Occupational stress, well-being, and work outcomes amongst Chinese manufacturing workers : testing an extension of the job demands-resources model

by Xiaoli Sang

Institution: University of New South Wales
Department: Management
Year: 2014
Keywords: Well-being; Occupational stress; Manufacturing
Record ID: 1059836
Full text PDF: http://handle.unsw.edu.au/1959.4/53206


ABSTRACT The job demands-resources (JD-R) model is a recent and influential model of employee well-being. The job demands-resource theory provides an overarching model that may be applied to occupational settings, irrespective of the particular demands and resources involved. The central assumption of the JD-R model is that work stress or burnout develops—irrespective of occupation—when job demands are high and when job resources are insufficient. In contrast, work engagement is most likely to occur when job resources are high in the face of high job demands. While substantial research in Western countries has found strong support for the main hypotheses proposed by the JD-R model, there are limited studies and evidence of the JD-R model in the Chinese work context. This thesis aims to test the original JD-R model (the JD-R model of burnout) and extend the model into the JD-R model of occupational stress amongst Chinese manufacturing workers. The JD-R model of occupational stress extended the JD-R model by examining the impact of employee well-being (i.e. strain and engagement) on work outcomes. In addition, the model explores the mediating roles of presenteeism on the relationships between job characteristics (i.e. job demands and job resources) and employee well-being. As opposed to absenteeism, presenteeism refers to the work behaviour whereby workers are present at work when they ought not to. This work behaviour is presented in two forms: long-hour presenteeism (i.e. unpaid overtime work) and sickness presenteeism (i.e. going to work while ill). The mediating roles of long-hour presenteeism and sickness presenteeism have been examined in the extended JD-R model respectively. This research adopted a mixed-methods approach and was composed of two studies. Study 1 adopted focus group interviews amongst 24 workers in four groups. The results of Study 1 revealed specific job demands and job resources experienced commonly by the workers in the investigated manufacturer in China. In addition, the results found that long-hour presenteeism and sickness presenteeism were prevalent in the organisation. Study 2 adopted a survey that was designed on the basis of the results of Study 1 amongst participants at the same manufacturer. Using partial least squares (PLS) path modelling, the results of Study 2 (N=270) provided some support to the original JD-R model and showed better explanatory power of the extended JD-R model. This research makes some important contributions to the literature. First, the results confirm past findings regarding the effects of job demands and job resources on employee well-being in the JD-R model studies. However, the moderating effect of job resources needs to be further examined in the Chinese context. Second, the key difference between this research and most studies of the JD-R model is that this research adopted empirical interview data to identify job demands and job resources rather than specifying job demands and job resources on the basis of archival data from the literature. Third, the…