Examining supervisor undermining through the job-demands resources framework

Health Serv Manage Res. 2021 Dec 9:9514848211048608. doi: 10.1177/09514848211048608. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Supervisor undermining has recently gained increasing attention due to its negative effects on employee health and well-being. In the healthcare context, negative supervisor behaviors have been linked to unfavorable individual and organizational outcomes as well as medical errors and patient mortality. Our study, therefore, examines the influence that supervisor undermining behavior has on employee engagement and performance within a standard job stress framework.

METHODS: Our sample consisted of occupational therapists, a health professions group who is growing in demand and importance in the U.S. and has unique job demands. Using an observational, cross-sectional study design, a convenience sample of 521 occupational therapists completed an online survey. A series of independent t-test and multiple-groups path analytic modeling was used.

RESULTS: Participants who had a supervisor perceived as engaging in undermining behaviors reported lower levels of resources, higher levels of demands, less motivation, and more overload than those who did not perceive supervisor undermining. These participants were also less engaged and reported lower levels of performance.

CONCLUSION: Our results shed further light on the importance of supervisory behaviors specifically in a healthcare setting and the need for organizations to create an environment that promotes positive and productive workplace behaviors.

PMID:34882019 | DOI:10.1177/09514848211048608

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