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ASIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT RESEARCH

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Research Article

ISSN 2229 3795

Role of perceived organizational support on stress-satisfaction relationship:


An empirical study
Deepti Pathak
Associate, Professor, Jagan Institute of Management Studies, Rohini, Sec-5, India
pathakdeepti2000@gmail.com

ABSTRACT
The present study examined the relationship between organizational stress and job
satisfaction level of an individual and whether Perceived Organizational Support moderates
the relationship between both. The results indicates negative correlation between
organizational stress and job satisfaction level among employees; perceived organizational
support as a powerful moderator lessens amount of stress experienced and thus leads to
higher job satisfaction.
Purpose: The aim of this study is to deepen the understanding of the relationship between
Organizational Role Stress and job satisfaction and to test the moderating effect of Perceived
Organizational Support on their relationship.
Design/Methodology/Approach: The present study was done on a sample of 200 managers
belonging to Private Sector Organizations of Delhi/NCR region. Variables in the study were
assessed using three validated Instruments. Descriptive statistics, Pearson Product Moment
Correlation and Hierarchical regression analysis was used to analyze the data.
Findings: The results show that Organizational Role Stress is negatively & significantly
related with job satisfaction. Perceived Organizational Support was found to lessen the stress
level of the employees, thereby indirectly affecting job satisfaction. In addition, the results of
the hierarchical multiple regression analysis support the moderating effect of Perceived
Organizational Support with regard to the relationship between organizational role stress &
job satisfaction.
Research Implications: The study highlights the importance of providing stress free
environment to employees in order to foster their levels of job satisfaction & commitment to
the organization. Results confirm the importance of organizational climate & harmonious
relationships as factors affecting the Job satisfaction and the organizational stress faced by
the employees. It shows that the psychological contract between organization & employee
may influence the stress levels faced by employees in their respective jobs. By understanding
the role and importance of individual & organizational variables in reducing the
organizational stress, employers can increase the employee satisfaction level which will
indirectly generate affective commitment of employees decreasing the employee absenteeism
and turnover.
Key Words: Research Paper, Perceived Organizational Support, Organizational Stress, Job
Satisfaction & Private Sector Managers.
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1. Introduction
A major concern of organizational theorists & practitioners is for achieving organizational
effectiveness. The willingness of employees to go beyond the formal specification of job
roles, termed extra-role behaviours (Organ, 1990; Tepper, Lockhart, & Hoobler, 2001). Faced
with new challenges, corporate are today increasingly realizing the fact that their human
resources, are the only source of competitive advantage. This has resulted in a renewed focus
on HR strategies that can ensure retention, commitment, as well as continued growth and
effectiveness of the managerial personnel.
Organizational Stress is receiving increasing attention in the academic literature and has
become a salient issue for the organizations. Job life is one of the important parts of our daily
lives which cause a great deal of stress. Usually people are more worry about their outcome
of their work that can even affect the way they treat other people and how they communicate
with their peers and customers. For example, people with a higher percentage of occupational
stress may not be satisfied with their job and therefore they will not feel happy working in the
organization. They may feel frustrated or burned out when they are having problems with
other employees or customers. This may leave a negative impact to the organization itself.
Survey of the literature on occupational stress reveals that there are a number of factors
related to job which affect the behaviour of the employees and as a result of it, normal life is
disturbed (McLean, 1974; Brief, Schular and Vansell, 1981).
Job-satisfaction has been defined as the positive orientation of an individual towards the work
role which he is presently occupying (Vroom, 1964). Many Western studies indicate that
among the determinants of job satisfaction, leadership behavior (Cheng & Yang, 1977; Euske
& Jackson, 1980 as cited by Darwish, 2000) and perceived organizational support (Burke &
Greenglass, 2001; Burke, 2003) are viewed as important predictors and play a central role.
Rude (2004) suggest that perceived organizational support is strongly related to leadership
behavior, hence insufficient support from leader is one of important factor to employees
dissatisfaction and burnout (Maslach et al., 2001) which the results are same with the lack of
support from organization (Rude, 2004). The dissatisfaction of employee will lead them to
less work commitment and high turnover from the organization, as well as physical
withdrawal or they may retreat from the organization emotionally or mentally. On the other
hand, job dissatisfaction not only increases intention to quit but also reduce the contribution
of the employee to the organization (Lok & Crawford, 2003). Perceived Organizational
Support (POS) refers to the perception that one is valued and treated well by the organization
(Eisenberger et al.,1986). Despite evidence (e.g. Quine, 2001) that various forms of
workplace support (e.g. support from colleagues) moderate the relationship between bullying
& propensity to leave the organization, the moderating effects of POS are yet to be examined.
This study therefore investigates the moderating effects of POS on the relationship between
Organizational role stress & job satisfaction levels of individuals by using a sample of private
sector employees in Delhi/NCR region.
According to Eisenberger, Huntingdon, Hutchinson and Sowa (1986:501), individuals tend to
form global beliefs concerning the extent to which the organization values their
contributions and cares about their well-being. These beliefs that are exchanges between an
employee and employing organization are called perceived organizational support and is used
to define in this study. High levels of perceived organizational support creates feelings of
obligation, to the employers as well as makes them feel they have to return the employers
commitment by engaging in behaviors that support organizational goals. From the social
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exchange perspective, research has revealed that perceived organizational support is


