Journal of International Business Studies

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 652–670 | Cite as

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
  • Ana Maria Rossi


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.


evaluation of current theories cross-cultural management organizational behavior organizational stress conservation of resources model psychological resources 



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Copyright information

© Academy of International Business 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A Ralston
    • 1
  • Chay Hoon Lee
    • 2
  • Pamela L Perrewé
    • 3
  • Cheryl Van Deusen
    • 4
  • Günther R Vollmer
    • 5
  • Isabelle Maignan
    • 6
  • Moureen Tang
    • 7
  • Paulina Wan
    • 7
  • Ana Maria Rossi
    • 8
  1. 1.University of OklahomaNormanUSA
  2. 2.Keppel Offshore and MarineSingapore
  3. 3.Florida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  4. 4.University of North FloridaJacksonvilleUSA
  5. 5.Hochschule für öffentliche Verwaltung und FinanzenLudwigsburgGermany
  6. 6.Free University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  7. 7.Lingnan UniversityHong KongChina
  8. 8.Clinica de Stress e BiofeedbackPorto AlegreBrazil

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