Sa-OR-S118-2 - Variance Of Self-Control Demands Moderating The Relations Between Mean Levels Of Self-Control Demands And Ego Depletion

Work stressors
Oral Presentation
Part of:
Saturday May 20   09:15 AM to 09:30 AM (15 minutes)
Employee stress and burnout
Work stressors
Variance of self-control demands moderating the relations between mean levels of self-control demands and ego depletion
W. Rivkin 1,*, S. Diestel 2, K.-H. Schmidt 1
1Flexible Control of Behaviour, Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors, 2Psychology and Management, International School of Management, Dortmund, Germany
Content: Purpose: In addition to strong evidence for the adverse effects of work-related self-control demands (SCDs) on well-being from cross-sectional studies, recent research has demonstrated that SCDs fluctuate across days and that high day-specific SCDs predict impaired well-being. These relations can be accounted for by the model of limited self-control strength, which suggests that different acts of self-control draw on a limited regulatory resource and that depletion of this resource can manifest as impaired well-being. Based on this model, in the present study, we examine the interplay between mean levels and variance of SCDs during the day and their impact on well-being. In line with the model of limited self-control strength, we propose that day-specific mean levels of SCDs impair day-specific well-being. Moreover, drawing on the idea that a high variability of SCDs during the day may facilitate recovery of the regulatory resource, we argue that high day-specific variance buffers the adverse effects of mean levels of SCDs on well-being. That is, on days with high variability of SCDs, employees suffer less from high mean levels of SCDs compared to days with low variability.
Design/Methodology: Our study is based on self-reports of 67 employees who participated in a diary study over 10 consecutive days. SCDs were measured one hour after the beginning of work, at midday and one hour before the end of work. As criterion variables we used ego-depletion and subjective vitality measured two hours after work.
Results: The results suggest that day-specific mean SCDs are negatively related to well-being and that day-specific variance of SCDs buffers this relationship. 
Research/Practical Implications: The results suggest that changes of SCDs over the course of a working day may provide opportunities of recovery and thus, facilitate coping with high SCDs during the day.
Originality/Value: Our study examines the interplay of mean levels and variability of day-specific SCDs.

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