The authors identified 17 job demand categories most including both challenge and hindrance demands. Time management and prioritization was the most central challenge and hindrance category for both employees and managers. For employees, sales and stakeholder relationships represented the second largest challenge category and communication and information flow was the second largest hindrance category. For managers, the second largest challenge and hindrance categories were organization and management of activities and the fragmentation of work, respectively.

Originality/value

By focusing on employee experience, the achieve a more nuanced understanding of the SME context, which has been dominated by managerial evaluations. The study also advances the discussion on job demands by extending our knowledge of demands that may be experienced both as a challenge and a hindrance.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 22 October 2020

Michael Kronenwett and Thomas Rigotti

Drawing from both the transactional theory of stress and the conservation of resources theory, this paper sets out to investigate the role of demand-specific challenge and…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing from both the transactional theory of stress and the conservation of resources theory, this paper sets out to investigate the role of demand-specific challenge and hindrance appraisal of emotional demands, as well as time pressure and perceived goal progress within the challenge–hindrance framework.

Design/methodology/approach

For this research, 91 employees provided daily diary data for one working week. Focusing on within-persons effects, multilevel moderated mediation models using multilevel path analyses were applied.

Findings

Both emotional demands and time pressure exert positive effects on work engagement when people expect resource gain (challenge appraisal), independent of actual resource gain (achievement). Furthermore, results show that goal progress buffers negative effects of perceived blocked resource gain (hindrance appraisal) on both emotional and motivational well-being.

Originality/value

This research proposes an extension and refinement of the challenge–hindrance stressor framework to explain health-impairing and motivational processes of emotional demands and time pressure, combining reasoning from both appraisal and resource theory perspectives. The study identifies demand-specific challenge and hindrance appraisals as mediators linking demands to emotional and motivational well-being, emphasizing the influence of goal progress as a resource on these relations.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 4 November 2020

Jacqueline M. Jumelet, Marjan J. Gorgievski and Arnold B. Bakker

The aim is to expand the challenge-hindrance framework and develop a coherent theoretical framework that explains individual differences in the way small business owners…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim is to expand the challenge-hindrance framework and develop a coherent theoretical framework that explains individual differences in the way small business owners appraise their job demands. Literature has shown that dealing effectively with job demands leads to competitive advantage and depends on individual appraisals.

Design/methodology/approach

For this qualitative study, 20 in-depth interviews were analyzed using a partially grounded theory approach.

Findings

Open and axial coding revealed a broader range of demands than have hitherto been studied, related to actions rather than job characteristics. Selective coding confirmed expectations based on the Conservation of Resources Theory that appraisals of demands differ between business owners and change over time depending on role identities, and material, social, personal and energy resource levels, via the valence (identities) and degree of anticipated outcomes. Business owners appraised certain demands as challenging when they were co-occurring with other demands usually categorized as challenges, whereas these same demands were appraised as hindering when co-occurring with demands usually categorized as hindrances.

Research limitations/implications

The results imply that appraisals can be influenced by societal context, life events, processes of formal and informal learning, personal growth and aging. These topics would be interesting avenues for future research.

Originality/value

The results of this study challenge our understanding of job demands in general and current categorizations of job demands as challenges versus hindrances in specific, by providing an in-depth, contextualized and dynamic view of the appraisal of demands related to owning and running a business.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2018

Alka Rai

The purpose of this paper is to examine how job resources may moderate the relationship of two types of job demands (i.e. challenge and hindrance demands) with employee…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how job resources may moderate the relationship of two types of job demands (i.e. challenge and hindrance demands) with employee engagement. It is hypothesized that job resources can buffer the association of job hindrances with employee engagement while job resources may escalate engagement in the condition of challenge demands.

Design/methodology/approach

The population of the study is Scale-I officers of Indian public sector banks (PSBs). The sample included 608 Junior Management Grade–Scale I officers employed in Indian PSBs.

Findings

Results of the analysis revealed a positive relationship between challenge demands and employee engagement whereas the negative relationship between hindrance demands and employee engagement. Enhancement in the positive conditional effect of challenge demands on employee engagement with the increase in values of the job resources evidenced the boosting role of job resources. Further, condition effect of hindrance demand on employee engagement at different levels of moderator showed that the negative relationship between hindrance demands and employee engagement get weakened with the increase in the level of job resources.

Practical implications

The results highlighted the situations that may foster or thwart engagement of employees. Present findings could be guiding in several ways for designing interventions to enhance employee engagement using job demands and job resources.

