Wellbeing during a crisis: A longitudinal study of local government civil servants

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The COVID-19 crisis has affected numerous areas of civil servants’ working life. We investigate, using the JD-R model, the impact of the current crisis on civil servants’ wellbeing. Furthermore, we argue that the COVID-19 pandemic might have different consequences for civil servants with various role perceptions. We distinguish between traditional, NPM, and NPG civil servants. A longitudinal survey (N = 569) has shown that: (a) wellbeing decreased over a 6-months period; (b) job demands, including work pressure and work-life disbalance, negatively influence wellbeing; and job resources, including autonomy, task variety, and social support, positively influence wellbeing. In terms of personal resources, self-efficacy positively influences wellbeing; and (c) civil servants’ role perception directly influences wellbeing. Although the effect is small, we found an interaction effect in the relation between leader support and burnout for NPG civil servants. The consequences of these findings for HR strategies related to civil servants’ wellbeing are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-59
Number of pages28
JournalReview of Public Personnel Administration
Issue number1
Early online date11 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This study is part of a PhD project that was supported by a Dutch municipality, based on a collaboration with the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


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