Author(s): Flynn N, James JE
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Abstract The hypothesis that work control has beneficial effects on well-being is the basis of the widely applied, yet inconsistently supported, Job Demand Control (JDC) Model [Karasek, R.A., 1979. Job demands, job decision latitude and mental strain: Implications for job redesign. Adm. Sci. Q. 24, 285-308.; Karasek, R., Theorell, T., 1990. Healthy Work: Stress, Productivity, and the Reconstruction of Working Life. Basic Books, Oxford]. The model was tested in an experiment (N=60) using a cognitive stressor paradigm that sought to prevent confounding between demand and control. High-demand was found to be associated with deleterious effects on physiological, subjective, and performance outcomes. In contrast, few main effects were found for control. Evidence for the buffer interpretation of the JDC Model was limited to a significant demand-control interaction for performance accuracy, whereas substantial support was found for the strain interpretation of the model [van der Doef, M., Maes, S., 1998. The job demand-control(-support) model and physical health outcomes: A review of the strain and buffer hypotheses. Psychol. Health 13, 909-936., van der Doef, M., Maes, S., 1999. The Job Demand-Control(-Support) model and psychological well-being: A review of 20 years of empirical research. Work Stress 13, 87-114]. Manipulation checks revealed that objective control altered perceptions of control but not perceptions of demand. It is suggested that beneficial effects of work-related control are unlikely to occur in the absence of reductions in perceived demand. Thus, contrary to the propositions of Karasek and colleagues, demand and control do not appear to be independent factors.
This article was published in Int J Psychophysiol
and referenced in Journal of Health Education Research & Development