Originality/value

This study adds to literature through incorporating challenge–hindrance theorization in propositions of job demands-resources model and by exploring two diverse mechanisms (buffering and boost up) which are elicited after interaction of job resources with challenge and hindrance demands in a diverse way.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 38 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 18 July 2018

Hongxia Li and Xiugang Yang

The argument that work engagement enhances job performance has gained wide acceptance among practitioners and human resources management literature. There is consensus in…

Abstract

Purpose

The argument that work engagement enhances job performance has gained wide acceptance among practitioners and human resources management literature. There is consensus in management literature that job crafting can affect work engagement. The concept of callings from theology has been resurrected in job behavior and continues to garner growing attention from practitioners in recent years. However, few studies examine how and why living a calling influence job crafting and work engagement. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between living a calling, job crafting and work engagement for knowledgeable employees through questionnaires.

Design/methodology/approach

The part-time MBA students were asked to reflect on present jobs. In total, 390 effective questionnaires were collected from part-time MBA students of four universities in Chongqing, China for finance, administration, manufacturing, service, technology, medication, education and others. Results were analyzed using SPSS and Amos. The measurement scale is given in Appendix.

Findings

First, the author explicitly proposes and validates the direct relationship between living a calling and job crafting. Second, this study confirms that crafting challenging job demands are significant to vigor subdimension and dedication subdimension of work engagement, whereas crafting challenging job demands not significant to absorption subdimension of work engagement. Third, this study indicates that crafting hindering job demands are nonsignificant to vigor, dedication and absorption about three subdimensions of work engagement. Fourth, this study showed living a calling can enhance work engagement for employees. Fifth, this study finds three groups (eight items) of mediation effect between living a calling, job crafting and work engagement.

Practical implications

These insights may help managers to focus on living a calling and encourage beneficial job crafting behaviors in China. The sample is original and has the potential to contribute to debate on work life balance and particularly the meaning of work/careers in China.

Social implications

This study is an interesting revisit to the old workplace sociology and organizational psychology which has become somewhat neglected these days.

Originality/value

This study has provided insight in the relationships between living a calling, job crafting and work engagement.

Details

Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8005

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Article
Publication date: 22 October 2020

Chris Giebe and Thomas Rigotti

This study investigated a mechanism by which challenge stressors may affect employee well-being outcomes. This study tested a within-person longitudinal model in which the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigated a mechanism by which challenge stressors may affect employee well-being outcomes. This study tested a within-person longitudinal model in which the effects of challenge demands relate to basic psychological need satisfaction/thwarting and worker well-being outcomes. In particular, basic psychological need satisfaction and thwarting were hypothesized to mediate challenge demands and outcomes at the intraindividual level.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from 84 employees from a weekly survey across four weeks (308 observations) were used in Bayesian multilevel path analyses to test hypotheses.

Findings

Although significant indirect effects showed that basic psychological needs mediate between demands and worker outcomes, only a few specific indirect effects (e.g. the path from time pressure via thwarting the need for autonomy to emotional exhaustion) operated as hypothesized. Interestingly, in this study, time pressure was only mediated via thwarting the need for autonomy when considering undesirable worker outcomes (i.e. increased emotional exhaustion, decreased job satisfaction). Job complexity, however, led to decreased emotional exhaustion via the need for competence satisfaction. Implications for need satisfaction and thwarting as mechanisms in the challenge–hindrance framework are discussed.

Originality/value

This study (1) extends the challenge–hindrance framework to include basic psychological needs as a mechanism, (2) expands basic psychological needs to include need thwarting and (3) may enhance our understanding of stressor categories.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2012

Jack K. Ito and Céleste M. Brotheridge

This article seeks to apply the challenge–hindrance conceptualization of demands to a model that relates stressors to emotional exhaustion and job satisfaction…

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Abstract

Purpose

This article seeks to apply the challenge–hindrance conceptualization of demands to a model that relates stressors to emotional exhaustion and job satisfaction. Supervisory support, a resource, is posited as a precursor to demands, and work–family conflict (WFC) and interpersonal conflict (IPC) at work are expected to mediate the demand–strain and job satisfaction relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

This cross‐sectional self‐report survey included a sample of 600 government employees in Canada.

Findings

In addition to directly influencing job satisfaction, supervisory support reduces strain and increases motivation by decreasing hindrances and interpersonal conflict. Also, although, challenge and hindrance demands are both positively associated with strain, task complexity is positively associated with job satisfaction, whereas role ambiguity and interpersonal conflict are negatively associated with job satisfaction. Furthermore, work–family conflict and interpersonal conflict fully mediate the effects of supervisory support, role conflict, and task complexity on strain, and they reduce the effects of ambiguity on strain. Thus, these factors have limited effects on strain by themselves; rather, they act on strain through emotional demands.