positively related to job attendance and measures of job performance (Eisenberger et al.,
1986).
From a social exchange perspective, it can be argued that employees who perceive a high
level of support from the organization are more likely to feel an obligation to repay the
organization in terms of affective commitment (Eisenberger et al., 1986; Shore & Wayne,
1993). According to Eisenberger, Fasolo and Davis-LaMastro (1990), employees who feel
supported by their organization and care about the organization would engage in activities
that help to further the organizations goals.
Cooper and Marshal (1976) stated that occupational stress includes the environmental factors
or stressors such as work overload, role ambiguity, role conflict and poor working conditions
associated with a particular job. Orpen (1991) observed that major source of stress is derived
from the occupational environment; proponents of this view tend to argue that role holders in
certain occupation, irrespective of individual differences, are much more likely to experience
stress. Here, the emphasis is on the individual demands of various jobs that have the capacity
over a period of time to exhaust the physical and psychological resource of employees in the
organisation.
According to Organ (1990), when employees are asked about job satisfaction they typically
think about fairness in terms of work conditions, pay and supervision. A comparison takes
place involving what they expect and what they actually receive. Job satisfaction is defined as
the employee's affective response to various aspects of the job or organization (Locke, 1976).
Research conducted by Judge et al. (1998) explored the effects of core evaluations on job
satisfaction and life satisfaction. By using self-reporting of work attitudes and personality
traits they determined there was a significant relationship between self-esteem, generalized
self-efficacy, and locus of control and neuroticism and work outcomes (job and life
satisfaction and perceived work characteristics). They concluded the way people perceive
themselves impacts their job and their personal lives.
Numerous studies found that job stress influences the employees job satisfaction and their
overall performance in their work. Because most of the organizations now are more
demanding for the better job outcomes. In fact, modern times have been called as the age of
anxiety and stress (Coleman, 1976).The stress itself will be affected by number of stressors.
Nevertheless, Beehr and Newman (1978) had defined stress as a situation which will force a
person to deviate from normal functioning due to the change (i.e. disrupt or enhance) in
his/her psychological and/or physiological condition, such that the person is forced to deviate
from normal functioning. From the definition that has been identified by researchers, we can
conclude that it is truly important for an individual to recognize the stresses that are facing by
them in their career. Some demographic factor may influence the way a university academic
staff act in their workplace.
Management role of an organization is one of the aspects that affect work-related stress
among workers (Alexandros-Stamatios et. al., 2003).Workers in an organization can face
occupational stress through the role stress that the management gave. Role stress means
anything about an organizational role that produces adverse consequences for the individual
(Kahn and Quinn, 1970). Management will have their own role that stands as their related.
Role related are concerned with how individuals perceive the expectations other have of them
and includes role ambiguity and role conflict (Alexandros-Stamatios et. al., 2003).
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According to Lasky (1995) demands associated with family and finances can be a major
source of extra-organisational stress that can complicate, or even precipitate, work-place
stress. Russo & Vitaliano (1995) argued that the occurrence of stressors in the workplace
either immediately following a period of chronic stress at home, or in conjunction with other
major life stressors, is likely to have a marked impact on outcome.
Several studies have highlighted the deleterious consequences of high workloads or work
overload. According to Wilkes et al. (1998) work overloads and time constraints were
significant contributors to work stress among community nurses. Workload stress can be
defined as reluctance to come to work and a feeling of constant pressure (i.e. no effort is
enough) accompanied by the general physiological, psychological, and behavioral stress
symptoms .
Al-Aameri AS. (2003) has mentioned in his studies that one of the six factors of occupational
stress is pressure originating from workload. Alexandros-Stamatios G.A. et al. (2003) also
argued that factors intrinsic to the job means explore workload, variety of tasks and rates of
pay. Employees in any organization face changing demands within the dynamic
environments of business and Technology development. Due to the competitive nature of the
job environment most of the people in the world are spending their time for job related work
purposes resulting ignore the stressor those are influencing their work and life. Such constant
changes create stressful working situations, as a result, the job satisfaction of employees is
usually low and their job turnovers are high. Previous studies focused on job stress and job
satisfaction of employees. High levels of work stress are associated with low levels of job
