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A multi-society examination of the impact of psychological resources on stressor–strain relationships

David A Ralston, Chay Hoon Lee, Pamela L Perrewé, Cheryl Van Deusen, Günther R Vollmer, Isabelle Maignan, Moureen Tang, Paulina Wan and Ana Maria Rossi
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David A Ralston: University of Oklahoma, Norman, USA
Chay Hoon Lee: Keppel Offshore and Marine, Singapore
Pamela L Perrewé: Florida State University, Tallahassee, USA
Cheryl Van Deusen: University of North Florida, Jacksonville, USA
Günther R Vollmer: Hochschule für öffentliche Verwaltung und Finanzen, Ludwigsburg, Germany
Isabelle Maignan: Free University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Moureen Tang: Lingnan University, Hong Kong, China
Paulina Wan: Lingnan University, Hong Kong, China
Ana Maria Rossi: Clinica de Stress e Biofeedback, Porto Alegre, Brazil

Journal of International Business Studies, 2010, vol. 41, issue 4, 652-670

Abstract: This paper sequentially addresses a conceptual and an empirical goal. Our conceptual goal was to develop a globally relevant model of the relationship between work role stressors and strain using conservation of resources (COR) theory as our foundation. Stressors included in the model are role conflict and role ambiguity, with three resources – mastery, optimistic orientation, and self-esteem – as moderators on the stressor–strain relationship. With this conceptual framework developed, we explored our empirical goal, a test of the model using both societal-level and individual-level indicators. First, we pan-culturally tested the model across our seven-society sample. Next, we split these societies into high and low gross national income categories. Likewise, we split the respondents in our sample, regardless of their country, into high and low idiocentrism/individualism and allocentrism/collectivism categories and tested at these group levels. Our findings showed that personal resources – mastery, optimistic orientation, and self-esteem – generally served to buffer the experienced strain due to work role ambiguity and conflict. This study provides specific information that can assist the global business community in understanding how stress pervades their workforces. Overall, our findings offer substantial evidence that a global model of stress is truly viable, providing direction for future research on stress in the global workforce.

Date: 2010
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