Research limitations/implications

Some challenges have a strong connection with resources, yet also induce strain. Future models should incorporate the challenge‐hindrance approach to classifying demands and should examine challenge demands that motivate people to engage in stressful activities. Also, although work‐family conflict and interpersonal conflict at work concern different spheres, future research should incorporate both spheres and employ emotional demands as mediating variables.

Practical implications

Given that some challenges can be motivating yet stressful, the consequences of interventions can be difficult to forecast. Results point to the importance of carefully designing interventions and the role of WFC and IPC as potential levers in managing strain arising from complex jobs and other types of challenges.

Originality/value

This paper considers a unique model of demands, resources, and outcome variables that contributes to the knowledge about how to address stress.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2019

Ying Li, Ting Pan and Nan (Andy) Zhang

This paper is to investigate how employees respond to information security policies (ISPs) when they view the policies as a challenge rather than a hindrance to work…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper is to investigate how employees respond to information security policies (ISPs) when they view the policies as a challenge rather than a hindrance to work. Specifically, the authors examine the roles of challenge security demands (i.e. continuity and mandatory) and psychological resources (i.e. personal and job resources) in influencing employees’ ISP non-compliance.

Design/methodology/approach

Applying a hypothetical scenario-based survey method, the authors tested our proposed model in six typical ISPs violation scenarios. In sum, 347 responses were collected from a global company. The data were analyzed using partial least square-based structural equation model.

Findings

Findings indicated that continuity and mandatory demands increased employees’ level of perseverance of effort, which, in turn, decreased their ISPs non-compliance intention. In addition, job resources, such as the trust enhancement gained from co-workers and the opportunities for professional development, enhanced the perseverance of effort.

Practical implications

The findings offer implications to practice by suggesting that organizations should design training programs to persuade employees to understand the ISPs in a positive way. Meanwhile, organizations should encourage employees to invest more personal resources by creating a trusting atmosphere and providing them opportunities to learn security knowledge and skills.

Originality/value

This study is among the few to empirically explore how employees respond and behave when they view the security policies as challenge stressors. The paper also provides a novel understanding of how psychological resources contribute to buffering ISP non-compliance.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article
Publication date: 25 September 2019

Piyali Ghosh, I.M. Jawahar and Alka Rai

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how cognitive and emotional job demands interact with job resources to influence work engagement, and whether work engagement…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how cognitive and emotional job demands interact with job resources to influence work engagement, and whether work engagement mediates the association of job demands with job satisfaction. In collectivistic patriarchal societies women have fewer resources to devote to work; thus, based on Conservation of Resources theory, the authors have tested if job demands relate differently to work engagement for women than for men and if the mediation differs across genders.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data collected from 724 bank officers in India, the authors used the PROCESS macro developed for SPSS to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Gender interacted with job demands to influence work engagement, such that the relationship was stronger for men than for women. Moderated mediation analysis showed that men experience work engagement and through work engagement increased job satisfaction from challenging job demands, whereas these benefits do not accrue for women, and when they do, they are significantly less than for men.

Originality/value

Most models and theories of organizational behavior have been developed in the western world where, relatively speaking, men and women enjoy almost equal privileges at work and at home. In collectivistic patriarchal societies, women are responsible for the lion’s share of household chores (Rout et al., 1999) and thus have fewer resources to devote to work, affecting their work engagement and satisfaction. The results behoove researchers to consider gender as a study variable when designing studies on organizational phenomena.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 41 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Mansi Rastogi and Richa Chaudhary

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of job crafting behaviors in predicting work-family enrichment. It is hypothesized that employees who are able to adjust…

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2640

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of job crafting behaviors in predicting work-family enrichment. It is hypothesized that employees who are able to adjust their work environment proactively by increasing structural and social job resources, increasing challenging job demands and decreasing hindering job demands would be more engaged and experience work-family enrichment.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample for the study consisted of 496 employees working in diverse nature of organizations in India. Structural equation modeling with the help of SPSS AMOS 20 was used for testing the study hypotheses.

Findings

The results reveal a strong relationship between job crafting and work-family enrichment experiences among employees. The study also established the role of work engagement as a mediator of the relationship between job crafting and work-family enrichment.

Research limitations/implications

The study significantly advances the underdeveloped literature on work-family enrichment by establishing job crafting as a predictor and illuminating the underlying psychological processes in a non-western collectivist culture. The study also contributes to theory building around the construct of job crafting which is still in its infancy.

Practical implications

The practitioners are encouraged to provide opportunities, support and freedom for job crafting to their employees for better work and home outcomes.

Originality/value

The present study is one of the pioneer attempts to examine how employees themselves can influence work-family enrichment by enhancing their work engagement using job crafting.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 47 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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