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Internet URLs are the best. Thank You for Your Contribution! Uh Oh. Job burnout as a function of high or low affiliation motive in interaction with low and high affiliation specific job characteristics. Next, we ran the same analyses with the power motive and power specific job demands as predictors of job burnout. Although the a 4 surface parameter was significant, which indicates that at least the pattern corresponds with the congruence hypothesis, we refrain from further interpreting this finding. We ran the same analyses as described above for the affiliation motive and affiliation specific job characteristics and for the power motive and power specific job characteristics predicting physical symptoms as the outcome variable.
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The bootstrapped coefficients and surface parameters are presented in Table 3. As predicted, the a 4 surface parameter testing the congruence hypothesis was significant. Figure 2 shows that incongruence between the power motive and power-specific job characteristics was associated with increased physical symptoms.
The only other surface parameter that reached significance was a 2, which tests the curvature of the line of congruence. The negative value of the parameter indicates that congruence on a high or low level was related to lowest levels of physical symptoms as compared to congruence on the medium level. TABLE 3. Physical symptoms as a function of high or low power motive in interaction with low and high power specific job characteristics.
This research contributes to a finer grained analysis of the needs-supplies fit Edwards and Shipp, as core motivational process at the workplace. Contrary to our expectations, however, motive incongruence in the affiliation domain was not associated with a higher degree of physical symptoms than affiliation motive congruence, and motive incongruence in the power domain was not associated with a higher degree of job burnout than power motive congruence.
Thus, possibly motivational incongruences in the affiliation and power domains are distinctly related to job burnout and physical symptoms. Regarding the power motive, our results coincide with evidence that an inhibited power motive i. In addition, it is well-conceivable that the different hormonal basis of affiliation and power motives Schultheiss et al. Nevertheless, any conclusion about the differential effect of affiliation and power misfit are premature at this time and await replication in future studies with more diverse samples as our sample possibly was somewhat biased toward participants experiencing burnout symptoms with possible implications for the systematic variance on the study concepts.
Notably, the present data strengthen our assumption of a non-directional person—environment misfit effect, that is, both forms of person—environment misfit comparably compromise well-being and health. More concretely, on the one hand, a strong implicit affiliation or power motive that cannot be satisfied in the work environment due to a lack of respective occupational tasks such as, for example, being in a friendly exchange with other people affiliation or taking responsibility for others and influencing on them power was related to negative outcomes.
On the other hand, people with a weak implicit affiliation or power motive, who were obliged to execute respective occupational activities reported higher degree of job burnout and more physical symptoms. This pattern of results is in contrast to the theoretical assumption of a directional influence forwarded by Langens and McClelland ; cf.
These authors posit that executing a behavior without gaining pleasure from doing so i. Our study widens the scope of research on implicit motives in several important ways. First, we add to the still scarce empirical evidence that implicit motives unfold their impact depending on the environmental incentive conditions. More concretely, in a firm emphasizing achievement values, individual advancement i.
On the contrary, in a second firm that valued power striving, not only was this relationship reversed high implicit achievement motive managers were promoted the least , but highly power motivated managers advanced more than managers with a weak implicit power motive see also Jenkins, for evidence on the achievement person—environment fit. Second, existing studies on the interaction of implicit motives and environmental characteristics focused on behavioral outcomes e. This parallels evidence from the growing literature on incongruence between implicit and explicit motives and its detrimental effect on psychological and physical well-being e.
Evidently, implicit motives are at the very center of emotional life and successful goal striving. As Uhlmann et al. They orient an individual toward not verbally explicated cues inherent in certain behaviors that potentially are apt for satisfying the respective motive Schultheiss, Moreoever, satisfaction or frustration of implicit motives has a tremendous impact on affective well-being for a summary, Schultheiss, ; Schultheiss and Brunstein, In addition, our study contributes variously to advancing research on stress and burnout. Second, we demonstrated a differential effect of motivational incongruence on employee well-being: while a misfit with respect to an unfulfilled or overstrained affiliation motive at work was associated with a higher degree of burnout, those experiencing a motivational discrepancy in the power domain more frequently reported physical symptoms.
Several issues are to be addressed that limit the explanatory power of our data but at the same time open interesting avenues for future research. First, our measures are based on self-report. One might also want to assess additional health parameters e. A still finer grained analysis of the health consequences of motivational incongruence would need to assess physiological stress parameters e. Second, the cross-sectional design of our study precludes causal inferences. Hence, in future studies one definitely would have to follow a longitudinal design with repeated measures over a sufficiently long period of time so that the two forms of motivational incongruence i.
Third, the sample of the present study was comparatively small limiting statistical power of the analyses. Moreover, our sample consists of individuals who addressed themselves to an online platform that provides information with respect to job burnout. Presumably, these individuals in some way or the other felt affected by some work related concerns. However, it is open to further research whether our results can be generalized to employees more seriously affected by burnout.
In this respect, one might want to investigate a larger sample of in-patients who are hospitalized for burnout. Fourth, future studies would have to inspect more closely the continuum between incongruence and congruence. Besides its theoretical contribution, our study has important practical implications. Burnout is a phenomenon widely observed in Western societies. For example, the prevalence rate in the US is In many cases employees affected by burnout and, more generally, by psychological or physical impairments are absent from the workplace for some period of time causing enormous costs for both the employer and the public health care system.
Trying to counteract motivational incongruence seems an easy to implement strategy to remedy this pressing problem. A starting point could be the prevention of motivational incongruence in personnel selection. The same interventions might be helpful in remedying an already existing motivational incongruence. For example, a highly affiliation motivated employee might handle her duties in a more collaborative way and try to find ways to do more teamwork.
Moreover, expanding the unit of analysis from the individual to work units and entire organizations will be one important strategy Maslach et al. Besides, future studies may seek to understand the role of social systems in the workplace in the unfolding of burnout phenomena Maslach et al. These would focus on environmental incentives provided by organizational entities and their interplay with individual motive constellations among their members, using multi-level modeling.
Should an organizational check-up reveal that the majority of team members are driven by motives which are not satisfied by the current organizational context, person-environment fit could be improved by a combination of corporate culture development and capacity building interventions.
Our study, on a general level, contributes to a thriving research on implicit motives Schultheiss and Brunstein, , and, on a more specific level, to a person—environment fit analysis of core work related outcomes, such as burnout and health Maslach and Leiter, , ; Edwards and Shipp, Even more important, our results hint at potential interventions for preventing or remedying a lack of needs-supplies fit and reduce the risk of impairments of well-being.
VB and VJ together formulated the theoretical research question, compiled the materials, and supervised data collection. VB wrote the theoretical introduction, methods and the discussion section, VJ wrote the results section. BS as an burnout expert gave valuable advice in recruiting the sample and contributed to the paper in a substantial way by commenting on an early version of the paper and rewriting certain parts of the discussion. The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
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