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  • Cited by 26
  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: October 2009

4 - The Demand-Induced Strain Compensation model: renewed theoretical considerations and empirical evidence


Consider a researcher who uses three measures of stressors, three measures of strains, and three measures of support. If a subset of the 27 interactions were significant, the question becomes whether the significant terms were due to Type I error? In several cases, researchers seemed to provide post hoc explanations as to why the significant terms occurred. Future research should endeavor to refine theoretical models that guide how different sources of support can be matched to particular stressors and strains.

(Viswesvaran, Sanchez, and Fisher, 1999: 328)

This chapter presents a recently developed theoretical model on job-related stress and performance, the so-called Demand-Induced Strain Compensation (DISC) model. The DISC model predicts in general that adverse health effects of high job demands can best be compensated for by matching job resources to the high demands. Furthermore, the model predicts that a well-balanced mixture of specific job demands and corresponding job resources will stimulate employee learning, growth, and performance. Not restricting ourselves to social support, which is mentioned in the quote above and which indeed represents one important resource in job stress (cf. Viswesvaran et al., 1999), we present some refined theoretical predictions on emotional, cognitive, and physical processes that guide how different kinds of job resources can be matched to particular job demands and job-related strains. The aim of this chapter is thus twofold: (1) to present a new job stress theory, and (2) to show recent empirical evidence for its basic assumptions by means of a narrative review.

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