Paper published in Career Development International

Title: Religiousness in times of job insecurity: job demand or resource?

Author team: Bert Schreurs, IJ. Hetty van Emmerik, Nele De Cuyper, Tahira Probst, Machteld van den Heuvel, Eva Demerouti

Abstract: Departing from the job demands resources model, the purpose of this paper is to investigate whether religion, defined as strength of religious faith, can be viewed as resource or as demand. More specifically, the authors addressed the question as to how job insecurity and religion interact in predicting burnout and change-oriented behavior. The authors conducted moderated structural equation modeling on survey data from a sample of 238 employees confronted with organizational change. Results were largely consistent with the “religion as a demand” hypothesis: religion exacerbated rather than buffered the negative effects of job insecurity, so that the adverse impact of job insecurity was stronger for highly religious employees than for employees with low levels of religiousness. Religious employees appear to experience more strain when faced with the possibility of job loss. The results of this study challenge and extend existing knowledge on the role of religion in coping with life stressors. The dominant view has been that religion is beneficial in coping with major stressors. The results of this study, however, suggest otherwise: religion had an exacerbating rather than a buffering effect on the relationship between job insecurity and outcomes.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/CDI-08-2014-0114

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Paper published in Humor

Title: How adaptive and maladaptive humor influence well-being at work: A diary study

Author team: Hannes Guenter, Bert Schreurs, IJ. Hetty van Emmerik, Wout Gijsbers, and Ad van Iterson

Abstract: In this paper, we investigate how adaptive and maladaptive humor influence well-being in the workplace. In particular, this study examines the extent to which reactions from others (i.e., humor targets) can moderate the relationship between humor and well-being. Unlike prior research, we adopted a within-person research design. We used data from a two-week-long diary study of 57 Dutch individuals employed in the automotive sector. Our hierarchical linear modeling analysis found that employees are more engaged on days when they express adaptive humor, while they appear more emotionally exhausted on days when they express maladaptive humor. Reactions from humor targets do not moderate the effects of humor. Using a within-person design, this study makes an important contribution to the humor at work literature, which has focused almost exclusively on inter-individual differences.

Citation information: Humor. Volume 26, Issue 4, Pages 573–594, ISSN (Online) 1613-3722, ISSN (Print) 0933-1719, DOI: 10.1515/humor-2013-0032, October 2013

Paper accepted for publication in JPP

Title: Exemplification and perceived job insecurity: Associations with self-rated performance and emotional exhaustion

Author team: Nele De Cuyper, Bert Schreurs, Hans De Witte, Elfi Baillien, and Tinne Vander Elst

Abstract: Impression management strategies are typically seen as means to obtain something of value and to achieve success. Little is known about potential side effects for the self, or about impression management aimed at prevention of loss. In response, this study probes the relationship between exemplification (i.e., a form of impression management aimed at acquiring the image of model employee) and both self-rated performance and emotional exhaustion, accounting also for the moderating role of perceived job insecurity. We use the Resource Model of Self-regulation and the Conservation of Resources Theory to propose that the association of exemplification with self-rated performance and emotional exhaustion is more positive among job insecure workers than among job secure workers. Hypotheses were tested in a sample of 603 Peruvian workers from different sectors using Structural Equation Modelling. The pattern of results largely supported our hypotheses. We conclude that exemplification may have unintended side effects when workers feel insecure.

Paper accepted for publication in JOHP

Title: The Role of Punishment and Reward Sensitivity in the Emotional Labor Process: A Within-Person Perspective

Author team: Bert Schreurs, Hannes Guenter, Ute Hülsheger, IJ. Hetty van Emmerik

Abstract: In this diary study, we tested the possibility that dispositional reward and punishment sensitivity, two central constructs of reinforcement sensitivity theory, would modify the relationship between emotional labor and job-related well-being (i.e., work engagement, emotional exhaustion, depersonalization).  Specifically, based on a social functional account of emotion, we hypothesized that surface acting entails the risk of social disapproval and therefore may be more detrimental for high than for low punishment-sensitive individuals.  In contrast, deep acting is hypothesized to hold the promise of social approval and therefore may be more beneficial for high than for low reward-sensitive individuals.  Hypotheses were tested in a sample of 237 service workers (N=1584 daily reports) who completed a general survey and daily surveys over the course of ten working days.  Multilevel analyses showed that surface acting was detrimental to well-being, and more strongly so for high than for low punishment-sensitive individuals.  The results are consistent with the idea that heightened sensitivity to social disapproval aggravates the negative effects of surface acting.

Pay-Level Satisfaction and Employee Outcomes: The Moderating Effect of Employee-Involvement Climate

The present study examined employee-involvement climate (i.e., information-sharing and decision-making climate) as a moderator of the relationship between pay-level satisfaction and employee outcomes (i.e., job satisfaction, affective commitment, and turnover intention). Survey data were collected from 22,662 Belgian employees, representing 134 organizations. The hypotheses derived from distributive justice theory and from research on the meaning of pay received partial support. Multilevel analyses revealed that a decision-making climate buffered the negative effects of low pay-level satisfaction, and that an information-sharing climate exacerbated the negative effects of low pay-level satisfaction. Theoretical and practical implications of this differential moderating effect are discussed.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hrm.21533/abstract

The benefits of gossip

Posted on January 18, 2012 by in Psychology

Spreading rumors – always a bad thing? Researchers of the University of California, Berkeley, investigated the existence  and dynamics of prosocial gossip and found evidence that it “plays a critical role in the maintenance of social order” and can even be therapeutic.

According to the researchers, prosocial gossip has the function of warning others about untrustworthy or dishonest people, and must not be confused with chitchat about celebrities. To test the positive outcomes of prosocial gossip participants were asked to observe a game – while connected to heart rate monitors – in which one of the players was gaining money while cheating. After noticing the cheating behavior the heart rates of the participants started to rise. In response, most of them tried to warn a new player by passing a “gossip note”. Successfull spreading the information about the cheater tempered the increase in their heart rates.

Overall, the findings indicate that gossip can have social and psychologic benefits: helping us detect bad behavior, saving others from exploitation and by lowering stress. “When we observe someone behave in an immoral way, we get frustrated,” said Rob Willer, coauthor of the study. “But being able to communicate this information to others who could be helped makes us feel better.”

Source: Feinberg, M., Willer, R., Stellar, J., & Keltner, D. 2012. The virtues of gossip: reputational information sharing as prosocial behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102: 1015-1030.