satisfaction (Landsbergis, 1988; Terry et al., 1993) and job stressors are predictive of job
dissatisfaction and a greater propensity to leave the organisation (Cummins, 1990).
This study examined the relationship between organizational role stress and job satisfaction
levels of employees. It covers the impact of different dimensions of organizational role stress
i.e. Self-role distance, role ambiguity, role isolation & role inadequacy on the job satisfaction
of the employees. It further examined whether Perceived Organizational Support moderates
the relationship between Role Stress & Job Satisfaction.
2. Review of Literature
2.1 Organizational stress
In the past three decades, empirical researches on the theme of stress have increased many
folds. Researchers have focused their attention on causal factors of stress, stress
manifestations, moderators of stress-strain relationship, and types of stresses experienced by
diverse work populations, and various coping strategies adopted by organizational entities to
cope with stress (Pestonjee, 1992). The large organizations, like other settings, exert its own
set of unique forces on the individual. Through the application of these forces, the
organization is able to channel the individuals behavior towards certain goals and to direct
his/her interactions towards certain people and away from others.
Job stress and Burnout have become two of the buzzwords of the present century influencing
job-satisfaction of the employees. (Banet, Plint and Clifford, 2005, Verma, 2008). Stress in
the work place is increasingly a critical problem for employees, employers and the society.
Researchers who study stress have demonstrated the direct and indirect costs of stress.
(Matteson & Ivancevich,1987). There are many variables which have been related to
organizational stress. Ivancevich and Matteson (1980) proposed a model of organizational
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stress research that outlined the major antecedents of work stress. They noted the importance
of individual differences as moderators of stress and detailed possible outcomes of stress at
work.
Stress is associated with impaired individual functioning in the workplace. A number of
aspects of working life have been linked to stress. Aspects of work itself can be stressful,
namely work overload (Defrank & Ivancevich, 1998; Sparks & Cooper, 1999, Taylor et al.,
2005) and role-based factors such as lack of power, role ambiguity, and role conflict (Burke,
1988; Nelson and Burke, 2000). Emsley (2003) in their research study multiple goals and
managers job-related tension and performance suggested that job-related tension and
performance deteriorate as managers pursue multiple goals although the relationship seems to
be non-linear. Manshor, Fontaine and Chong Siong Choy (2003) in their study examined the
sources of occupational stress among Malaysian managers working in multi-national
companies (MNCs).It was found that workloads, working conditions, and relationship at
work were the main concern of the managers that lead to stress at the work place.
Pareek (1983) has pioneered work on role stress by identifying as many as ten different types
of organizational role stresses namely: IRD, RS, REC, RE, RO, RI, PI, SRD, RA, & RIn.
Stress has become one of the most serious health issues of the twentieth centurya problem
not just for individuals in terms of physical and mental morbidity, but for employers,
governments and the society at large who have started to assess the financial damage (ILO,
1993). The problem of occupational stress is also relevant for countries undergoing enormous
economic and social changes.
Occupational stress has been of great concern to the management, employees, and other
stakeholders of organizations. Occupational stress researchers agree that stress is a serious
problem in many organizations (Cooper and Cartwright, 1994; Varca, 1999; Ornelas and
Kleiner 2003). The cost of occupational stress is very high in many organizations. For
instance, the International Labor Organization (ILO) reports that inefficiencies arising from
occupational stress may cost up to 10 percent of a country.s GNP (Midgley, 1996). At a
personal level, occupational stress might lead to increased morbidity and mortality (Mark,
Jonathan and Gregory, 2003). Rapidly changing global scene is increasing the pressure of
workforce to perform maximum output and enhance competitiveness. Indeed, to perform
better to their job, there is a requirement for workers to perform multiple tasks in the
workplace to keep abreast of changing technologies (Cascio, 1995; Quick, 1997). The
ultimate results of this pressure have been found to one of the important factors influencing
job stress in their work. A study in UK indicated that the majority of the workers were
unhappy with the current culture where they were required to work extended hours and cope
with large workloads while simultaneously meeting production targets and deadlines
(Townley, 2000).
Role ambiguity is another aspect that affects job stress in the workplace. According to Beehr
et al. (1976), Cordes & Dougherty (1993), Cooper (1991), Dyer & Quine (1998) and
Ursprung (1986) role ambibuity exists when an individual lacks information about the
requirements of his or her role,how those role requirements are to be met, and the evaluative
procedures available to ensure that the role is being performed successfully. Jackson &
Schuler (1985) and Muchinsky (1997) studies found role ambiguity to lead to such negative
outcomes as reduces confidence, a sense of hopelessness, anxiety, and depression.

