Boredom at work: Proximal and distal consequences of affective work-related boredom
SourceJournal of Occupational Health Psychology, 19, 3, (2014), pp. 348-359
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI AO
Journal of Occupational Health Psychology
SubjectWork, Health and Performance
Boredom is an emotion that occurs regularly at the workplace, with negative consequences for the employee and the organization. It is therefore important to understand why work-related boredom leads to such adverse consequences and what can be done to mitigate its occurrence and its negative consequences. In the present study we proposed a model suggesting that feelings of boredom at work induce immediate affect-based bored behaviors, and that such bored behavior leads to depressive complaints, distress, and counterproductive work behavior. We further posed that job crafting can mitigate work-related boredom and its negative outcomes. Results of a survey study among 189 employees showed that work-related boredom and bored behavior are empirically distinct, though related, constructs. Work-related boredom was positively related to depressive complaints, distress, and counterproductive work behavior, and these associations were fully mediated by bored behavior. Job crafting related negatively to work-related boredom, and attenuated the relationship of work-related boredom with bored behavior. Moreover, the indirect effects of work-related boredom through bored behavior on its outcomes were smaller the more employees engaged in job crafting. This research enhances insight into work-related boredom by showing that boredom as an affective state can be distinguished from its proximal behavioral consequences, and by providing a first onset to obtain insight in moderating and mediating mechanisms that may explain work-related boredom's consequences. It highlights the importance of employees' opportunities to work in jobs that do not cause work-related boredom to develop, and the role of job crafting as a potential intervention tool.
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