Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D. in Business Administration

First Advisor

Walter Davis

Second Advisor

Douglas W. Vorhies

Third Advisor

Pamela L. Perrewe

Abstract

Within the organizational sciences, researchers have examined the stress process in an effort to identify the antecedents and consequences of strain as well as moderating variables which exacerbate or ameliorate the negative effects of strain on individuals and organizations. Limited research has considered the role proactive behaviors may play as neutralizers of the negative consequences of stress. In this study, I seek to expand our knowledge of the role and effectiveness of proactive behaviors within the stress process. Using a job crafting framework, three categories of proactive behaviors (task-oriented, cognitive-oriented, and relationship-oriented) will be examined and are hypothesized to be effective neutralizers of job tension and burnout when matched with similar categories of stressors (task stressors, cognitive stressors, relationship stressors). Consistent with the hypotheses of the stressor - strain relationships, role overload, and quantitative task demands were found to be positively related to like-category strain (i.e., job tension) and burnout (physical fatigue), and cognitive anxiety and worry were positively related to the like-category dimension of burnout (i.e., cognitive anxiety). While support was found for six of seven hypothesized main effects in the model, none of the hypothesized moderating relationships were supported. Furthermore, only one of these seven hypothesized relationships was in the expected direction. Competing models of non-matched proactive behaviors were tested with mixed support. Implications of these findings, strengths and weaknesses of the current study, directions for future research and post hoc analyses were also discussed.

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