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Many sources of stress in organizations cannot be changed. These might include situations
like a prolonged recessionary period, new competitors, or an unanticipated crisis.
Organizational members generally have little control over these kinds of stressors, and they
can create extended periods of high-stress situations. People who adjust to these stressors
generally use a form of perceptual adaptation, where they modify the way in which they
perceive the situation.
A number of aspects of working life have been linked to stress. Aspects of the work itself can
be stressful, namely work overload (DeFrank and Ivancevich, 1998; Sparks and Cooper,
1999, Taylor et al., 1997) and role-based factors such as lack of power, role ambiguity, and
role conflict (Burke, 1988; Nelson and Burke, 2000). The quality of the social environment in
the workplace is associated with stress (Sparks and Cooper, 1999) as are certain behaviours
of the leader (Carlopio et al., 1997; Cooper and Marshall, 1976). Threats to career
development and achievement, including threat of redundancy, being undervalued and
unclear promotion prospects are stressful (Nelson and Burke, 2000). The conflict between
home and work and the work impact on personal relationships is stressful (Sparks and
Cooper, 1999). Also, physical conditions such as high noise levels, overcrowding in the
workplace or a lack of privacy have been associated with stress (Burke, 1988).
Stress is associated with impaired individual functioning in the workplace. Negative effects
include reduced efficiency, decreased capacity to perform, dampened initiative and reduced
interest in working, increased rigidity of thought, a lack of concern for the organisation and
colleagues, and a loss of responsibility (Greenberg and Baron, 1995; Matteson and
Ivancevich, 1982). Stress has been associated with important occupational outcomes of job
satisfaction, organisational commitment and employee withdrawal behaviour (Naumann,
1993; Sullivan and Bhagat, 1992; Tett and Meyer, 1993; Williams and Hazer, 1986).
Satisfaction and commitment have invariably reported a negative relationship to intent to
leave and turnover (Arnold and Feldman,1982; Hollenbeck and Williams, 1986). High levels
of work stress are associated with low levels of job satisfaction (Landsbergis, 1988; Terry et
al., 1993) and job stressors are predictive of job dissatisfaction and a greater propensity to
leave the organisation (Cummins, 1990).
An important step in reduction of stress is establishing one's priorities. (Williams and Huber,
1986). The demands of many managerial positions cause the neglect of other areas of one's
life, such as family, friends, recreation, and religion. This neglect creates stress, which in turn
affects job performance and health. Value clarification is linked to time management, since
we generally allocate our time according to our priorities. By setting personal priorities,
managers and subordinates can reduce this source of stress. It is typically the first step in any
stress reduction program.
2.2 Job Satisfaction
Job-satisfaction has been defined as the positive orientation of an individual towards the work
role which he is presently occupying (Vroom, 1964). There are a variety of factors that can
influence a persons level of job-satisfaction like pay, promotion system, working conditions,
leadership, social relationship and the job-itself. Job-satisfaction is basically an individual
matter and refers to what one expects from his or her job and when there is mismatch
between what is expected and what is received and if there is some disparity then
dissatisfaction occurs. It has been seen that a psychosocial interplay between personality,
power, status and service and intellectual challenge , forms the career dilemma of attorneys
conflicts and trade-offs originating with the individual occupational choice are played out in a
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multitude of settings perpetuating tension as old as profession itself. It has been concluded in
the American Bar Association Survey (1999) that hours of work, competition, time for self
and family, financial rewards and gender bias contribute towards the job dissatisfaction.
Locke (1976) stated job satisfaction as a pleasurable positive state resulting from one's job
and job experience. Individuals show pleasurable positive attitudes when they are satisfied
with their job. Drever (1964) described job satisfaction ''as an end state of feeling." Singh
(1990) pointed out that the job satisfaction is a part of life satisfaction, the nature of one's
environment off- the- job. Similarly, a job is an important part of life, job satisfaction
influences one's general life satisfaction as an effective reaction, feeling of employees with
job, supervision, coworkers, salary/pay and his/her current and future career progress. The
causes of employees' satisfaction are restricted to implant factors alone but they sum the
whole gamut of men's needs and aspirations. Job satisfaction is a general attitude which is the
result of many specific attitudes (Reddy and Rajasekhar ,1990).
In Locke's (1969) research, three fundamentals of job satisfaction were discussed: (1)
evaluating the characteristics of the job; (2) determining a value standard for comparison of
satisfaction; and (3) determining the level of agreement among an employee's perception of
job satisfaction and an employee's value standard. An employee's interpretation of values
may vary regarding satisfaction or dissatisfaction. For example, some employees may feel a
sense of accomplishment in their jobs while other employees may not. Hackman and
Oldham's (1980) research results were congruent. They surveyed blue and white collar
workers and determined that completing interesting tasks was not as important as job security
and compensation for blue-collar employees.
Job satisfaction can be a leading contributor to the success or failure in any organization.
