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The aims of the present study were twofold: First, in differentiating between specific job characteristics, the authors examined the moderating influence of role clarity on the relationship between job demands and psychological and physical strain. Second, in providing a more comprehensive link between job demands and job performance, the authors examined strain as a mediator of that relationship. Participants were 1,418 Army cadets attending a 35-day assessment center. Survey data were collected on Day 26 of the assessment center and performance ratings were assessed throughout the assessment center period by expert evaluators. Role clarity was found to moderate the job demands-strain relationship. Specifically, cadets experiencing high demands reported less physical and psychological strain when they reported high role clarity. Moreover, psychological strain significantly mediated the demands-performance relationship. Implications are discussed from theoretical and applied perspectives.
Source: “Job Demands and Job Performance: The mediating effect of psychological and physical strain and the moderating effect of role clarity.” from Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Vol 12(2), Apr 2007, 116-124.
Interesting counterpoint: I recently posted another piece by Dan Ariely that made clear the best thing for employers is to be as vague as possible in job descriptions.
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