Academic journal article IUP Journal of Management Research

Organizational Role Stress in Dual-Career Couples: Mediating the Relationship between HPWPs, Employee Engagement and Job Satisfaction

Academic journal article IUP Journal of Management Research

Organizational Role Stress in Dual-Career Couples: Mediating the Relationship between HPWPs, Employee Engagement and Job Satisfaction

Article excerpt


Modern-day's organizational life is quite stressful. Life at workplace comprises tremendous work pressure, tight and relentless schedules, untimely and long meetings, unhelpful and selfish colleagues, critical and over-demanding bosses, incompetent and ever-complaining subordinates and also a host of other irritating factors. These factors have a snowballing effect in making the lives of modern-day executives quite miserable and burdensome. Work-related stress is the natural and obvious reaction of the employees who are being put under intense work pressure over a prolonged period of time. When the pressure of work demands becomes excessive and prolonged, employees perceive a threat to their wellbeing or interests and experience unpleasant emotions such as fear, anger or anxiety.

This work-related stress is soaked by the caring and loving environment of home. Spouse plays an important role in relieving an employee from organizational role stress. Love, care, and comfort of spouse makes employee ready to confront future challenges. But the equation is not so simple for dual-career couples. Previous researches suggested that dual-career couple faces distinctive problems in their work, family, and personal arenas of life (Hall and Hall, 1979; and Moen, 1985). Sekaran (1986) concluded that family and organizational stress heightened in case of dual-career couples. Elloy and Smith (2003) also stated that dual-career couples experienced higher levels of stress, family conflict, overload, role ambiguity and role conflict than single-career couples. Various other researchers have also highlighted the same fact.

HR department is often assigned the responsibility of creating and promoting corporate culture to streamline organizational stress. On the one hand, employees are taught to reduce their stress level through practices like physical workout, yoga and meditation, leisure trip, etc. Simultaneously, their willingness to face more stress is ampl ifi ed by ensuring higher level of emp loyee motivation, commitment, engagement, morale, etc. Various HRM practices and procedures are applied for the same. Previous studies have shown a positive association of modern HR practices with employee engagement, morale or motivation. Here, it would be interesting to explore mediation of organizational role stress among these relations. The present paper investigates the role of organizational role stress in three such associations, i.e., availability of high performance work practices and employee engagement, employee engagement and job satisfaction, and availability of high performance work practices and job satisfaction.

Literature Review

Organizational Role Stress in Dual-Career Couples

Employed couples are more challenged and are required to make better efforts and adjustments to strike work-life balance. They have to work harder to strike a delicate balance between their work and family-related responsibilities. Adams et al. (1996) stated that the risk of divergence between the two roles (as family member and as an employee) becomes more serious because married couples have to face simultaneous and conflicting demands and pressures of two careers with that of family. Dual-career couples have to accomplish several roles and are confronted with stressors from the work and private life domains (Domsch and Ladwig, 2007). On the same note, Elloy and Smith (2003) found that dual-career couples experienced more stress, work-family conflict, role ambiguity, role conflict and overload than single-career couples. Similarly, Crossfield et al. (2005) found a strong positive association between women's work stressors and anxiety and depression.

Various researchers have explored the cause behind higher organizational role stress among dual-career couples. Burley (1995) found a negative effect of worklife imbalance on marital adjustment. The adjustment became more troublesome for working couples. This maladjustment leads to strain in both personal and professional life. …

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