A matter of match? An experiment on choosing specific job resources in different demanding work situations

M. van den Tooren, J. de Jonge, C. Dormann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Though research on the demand-induced strain compensation (DISC) model has suggested that the type of job resources people employ to deal with job demands may have serious implications for job stress theory and practice, not much is known about the choices people make regarding the investment of job resources. The aim of this study is to fill this gap in the literature. In line with the DISC model, we were particularly interested in the extent to which people choose job resources that match job demands (i.e., matching job resources) and job resources that do not match job demands (i.e., nonmatching job resources). For that reason, several vignettes were developed to experimentally examine the extent to which people (92 undergraduates) choose cognitive, emotional, and physical job resources; combinations of these specific job resources; and no job resources at all in different hypothetical demanding work situations (i.e., cognitively, emotionally, and physically demanding jobs). As predicted, people generally chose cognitive job resources to deal with cognitive job demands, emotional job resources to deal with emotional job demands, and physical job resources to deal with physical job demands. Further, results showed that nonmatching job resources were particularly chosen as a supplement to matching job resources rather than as a substitute for matching job resources. However, in contrast to our predictions, there seemed to be a dominant role for nonmatching cognitive job resources in this respect, whereas nonmatching emotional job resources were chosen less often than expected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-332
JournalInternational Journal of Stress Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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