Symposium 752 - Indirect Control And Self-Endangering Work Behavior

Thursday May 18   01:15 PM to 02:45 PM (1 hour 30 minutes)
Employee stress and burnout
Coping and social support
Indirect control and self-endangering work behavior
M. Knecht 1,*, A. Krause 1
1Institute Humans in Complex Systems, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, School of Applied Psychology,  Olten, Switzerland
Main Abstract Content: State of the Art:
Goal-oriented as well as performance-oriented leadership practices are becoming more prevalent. For employees, these kind of indirect leadership practices result in higher self-regulatory demands, such as planning and decision making tasks. The current symposium focuses on the concept of “self-endangering work behaviors” as a possible negative effect of indirect leadership and a possible mediator between work-demands and negative outcomes.
New Perspectives/Contributions:
The concept of “self-endangering work behaviors” describes behaviors such as extension of work, intensification of work, sickness presenteeism, faking, or substance abuse as possible maladaptive coping strategies (first presentation – theoretical). In the following four empirical presentations, the first covers the positive and negative effects of higher autonomy and self-organization in general. The three other empirical presentations investigate specific self-endangering behaviors in different samples such as school principals, public services employees and students. Results of cross-sectional, longitudinal and daily dairy studies support the proposed concept, showing that the self-endangering work behaviors are a response to high work demands and are associated with negative subjective well-being outcomes as well as lower task fulfillment and lower work engagement.
Research/Practical Implication:
These results have both theoretical as well as practical implications. The introduced self-endangering work behaviors can be seen as a maladaptive coping mechanism. The results suggest that the self-endangering work behaviors might mediate the negative effects of high work-demands on subjective well-being and work-related outcomes. In settings with indirect leadership, supervisors and also occupational health authorities should take self-endangering work behaviors into account.


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