Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 305–316 | Cite as

Job Autonomy as a Predictor of Mental Well-Being: The Moderating Role of Quality-Competitive Environment

  • Rhokeun Park
  • Deborah Searcy



This study examines the moderating role of quality-competitive environment on the relationships between job autonomy and employees’ mental well-being and organizational commitment. It also investigates the mediating role of organizational commitment on the relationship between job autonomy and mental well-being.


The proposed hypotheses were tested by hierarchical linear modeling using an archival dataset from the Workplace Employment Relations Survey, which was conducted in Great Britain in 2004 and 2005 (12,836 employees and 1,190 managers).


This study found that quality-competitive environment moderated the relationships between job autonomy and mental well-being and between job autonomy and organizational commitment. That is, job autonomy was more strongly related to mental well-being and organizational commitment in more quality-competitive organizations. The results also indicated that this moderation was partially mediated by organizational commitment.


Because job autonomy is related to employees’ mental well-being and organizational commitment, organizations need to provide their employees with job autonomy. More importantly, because these positive relationships are stronger in quality-competitive companies, organizations in a highly quality-competitive market in particular should provide their employees with more job autonomy.


This is one of the first studies that investigated the vertical fit between job autonomy and organizational contexts while focusing on individual employees’ outcomes (attitudes and mental well-being). The results were obtained by data from a nationally representative sample, allowing us to generalize the results. Additionally, since the dataset was collected from multiple sources, self-report and common-method biases are minimized.


Job autonomy Organizational commitment Mental well-being Quality-competitive environment Mediated moderation Exchange theory Demand-control model 



The present research has been conducted by the Research Grant of Kwangwoon University in 2011.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of BusinessKwangwoon UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Robert H. Smith School of BusinessUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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