Satisfied employees lead to satisfied customers. Another benefit of job satisfaction is reduced
turnover. By focusing on what contributes to job satisfaction, an organization can reduce
turnover. Ohlin and West (1993) stated that turnover rates were reduced among housekeepers
because of high levels of job satisfaction. Research has also shown that satisfied employees
are more likely to stay in the organization than those who are dissatisfied (Mobley, Griffeth,
Hand and Megliano, 1979).
Vroom (1964) postulated a model of job satisfaction which reflects valence of the job for its
incumbent. He argued that the strength of the force on a worker to remain on his job is an
increasing function of valence on his job. Srivastava and Pratap (1984) studied job
satisfaction and organizational climate among executives and supervisors, reported a
significant positive relationship between the overall climate and job satisfaction. Job
satisfaction was also found related to various individual dimensions of organizational climate
such as leadership, communication, interaction, influence in decision making, goal-setting
and control.
2.3 Organizational Stress & Job satisfaction
Several studies have tried to determine the link between stress and job satisfaction. Job
satisfaction and job stress are the two hot focuses in human resource management researches.
These studies generally indicate that job stress & satisfaction are inversely related (e.g.,
Hollon & Chesser, 1976; Miles, 1976; Miles & Petty, 1975). According to Stamps &
Piedmonte (1986) job satisfaction has been found significant relationship with job stress. One
study of general practitioners in England identified four job stressors that were predictive of
job dissatisfaction (Cooper, et al., 1989). In other study, Vinokur-Kaplan (1991) stated that
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organization factors such as workload and working condition were negatively related with job
satisfaction. Fletcher & Payne (1980) identified that a lack of satisfaction can be a source of
stress, while high satisfaction can alleviate the effects of stress. This study reveals that, both
of job stress and job satisfaction were found to be interrelated. Job satisfaction can be an
important indicator of how employees feel about their jobs and predictor of work behavior
such as organizational relationship and turnover. (Wegge, Schmidt, Parks &Dick, 2007;
Koustelios & Tsigillis, 2005; Organ& Ryan, 1995; Saari & Judge, 2004 and Verma, 2008).
Any business can achieve success when the problem of satisfaction and dissatisfaction can be
felt, understood and solved. If specialists do not feel supported by colleagues and by
organization their satisfaction level falls (Freeborn, 2001) .The promotion of personal growth
and security in finance and employment influences satisfaction levels positively (Murray,
1997).
Kemery, Mossholder, and Bedeian (1987) employed Lisrel to test three models, (e.g., Beehr
& Newman, 1978; Locke, 1976; Schuler, 1982) that postulate causal relationships among role
ambiguity, role conflict, and organizationally valued outcomes such as job satisfaction,
physical symptoms, and the turnover intentions. Using 370 employees, (e.g., faculty,
administrators, staff), from a large southeastern university, Kemery & associates found that
the role comflict & ambiguity exert a direct influence on job satisfaction and physical
symptoms, which in turn influence turnover intentions. The study of Landsbergis (1988) and
Terry et al. (1993) showed that high levels of work stress are associated with low levels of
job satisfaction. Moreover, Cummins (1990) have emphasized that job stressors are
predictive of job dissatisfaction and greater propensity to leave the organization. Sheena et al.
(2005) studied in UK found that there are some occupations that are reporting worse than
average scores on each of the factors such as physical health, psychological well-being, and
job satisfaction due to workplace stressors. The research literature supports the prediction that
workplace factors will have direct effects on stress and job satisfaction as well as stress
influencing job satisfaction (Kirkcaldy et al., 1999; Leong et al., 1996; Lyne et al., 2000).
Despite the strength of such findings, interpretation of the relationships is still data and not
theory driven (Sutton and Staw, 1995). Lacking is a theoretical basis on which to explain why
the associations have been found. This atheoretical approach creates difficulty in predicting
which factors in a specific workplace will contribute to stress and which to job satisfaction. In
the absence of an integrated theory, the implication of the recommendation by Sparks and
Cooper (1999) is that the prominence of workplace factors in the experience of stress may
depend on occupational groupings or particular aspects of the workplace. For instance, in a
study on occupational stress among senior civil servants, mental ill health was predicted by
the pressure associated with the role of management, and a low level of perceived control (i.e.
externality), whereas job dissatisfaction was predicted by organizational climate,
organizational influence and job constraints (Bogg and Cooper, 1995).
Most researchers have studied the relationship between job satisfaction and occupational
stress and have found that role conflict and role ambiguity are negatively related to job
satisfaction (Futrell, 1982, Jagdish & Srivastava, 1984; Moore & Robert, 1984 and Verma,
2008). Occupational stress was found to be significantly related to job satisfaction the greater
the stress the lower the satisfaction (Sahu & Gole, 2008 and Verma, 2008). Stress is
inevitable in the practice of law. In a study of more than 100 occupations, lawyers had the
highest rate of depression (Eaton, Mandel & Garrison, 1990 and Verma, 2008). The increase
in number of lawyers led to increased competition and diminishing personal relationship with
other lawyers. (Daicoff, 1997 and Verma, 2008.
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2.4 Perceived Organizational Support


