Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

The Influence of Self-Efficacy on Flight Dispatchers' Stressor-Strain Relationships

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

The Influence of Self-Efficacy on Flight Dispatchers' Stressor-Strain Relationships

Article excerpt

Flight dispatchers' role Stressors and their consequential work-related strains and job satisfaction were investigated in this study, along with the moderating effect of self-efficacy on flight dispatchers' role Stressors and strains, and on role Stressors and job satisfaction. Data were collected from 309 flight dispatchers from 2 Chinese airlines. Correlations and hierarchical regressions revealed that the role Stressors were all related to flight dispatchers' physical strain, psychological strain, and job satisfaction. The moderating effect of self-efficacy depends on the different role Stressors and dependent variables being examined. Specifically, the moderating effect was found to be significant in the role conflict-psychological strain relationship, role conflict-job satisfaction relationship, and role overload-psychological strain relationship. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Keywords: flight dispatcher, role Stressors, job satisfaction, self-efficacy, stressor-strain relationships.

Many theories of stress have been formed using data collected from organizations such as hospitals and schools, and comprising managers, nurses, and teachers as participants (e.g., Glazer & Beehr, 2005; Peterson et al., 1995; Piko, 2006). Although such processes may provide a comprehensive and universal view of stress, specific occupations such as flight dispatchers, pivotal functions, and extreme task pressures, should not be ignored. Although theoretical models of work stress may be further developed by examining the unique experience of such an occupation, no empirical research has been conducted with this group as the focus. In order to address this deficiency, flight dispatchers' role Stressors and their work strains and job satisfaction were examined within the stressor-strain framework (Beehr, 1995; Glazer & Beehr, 2005).

A second purpose in this study was to establish whether or not self-efficacy affects the relationship between role Stressors and their personal and organizational outcomes. The stressor-strain framework incorporates individual differences as possible boundary conditions (Karasek, 1979; Spector & Jex, 1998). Such individual differences can either buffer or exacerbate the strain response to Stressors (Beehr, 1995; Beehr & Newman, 1978). Self-efficacy has repeatedly been shown to be an individual difference that may reduce connections between certain Stressors and strains (Montpetit & Bergeman, 2007). However, the operation of this moderating effect on the negative effects of role Stressors has not been examined. Therefore, in order to confirm the stress buffering effect of serf-efficacy and explore potential ways to enhance flight dispatchers' well-being, we examined the moderating effect of self -efficacy on the relationship between flight dispatchers' role Stressors and their work-related strains.

The flight dispatcher's primary role is the supervision, control, and assistance of the flight operations in an airline company. The duties of the flight dispatcher include flight plan preparation, flight discharging, flight tracking, flight dynamic management, and other assistant responsibilities such as information provision, navigation data supply, weather reports, and airplane performance design. The National Transportation Safety Board and Canadian Transportation Safety Board have recognized that improper behaviors in the control of flight operation are the main causes of aircraft accident.

Although a number of frameworks have been used to study occupational stress, the stressor-strain model is the most commonly used (Beehr, 1998). In this model stress is defined as the relationship between Stressors and strains. Specifically, the presence of Stressors in the work environment evokes individuals' physical and psychological reactions, causing individual strain and the feeling of stress (Beehr, 1995; Beehr & Newman, 1978). Stressors involve work characteristics resulting in strains that are operationalized as states of physiological and psychological sensations (Glazer & Beehr, 2005). …

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