A story of gains and losses: intra-individual shifts in job characteristics and well-being when transitioning to a managerial role
Building on conservation of resources theory, we examined the duality inherent in one of the most significant work-related transitions an employee may go through: becoming a manager. Specifically, we explored intra-individual resource gains (i.e., increases in participation in decision-making) and resource losses (i.e., increases in time pressure) and their associations with intra-individual shifts in well-being (i.e., job satisfaction, exhaustion, and work-to-family conflict) when employees transitioned to a managerial position. In addition, we examined whether new managers’ perceived ability to detach from work during nonwork time moderated these processes. Multilevel analyses among 2052 individuals demonstrated that individuals experienced both a resource gain and a loss when they became managers. As expected, there was an indirect effect of the transition to a managerial position to an increase in job satisfaction via an increase in participation in decision-making. Additionally, there were indirect effects of the transition to a managerial position to an increase in both exhaustion and work-to-family conflict via an increase in time pressure. In line with the hypotheses, we found that new managers who perceived that they were able to detach well experienced a weaker increase in exhaustion and work-to-family conflict (as transmitted via an increase in time pressure). Contrary to the hypothesis, perceived ability to detach reduced the increase in job satisfaction (as transmitted via an increase in participation in decision-making). Our findings shed light on the intra-individual processes that occur when employees become managers, indicating that this transition can be a “double-edged sword.”
KeywordsManager Well-being Exhaustion Psychological detachment
This work was supported by a grant from the Schweizerischer Nationalfonds [Swiss National Science Foundation, Grant Number 154383] awarded to Maike E. Debus. This grant is gratefully acknowledged. We thank Sabine Sonnentag for her comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.
- American Management Association. (2017). Management skills for new managers. Retrieved from http://www.amanet.org/training/seminars/Management-Skills-for-New-Managers.aspx. Accessed 7 Nov 2018.
- Ashforth, B. E. (2001). Role transitions in organizational life: An identity-based perspective. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Bakker, A. B., Demerouti, E., & Sanz-Vergel, A. I. (2014). Burnout and work engagement: The JD-R approach. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 1, 389–411. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-orgpsych-031413-091235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood-Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
- Binnewies, C., Sonnentag, S., & Mojza, E. J. (2010). Recovery during the weekend and fluctuations in weekly job performance: A week-level study examining intra-individual relations. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 83, 419–441. https://doi.org/10.1348/096317909X418049.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bliese, P. D. (2013). Multilevel modeling in R (2.5): A brief introduction to R, the multilevel package and the nlme package. Retrieved from https://cran.r-project.org/doc/contrib/Bliese_Multilevel.pdf. Accessed 7 Nov 2018.
- Bulger, C. A., Matthews, R. A., & Hoffman, M. E. (2007). Work and personal life boundary management: Boundary strength, work/personal life balance, and the segmentation-integration continuum. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 12, 365–375. https://doi.org/10.1037/1076-8918.104.22.1685.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Cohen, J., Cohen, P., West, S. G., & Aiken, L. S. (2003). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences (3rd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Cordes, C. L., Dougherty, T. W., & Blum, M. (1997). Patterns of burnout among managers and professionals: A comparison of models. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 18, 685–701. https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-1379(199711)18:6<685::AID-JOB817>3.0.CO;2-U.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Debus, M. E., Probst, T. M., König, C. J., & Kleinmann, M. (2012). Catch me if I fall! Enacted uncertainty avoidance and the social safety net as country-level moderators in the job insecurity–job attitudes link. Journal of Applied Psychology, 97, 690–698. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0027832.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Fayol, H. (1916). Administration industrielle et generale [Industrial and general administration]. Paris, France: Dunod.Google Scholar
- Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. (2017). Language—facts and figures. Retrieved from https://www.eda.admin.ch/aboutswitzerland/en/home/gesellschaft/sprachen/die-sprachen%2D%2D-fakten-und-zahlen.html. Accessed 7 Nov 2018.
- Gable, S. L., Reis, H. T., Impett, E. A., & Asher, E. R. (2004). What do you do when things go right? The intrapersonal and interpersonal benefits of sharing positive events. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 228–245. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.124.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Gabriel, A. S., Podsakoff, N. P., Beal, D. J., Scott, B. A., Sonnentag, S., & Butts, M. M. (2018). Experience sampling methods: A discussion of critical trends and considerations for scholarly advancement. Organizational Research Methods. Advance online publication. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/1094428118802626.
- Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1980). Work redesign. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley.Google Scholar
- Hahn, V. C., Binnewies, C., Sonnentag, S., & Mojza, E. J. (2011). Learning how to recover from job stress: Effects of a recovery training program on recovery, recovery-related self-efficacy, and well-being. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 16, 202–216. https://doi.org/10.1037/A0022169.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hill, L. A. (1992). Becoming a manager: Mastery of a new identity. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
- Hill, L. A. (2004). New manager development for the 21st century. Academy of Management Executive, 18, 121–126.Google Scholar
- Hobfoll, S. E., Halbesleben, J., Neveu, J. P., & Westman, M. (2018). Conservation of resources in the organizational context: The reality of resources and their consequences. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 5, 103–128. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-orgpsych-032117-104640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hoffman, L. (2015). Longitudinal analysis: Modeling within-person fluctuation and change. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Humphrey, S. E., Nahrgang, J. D., & Morgeson, F. P. (2007). Integrating motivational, social, and contextual work design features: A meta-analytic summary and theoretical extension of the work design literature. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 1332–1356. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.92.5.1332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Judge, T. A., Higgins, C. A., Thoresen, C. J., & Barrick, M. R. (1999). The Big Five personality traits, general mental ability, and career success across the life span. Personnel Psychology, 52, 621–652. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6570.1999.tb00174.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Judge, T. A., Hurst, C., & Simon, L. S. (2009). Does it pay to be smart, attractive, or confident (or all three)? Relationships among general mental ability, physical attractiveness, core self-evaluations, and income. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 742–755. https://doi.org/10.1037/A0015497.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Judge, T. A., & Kammeyer-Mueller, J. D. (2012). Job attitudes. Annual Review of Psychology, 63, 341–367. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-120710-100511.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Kenny, D. A., Kashy, D. A., & Bolger, N. (1998). Data analysis in social psychology. In D. Gilbert, S. Fiske, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), The handbook of social psychology Vol. 1 (4th ed., pp. 233–265). Boston, MA: Mc-Graw-Hill.Google Scholar
- Kozlowski, S. W. J., & Klein, K. J. (2000). A multilevel approach to theory and research in organizations: Contextual, temporal, and emergent processes. In K. J. Klein & S. W. J. Kozlowski (Eds.), Multilevel theory, research and methods in organizations: Foundations, extensions, and new directions (pp. 3–90). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Locke, E. A. (1976). The nature and causes of job satisfaction. In M. D. Dunette (Ed.), Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology (pp. 1297–1349). Chicago, IL: Rand McNally.Google Scholar
- Lucas, R. E., Clark, A. E., Georgellis, Y., & Diener, E. (2004). Unemployment alters the set point for life satisfaction. Psychological Science, 15, 8–13. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0963-7214.2004.01501002.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- MacKinnon, D. P., Krull, J. L., & Lockwood, C. M. (2000). Equivalence of the mediation, confounding and suppression effect. Prevention Science, 1, 173–181.Google Scholar
- Meijman, T. F., & Mulder, G. (1998). Psychological aspects of workload. In P. J. D. Drenth & H. Thierry (Eds.), Handbook of work and organizational psychology Vol. 2 (pp. 5–33). Hove: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
- Mintzberg, H. (1980). The nature of managerial work. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
- Paese, M., & Wellins, R. S. (2007). Leaders in transition: Stepping up, not off. Retrieved from http://www.ddiworld.com/ddi/media/trend-research/leaders-in-transition-stepping-up-not-off_mis_ddi.pdf?ext=.pdf. Accessed 7 Nov 2018.
- R Core Team. (2018). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna, Austria: R Foundation for Statistical Computing. Retrieved from https://www.R-project.org/. Accessed 7 Nov 2018.
- Reis, H. T., Smith, S. M., Carmichael, C. L., Caprariello, P. A., Tsai, F. F., Rodrigues, A., & Maniaci, M. R. (2010). Are you happy for me? How sharing positive events with others provides personal and interpersonal benefits. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 311–329. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0018344.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Roe, R. A., & Zijlstra, F. R. H. (2000). Work pressure: Results of a conceptual and empirical analysis. In M. Vartiainen, F. Avalone, & N. Anderson (Eds.), Innovative theories, tools, and practices in work and organizational psychology (pp. 29–45). Stuttgart: Hogrefe.Google Scholar
- Scott-Ladd, B., Travaglione, A., & Marshall, V. (2005). Causal inferences between participation in decision-making, task attributes, work effort, rewards, job satisfaction and commitment. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 27, 399–414. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437730610677990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Semmer, N. K. (1984). Stressbezogene Tätigkeitsanalyse [Stress-oriented task analysis]. Weinheim, Germany: Beltz.Google Scholar
- Semmer, N. K., Zapf, D., & Dunckel, H. (1999). Instrument zur stressbezogenen Tätigkeitsanalyse (ISTA) [Instrument for stress-oriented job analysis (ISTA)]. In H. Dunckel (Ed.), Handbuch psychologischer Arbeitsanalyseverfahren [Handbook of instruments for psychological work analysis] (pp. 179–204). Zurich: Vdf Hochschulverlag.Google Scholar
- Snijders, T. A. B., & Bosker, R. J. (2012). Mulitlevel analysis: An introduction to basic and advanced multilevel modeling (2nd ed.). London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Sokol, M., & Louis, M. R. (1982). Career transitions and life event adaptation: Intergrating alternative perspectives on role transition. In V. L. Allen & E. van de Vliert (Eds.), Role transitions: Explorations and explanations (pp. 81–96). New York, NY: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
- Swiss Household Panel. (2016). Swiss Household Panel user guide. Retrieved from http://forscenter.ch/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/SHP_USER_GUIDE_W17.pdf. Accessed 7 Nov 2018.