Utilizing job resources: qualitative evidence of the roles of job control and social support in problem solving

Kevin Daniels, Jane Glover, Nick Beesley, Varuni Wimalasiri, Laurie Cohen, Alistair Cheyne, Donald Hislop

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In resource-based models of job design, job resources, such as control and social support, are thought to help workers to solve problems. Few studies have examined this assumption. We analyzed 80 qualitative diary entries (N=29) and interviews (N=37) concerned with the in-role requirements of medical technology designers in the UK for problem solving. Four themes linked to using the resources of job control and social support for problem solving emerged. These were: (1) eliciting social support to solve problems; (2) exercising job control to solve problems; (3) co-dependence between eliciting social support and exercising job control to solve problems; and (4) using job resources to regulate affect. The results were largely supportive of the assumptions underpinning resource-based models of job design. They also indicated that the explanatory power of resource-based models of job design may be enhanced by considering interdependencies between various factors: how different job resources are used, workers' motivation to use resources, workers' knowledge of how to use resources and the use of resources from across organizational boundaries. The study provides qualitative support for the assumption that social support and job control are used to cope with demands.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)200-221
    Number of pages22
    JournalWork and Stress
    Volume27
    Issue number2
    Early online dateApr 2013
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Keywords

    • coping
    • job control
    • job design
    • problem solving
    • qualitative
    • resources
    • social support

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Applied Psychology

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