According to organizational support theory, the development of POS is encouraged by
employees tendency to assign the organization humanlike characteristics (Eisenberger et al.,
1986). Organizational support theory also addresses the psychological processes underlying
consequences of POS. First, on the basis of the reciprocity norm, POS should produce a felt
obligation to care about the organizations welfare and to help the organization reach its
objectives. Second, the caring, approval, and respect connoted by POS should fulfill
socioemotional needs, leading workers to incorporate organizational membership and role
status into their social identity. Third, POS should strengthen employees beliefs that the
organization recognizes and rewards increased performance (i.e., performance-reward
expectancies). These processes should have favorable outcomes both for employees (e.g.,
increased job satisfaction and heightened positive mood) and for the organization (e.g.,
increased affective commitment and performance, reduced turnover).
Organizational theorists and researchers have frequently alluded to employment as the trade
of effort and loyalty for such impersonal benefits as pay and fringe benefits and such
socioemotional benefits as esteem and approval (e.g., Angle & Perry, 1983;March & Simon,
1958; Mowday, Porter, & Steers, 1982). Social exchange theory, developed to explain the
initiation, strengthening, and continued maintenance of interpersonal relationships, provides a
possible conceptual basis for understanding relationships between individuals and their work
organization. Central to social exchange theory is the norm of reciprocity, which obligates
people to respond positively to favourable treatment received from others (Blau, 1964;
Gouldner, 1960).
The norm of reciprocity requires employees to respond positively to favorable treatment from
one's employer. Consistent with this view, Rousseau (1989, 1990) found that many
employees believed that they and their work organization had reciprocal obligations that
exceeded formal responsibilities by both parties. Rousseau characterized this psychological
contract as an implicit understanding by employees that they and their employer will consider
each other's needs and desires when taking actions that affect the other. Continued
reciprocation of resources beyond those required by formal agreements would strengthen the
psychological contract; in contrast, the employer's failure to fulfill the terms of the
psychological contract would reduce employees' inclination to work beyond their explicit job
responsibilities (Robinson & Morrison, 1995; Rousseau & Parks, 1993).
Employees anthromorphise their organizations according to how their organizations treat
them (e.g. Rhoades and Eisenberger, 2002) After assigning human like characteristics (eg.
Caring nature, considerate nature) to their organizations, employees develop a set of beliefs
on the extent to which their organizations value their contributions and care about their wellbeing. These beliefs have been labeled Perceived Organizational Support, which comprises
three forms of favourable treatment: 1) organizational rewards & job conditions; 2) fairness;
and 3) supervisor support (Eisenberger et al., 1986).
Factors that influence organizational rewards and conditions include pay, recognition,
promotions, job security, autonomy, role stressors and training. POS is increased by
voluntary actions (eg. Training) taken by the organization that benefit employees rather than
by actions that benefit employees rather than by actions that are compulsory as a result of
external factors (e.g. legislation; Eisenberger et al., 1986). Furthermore, POS increases
when organizations are seen by their employees to be fair & just. POS is increased also by
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perceptions that ones supervisor is supportive because supervisors are often considered by
employees to be acting on behalf of the organization and are seen to be closely associated
with senior management. Employees generally rely heavily on their supervisors orientation
towards them as an indicator of organizational support (Eisenberger et al., 2002).
2.5 POS as Moderator
POS has been shown consistently to be associated with outcomes that are favourable to the
organization. For instance, there is evidence that POS is correlated positively to
organizational commitment (e.g. Shore & Wayne, 1993), long-term obligations,
organizational identification among employees, loyalty (e.g. Rhoades & Eisenberger,2002),
in-role performance (e.g. Eisenberger et al., 1986, 1990), trust in organizations (e.g. Chen et
al., 2005), organizational citizenship behavior (e.g. Moorman et al., 1998), job satisfaction &
intent to remain (e.g. Stamper & Johlke, 2003). Furthermore, there is evidence that POS is
correlated negatively to absenteeism (e.g. Eisenberger et al., 1986) and withdrawl (e.g. Allen
et al., 2003). One important issue is to differentiate perceived organizational support from job
satisfaction (Zagenczyk, 2001). Previous study by Shore and Tetrick (1991) disputes that
perceived organizational support and job satisfaction conception are distinct but related.
Perceived organizational support is a measure of employer commitment and set of beliefs
