Stressors beget stressors: The effect of passive leadership on employee health through workload and work–family conflict

Xin Xuan Che, Zhiqing E. Zhou, Stacey R. Kessler, Paul E. Spector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current study examined passive leadership as a potential antecedent of two commonly studied workplace stressors (i.e. workload and work–family conflict), and investigated its negative effect on employee burnout and physical symptoms via these stressors. We collected two waves of data from 274 focal participants, and one wave of data from their co-workers. Results showed that both self-reported and co-worker-reported passive leadership was positively related to employee burnout and physical symptoms, as well as workload and work–family conflict. Additionally, workload and work–family conflict partially mediated the effects of passive leadership on burnout and physical symptoms, respectively. Our findings support the notion that passive leadership can create a stressful workplace and have a detrimental effect on employees’ health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-354
Number of pages17
JournalWork and Stress
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • Burnout
  • Employee health
  • Passive leadership
  • Physical symptoms
  • Workload
  • Work–family conflict

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