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Research Companion to Organizational Health Psychology

Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper

This timely Research Companion is essential reading to advance the understanding of healthy behaviours within working environments and to identify problems which can be the cause of illness. Containing both theoretical and empirical contributions written by distinguished academics working in Europe, North America and Australia, the book covers leading edge topics ranging from current theories of stress, stress management, and stress in specific occupational groups, such as doctors and teachers, to the relationship of stress with well-being. It provides systematic approaches towards practical actions and stress interventions in working environments and a solid theoretical framework for future research. It will be an essential companion to research on psychology and medicine as well as stress.
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Chapter 9: Job Demands, Job Control, Strain and Learning Behavior: Review and Research Agenda

Toon W. Taris and Michiel A.J. Kompier


Toon W. Taris and Michiel A.J. Kompier Over the last 25 years Karasek’s (1979) job demand–control (JDC) model has been a leading work stress model in occupational health psychology. One of its basic assumptions is that the combination of high job demands with high job control has positive effects on employee motivation for learning new behavior patterns. To date, very little research has addressed this interesting and potentially practically important assumption. The current chapter first provides a short introduction to the JDC model. Then the results of a systematic literature review on worker activation and learning in the context of this model are presented. Based on this review, shortcomings of this research and knowledge gaps are identified. It will be concluded that, while the results of the research currently available are suggestive, actually no firm conclusions regarding the effects of work characteristics on employee active learning behavior can be drawn owing to methodological and conceptual flaws. We end with an inventory of issues to be addressed in future research on the active learning hypothesis in the JDC model. The job demand–control model At the heart of the JDC model lies the assumption that a work environment can be described in terms of the combination of two dimensions: the psychological demands of the work situation and the amount of control workers have to meet these demands, usually measured in terms of worker decision latitude (referring to the amount of say workers have over their work, the...

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