about how much the organization cares for the staff well-being, whereas job satisfaction
focuses on different sides or viewpoints of work and is the affective response to these
different aspects of work situation. In summary, many previous studies have shown that
perceived organizational support was positively associated with levels of job satisfaction,
high level of perceived organizational support resulted higher level of job satisfaction (Burke
& Greenglass, 2001; Burke, 2003; Stamper & Johlke, 2003; Armstrong-Stassen, Cameron &
Horsburgh, 1996).
According to social exchange theory, the favorableness of job conditions should contribute to
POS more substantially if believed to be the result of voluntary action by the organization,
thereby reflecting the organization's valuation of the employee (cf. Eisenberger et al., 1986;
Shore & Shore, 1995). In contrast, the favorableness of job conditions over which employees
believe the organization has low control should exert little influence on POS.
A meta-analysis by Rhoades & Eisenberger (2002) indicated that 3 major categories of
beneficial treatment received by employees (i.e., fairness, supervisor support, and
organizational rewards and favorable job conditions) were associated with POS. POS, in turn,
was related to outcomes favorable to employees (e.g., job satisfaction, positive mood) and the
organization (e.g., affective commitment, performance, and lessened withdrawal behavior).
These relationships depended on processes assumed by organizational support theory:
employees' belief that the organization's actions were discretionary, feeling of obligation to
aid the organization, fulfilment of socioemotional needs, and performance-reward
expectancies.
POS has been hypothesized to influence employees general affective reactions to their job,
0including job satisfaction and positive mood. Job satisfaction refers to employees overall
affectladen attitude toward their job (Witt, 1991). POS should contribute to overall job
satisfaction by meeting socioemotional needs, increasing performance-reward expectancies,
and signaling the availability of aid when needed. Positive mood differs conceptually from
job satisfaction in that it involves a general emotional state without a specific object (George,
1989). Mood has been proposed as the state component of affectivity, influenced by
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environment (George & Brief, 1992). POS may contribute to employees feelings of
competence and worth, thus enhancing positive mood (Eisenberger et al., 2001; cf. George &
Brief, 1992).
3. Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the present study is to find out the Moderating effect of Perceived
Organizational Support on relationship between Organizational Stress and Job Satisfaction.
Method:
The sample consisted of 200 Managers from Private Sector Organizations of Delhi/NCR
region. The employees were males in the 25-50 years of age group, and has spent at least two
year in the same organization. The participants were chosen randomly from each organization
and belonged to different departments of the organization. The data were collected through
administering questionnaire from respondents during office hours with required consent from
top management. Most of the participants showed their willingness to participate in the study.
Instrumentation:
Three instruments were used in the study to assess Job Satisfaction, Perceived Organizational
Support, and Organizational Role Stress. Job satisfaction was conceptualized as dependent
variable whereas, Organizational Role Stress as Independent variables and, Perceived
Organizational Support as Moderating Variable. Self-report measures were used to obtain the
data. The measures used in this study were borrowed from their original source and adapted
from Indian work setting. Job Satisfaction was measured through a questionnaire developed
by Paul E. Spector (1985) consisting of 36 items divided into nine dimensions. Perceived
Organizational Support was measured through a questionnaire developed by Eisenberger et
al.(1986), consisting of 36 items.
Organizational role stress was measured through a questionnaire developed by Udai Pareek,
consisting of 50 items divided into 10 dimensions.
Perceived Organizational Stress (POS) : Eisenberger et al.s (1986) scale was used to
measure POS, which involved selection of seven highest loading items of the 36 items of the
original scale. The POS scale has chronbach alpha of .87. The items in this scale were
modified slightly for the use in current study, as this scale was designed originally for
teaching profession. Specifically, the organization was substituted for the school.
According to Rhoades and Eisenberger (2002), the use of shorter versions of the POS scale is
not problematic because the original scale is unidimensional and has high internal reliability.
Organisational Role Stress (ORS): This scale was developed by Udai Pareek (1983).The
ORS scale is used to measure 10 role stresses. It is a 5-point scale (0 to 4), containing five
items for each role stress and a total of 50 statements. The scale is reported to have
satisfactory reliability as well as validity. The ten role stressors are as follows:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Inter-role distance (IRD)


