Th-SYM-1234-5 - Perceived legitimacy of permanent availability, psychological detachment and their role for emotional exhaustion

Track:
Flexible work hours
What:
Symposium
When:
1 hour
Where:
Accenture Theatre
Discussion:
0
 
Employment relations
Flexible work hours
Th-SYM-1234-5
Perceived legitimacy of permanent availability, psychological detachment and their role for emotional exhaustion
C. Brauner 1,*, A. M. Wöhrmann 1
1Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), Dortmund, Germany
 
Main Abstract Content: Purpose
Modern communication technologies allow employees to be available at all times which can be perceived as psychologically demanding. This study aims at shedding light on the relationship between permanent availability and burnout. Drawing on the importance of cognitive appraisal (Lazarus, 1974), we tested whether this relationship depends on employee’s perceptions of the legitimacy of availability demands.  Another potential mechanism we examined is the mediating role of psychological detachment.
 
Design/Methodology
We examined data of 17.933 employees from the Working Time Survey 2015 of the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to test our model.    
 
Results
A series of structural equation models showed that psychological detachment partially mediated the relationship between permanent availability and emotional exhaustion while perceived legitimacy moderated the relationship. The relationship between permanent availability and emotional exhaustion was stronger in case of low perceived legitimacy.
 
Limitations
Given the cross-sectional nature of the data, causal conclusions cannot be drawn.
 
Research/Practical Implications
The results indicate that perceived legitimacy and psychological detachment are important variables in the relationship between permanent availability and the occurrence of stress. They might explain why employees feel more or less stressed when confronted with availability demands and point to leverage points for interventions. A test of the model with longitudinal data is necessary.
 
Originality/Value
While permanent availability is a subject of controversial public debate, our study is the first to propose a process model considering the effects of perceived legitimacy of availability demands and detachment which has been tested in a large-scale sample.
 
 
 
 
 

 

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