Job demands-resources theory in times of crises: New propositions

Evangelia Demerouti*, Arnold B. Bakker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This theoretical paper presents an extended Job Demands–Resources (JD–R) theory aimed at understanding how organizations and their employees can best deal with COVID-19 and other crises in the workplace. The crisis showed that job characteristics alone are insufficient to explain employee health and motivation, i.e., the two focal outcomes of the JD-R theory. Rather, demands and resources of the individual, the family, the job and the organization interact with each other to predict outcomes. Moreover, next to individual regulatory strategies also the regulatory strategies of the family, the leader and organization/team are suggested to modify the impact of demands and resources on outcomes. This was possible by integrating the crisis management literature in JD-R theory. Viewing the crisis from a job design perspective helped us to introduce several new and testable propositions that specify how employee well-being and functioning are impacted by crises and turbulent times. Plain Language Summary: Organizations have been struggling to find out how their employees are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and what they can do to support their well-being and improve their functioning during the pandemic and beyond. The well-being and job performance of individual employees are difficult to predict which becomes even more complicated during times of crisis. The Job Demands–Resources theory is a helpful means because it suggests that employee health and motivation are outcomes of two different processes, i.e., the health impairment process and the motivational process. Job demands, such as work pressure and demanding customers, exhaust the energy of employees and consequently diminish their health, whereas job resources, such as autonomy and social support, help employees to deal with the demands and to develop themselves. The pandemic showed that the interplay between demands and resources of the individual, the job, the family and the organization predict outcomes. Moreover, next to individual regulatory strategies also the regulatory strategies of the family, the leader and organization/team are suggested to modify the impact of demands and resources on outcomes. Viewing the crisis from a job design perspective helped us to introduce in the Job Demands–Resources theory several testable propositions that specify how employee well-being and functioning are impacted by crises and turbulent times.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOrganizational Psychology Review
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

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© The Author(s) 2022.

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