Effects of role ambiguity, role conflict & work overload, and their interactions with social support on work stress and mood states : a study using experience sampling methodology

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Effects of role ambiguity, role conflict & work overload, and their interactions with social support on work stress and mood states : a study using experience sampling methodology

 

Author: Cheung, Chung-keung
Title: Effects of role ambiguity, role conflict & work overload, and their interactions with social support on work stress and mood states : a study using experience sampling methodology
Degree: M.B.A.
Year: 1997
Subject: Executives -- China -- Hong Kong -- Psychology
Job stress -- China -- Hong Kong
Role conflict
Mental fatigue
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Management
Pages: xi, 128 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1256996
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/1308
Abstract: The main objective of the dissertation is to study the effects of role ambiguity, role conflict, quantitative work overload, qualitative work overload and role juggling on work stress and mood states of managers, administrators and professionals. The impacts of interactions between work stressors and social support from different sources are also investigated. In the study, a survey was conducted using experience sampling methodology (ESM) to collect data from a sample of some 19 managers, administrators and professionals. The subjects were required to fill out the experience sampling diary five times a day for a one-week period. This is the first empirical research to apply the ESM for obtaining the information of managers, administrators and professionals in Hong Kong. According to the survey results, it was found that a total of three mood factors (distress, calmness and elation) were identified for the subjects. When compared to Watson's & Tellegen's two-factor structure model on affect (1985), distress and elation can be viewed as the dimensions of high negative affect and high positive affect respectively. However, it seems that calmness is the mix of low positive affect and low negative affect. It is probably because that Chinese has difficulty to understand the exact meanings of the mood items and identify the two affects separately. As Watson's & Tellegen's two-factor structure model was derived based on the studies of Western population, the direct transferability and applicability of the model to Chinese are questioned owing to different cultural value system and linguistic system. Significant lag effects were found in mood states (calmness, distress and elation) and were strongest for distress. The results were in line with that of Williams' & Alliger's study (1994) that the spillover of unpleasant moods over time was stronger than that of pleasant moods. However, no spillover of mood states was found across days. The occurrence of role juggling among managers, administrators and professionals increased the level of distress and lowered the degree of calmness and elation significantly. However, it was found that intra-role juggling resulted in lower calmness and elation, and higher distress than inter-role juggling. An analysis on the difference between the findings of the present study and those obtained from Williams et al. (1991) reveals that those juggling involving work-related tasks may have more significant effect on mood states regardless the type of juggling (intra-role and inter-role juggling). The nature of juggling tasks may be a dominant factor on affecting mood states apart from the type of role juggling. It was found that quantitative work overload and qualitative work overload had the dominant effects on mood states (calmness and distress) and work stress. The findings conform to the results of Worrall's & Cooper's study (1995) that managers and executives perceived volume of work as the main source of work stress. The effects of interactions between work stressors and social support from various sources (supervisor support, co-worker support, subordinate support and family/friends support) were also studied. The results indicated that only a limited number of moderators had significant influences on mood states and work stress. One of the main reasons is that the stressors may be causally related to a particular source of social support that result in different impact on mood states and stress. There may be a match between the coping requirements and the available support in order for significant interaction effects to occur. Besides, the findings also support the argument that those sources of social support from the workplace (especially the supervisor) are the most important in generating the moderating effects on work stress, and social support from family/friends leads to weak moderating effect with work stressors on stress. The present study also found that the interaction between co-worker support and qualitative work overload had reverse buffering effect on work stress of managers, administrators and professionals. Hence, co-worker support strengthened the positive relationship between qualitative work overload and work stress.

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