|Ph.D Student||Inbal Nahum-Shani|
|Subject||Explaining the Variable Effects of Social Support on Work-|
Based Stressor-Strain Relations: The Role of
Perceived Imbalance in Support Exchange
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisor||Mr. Bamberger Peter|
|Full Thesis text|
Seeking to explain divergent empirical findings regarding the buffering effect of social support on work-based stress-strain relations, we posit that whether social support buffers or exacerbates these relations is contingent upon the degree of balance between giving and receiving support. Findings generated on the basis of longitudinal data collected from a random sample of blue collar workers supports our predictions, indicating that the buffering effect of social support on the relationship between work hours and employee health and well-being is attenuated to the degree to which there is an imbalance between support received from employee's close social network and employee's support given to the same network. More specifically, our findings indicated that support perceived to be received from the close social network buffer the positive relationship between the number of hours worked and employee poor health and well-being when the amount of support given is perceived by an employee as being reciprocated by the close social network. This buffering effect was found to be weaker when the amount of support given is perceived by an employee as being under-reciprocated by the close social network, and reversed to the extent that the amount of support given is perceived by an employee as being more over-reciprocated by the close social network. The theoretical, practical and methodological implications of these findings are discussed.