Influence of personality characteristics on employees’ ability to recover from work demands during nonwork time
This research is underpinned by conservation of resources (COR) theory, and builds upon the recent interest in modelling trajectories of change over time in employees’ personal resources.
Dr Chris Stride, the statistician at IWP, has forged a close collaboration with Dr Paul Flaxman and his occupational health psychology research team at City, University of London. A major focus of their recent work has been on exploring the role of perfectionistic characteristics on employees’ ability to cognitively detach (and hence recover) from work demands during evenings, weekends, and vacations.
This research is underpinned by conservation of resources (COR) theory, and builds upon the recent interest in modelling trajectories of change over time in employees’ personal resources. Flaxman, Stride and their colleagues have examined weekly change in employees’ affective well-being around vacations from work. Their recent research has focused on school teachers in the UK and the US as they transition into and out of mid-term and Christmas breaks in the school calendar.
Dr Stride’s involvement has allowed the team to respond to recent calls to adopt nonlinear analytic procedures that closely match theoretical assumptions about change being advanced by COR theory.
The aims of the research are to explore how employees’ short-term exhaustion and mood states fluctuate around vacations; to investigate the influence of employee perfectionism on these fluctuations; and, to offer better guidance to perfectionistic employees on how they might prevent short-term affective states from escalating into more chronic conditions, such as depression and burnout.
An initial grant of £80,000 was awarded to Dr. Flaxman by the Economic and Social Research Council (2009-2010); and a small grant (£10,000) awarded to Dr. Flaxman and Shannon Horan by the British Academy (2015-2016).
The overall research programme is led by Dr Paul Flaxman (City, University of London) and Dr Chris Stride (IWP). Co-investigators include Dr Sonja Newman (University of Hertfordshire), Shannon Horan (City, University of London), Dr Mia Söderberg (Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Gothenburg, Sweden), Dr Julie Menard (Université du Québec à Montréal), and Dr Madelon van Hooff (Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands).