The Too-Much-of-a-Good-Thing Effect ? Is there a Level of Job Autonomy which is ?Too Much??
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
European Association for Work & Organizational Psychology 2017
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
Purpose: Job autonomy is one of the most important job resources, and high levels of autonomy are frequently expected to be most beneficial. However, two theoretical accounts, the Vitamin Model and the Too-Much-of-a-Good-Thing Effect (TMGT), propose that the seemingly linear positive effect of autonomy on outcomes may inflect at a certain point after which it turns negative. Similarly, it has been argued that individuals may perceive high levels of autonomy as a supply, but extremely high levels as a demand. Building on that research and the Person-Environment (PE) Fit Theory, we hypothesized that neither low nor extremely high, but moderately high levels of autonomy would fit employees? desired level best.
Methodology: Four independent samples were surveyed regarding their actual level job autonomy. The ideal level (n1=127) or an evaluation of the actual level on 5-point scales with the endpoints ?should be more/less? (n2=232), ?is too much/less? (n3=205) or ?is not/very burdening? (n4=813) served as indicators of fit.
Results: Regression analyses revealed that perceived fit increased as the actual level of autonomy increased. However, as hypothesized, fit decreased at extremely high levels of autonomy.
Limitations: It remains to be tested whether the results generalize to different work situations and groups with different personality characteristics (e.g., level of job demands or personal resources).
Implications: Employees desire high but not extremely high levels of job autonomy.
Value: To our knowledge, this study is the first to examine the TMGT of autonomy in terms of employees? subjective evaluations and from the PE-Fit perspective.