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The coevolution of emotional job demands and work-based social ties and their effect on performance

Parker, Andrew and Waldstrøm, Christian and Shah, Neha Parikh (2022) 'The coevolution of emotional job demands and work-based social ties and their effect on performance.', Journal of Management .


In this paper, we build upon the buffering hypothesis within the job demands-resources (JD-R) framework to develop a coevolutionary explanation to untangle the process by which emotional job demands, work-based social networks, and employee performance are associated over time. We integrate ideas from the social contagion and social network dynamics literatures to support our coevolutionary theory. To test our theory, we collected longitudinal data at three time points from 135 employees in a customer-facing R&D department. We employ a stochastic actor-orientated model that allows the simultaneous modeling of changes in work-based social network ties, emotional job demands, and employee performance. We find a social contagion effect whereby employees are more at risk of an increase in their emotional job demands, the more reciprocal work-based social relationships they have with colleagues who have high emotional job demands. In addition, individuals with high emotional job demands change their networks in two notable ways: they have a positive tendency for having work-based social ties, i.e., sociability; and for ties with others with high emotional job demands, i.e., homophily. However, despite the unintended consequence of these network tendencies making employees more susceptible to the contagion effect of emotional job demands, we also find support for the buffering hypothesis. The negative effect of high emotional job demands on performance is lower for employees who have more work-based social ties.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This contribution has been accepted for publication in Journal of Management.
Date accepted:25 February 2022
Date deposited:03 March 2022
Date of first online publication:2022
Date first made open access:03 March 2022

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