Role Stagnation (RS)
Role expectation conflict (REC)
Role Erosion (RE)
Role overload (RO)
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6. Role conflict (RC)


7. Personal Inadequacy (PI)
8. Self-role distance (SRD)
9. Role ambiguity (RA)
10. Resource Inadequacy (RIn)
The present study yielded only four factors significant on factor analysis. These were: Selfrole distance (=.84), Role conflict (=.76), Role ambiguity(=.90), and Role
Inadequacy(=.89).
Job Satisfaction survey (JSS): The Scale was developed by Paul E. Spector (1985).It is a 36
item, nine facet scale to assess employee attitudes about the job and aspects of the job. A
summated rating scale format is used, with six choices per item ranging from strongly
disagree to strongly agree. The JSS Scale had a Cronbach alpha of .74 and good
concurrent and predictive validity and reliability. Nine broad facets of JSS were covered by
this measurement, they were as follows: Pay, Promotion, Supervision, Fringe benefits,
Contingent Rewards, Operation Procedures, Coworkers, Nature of work, Communication.
Hypotheses:
H1:
H2:

There is a negative relationship between Organisational Role Stress and Job


Satisfaction
Perceived Organizational Support moderates the relationship between Organisational
Role Stress and Job Satisfaction

In order to test the hypotheses, following research model was made.


Hypothetical Research Model
Organisational Role Stress
(IV)
Perceived Organizational
Support (MV)

+
Job Satisfaction
+

Interaction (IV*MV)

4. Research Findings
Table 1: Reliabilities of the variables
Variables
ORS

Factors
SRD
RC
RA
RIn

No. Of Items
5
5
5
5

Cronbach
.84
.76
.90
.89

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POS
JS

POS
JS

7
36

.87
.74

ORS=Organisational Role Stress, SRD=Self-role distance, RC=Role conflict, RA=Role ambiguity, RIn=Role
inadequacy, POS=Perceived Organizational Support, JS=Job Satisfaction

Table 2: Means, Standard Deviations and Correlations among the Variables (N=224)
Variables

Mean

SD

SRD

2.51

0.77

RC

2.47

0.73

RA

2.36

0.72

RIn

3.58

0.80

POS

4.12

1.09

JS

42.32

14.34

As seen from Table-1, the instruments used in this study were reliable, with coefficients
ranging from 0.74 to 0.90, which exceeded the minimum acceptance level of 0.70. The mean
score for each study variable can be seen from Table-2. From Table-2, it can be observed that
the mean value for each of the dimensions of ORS ranges from 2.36 to 3.58, with the
standard deviation of 0.72 to 0.80. The mean score computed for POS was 4.12 & standard
deviation was 1.09. The mean for overall job satisfaction was 42.32with a standard deviation
score of 14.34.
Regression Results
Equation: JS=a+bX+bY+bXY
Where,
JS=Job Satisfaction (DV)
X=Organisational Role Stress (IV)
Y=Perceived Organizational Support (MV)
XY=Interaction (IV*MV)
Job Satisfaction =Intercept +Coefficient (Organisational Role Stress) + Coefficient
(Perceived Organizational Support) + Coefficient (Interaction of IV&MV)
One regression equation was used for analysis. Equation included one Independent variable
(Organisational Role Stress), one Dependent Variable (Job Satisfaction) and one Moderating
Variable (Perceived Organizational Support )
Research Model with Regression Results

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Table 3: Hierarchical Regression Results with Internal Locus of Control as a


Moderating Variable
Variables

Std
Beta
Step 1

Std Beta
Step 2

-64**
-.36**
-1.02*
-.52**

-.82*
-.72**
-2.21*
-.65**

Std Beta
Step 3

Independent Variable
SRD
RC
RA
RE
Moderating Variable
Perceived Organizational Support
Interaction Term

2.24**

2.58**

SRD x POS

0.130

RI x POS

0.121

RA x POS

0.293

RE x POS
R
Adj. R
R Change
F Change
Note: ** p < 0.01; * p < 0.05

0.224
0.536
0.142
23.428*

0.614
0.619
0.168
2.342

0.126
0.746
0.681
0.332
0.285

As shown in Table 2, when Organisational role stress was entered into the regression analysis
in the first step, the coefficient of determination (R2) was found to be 0.224 indicating that
22.4% of Job Satisfaction is explained by the Independent Variable .In step 2, to test whether
Perceived Organizational Support serves as an independent variable, a second regression was
undertaken. By adding Perceived Organizational Support as independent variables, the R2
increased to 61.4%. This R2 change (0.536) is significant. This implies that the additional
53.6% of the variation in Job Satisfaction is explained by Perceived Organizational Support.
The F-statistics is significant (p = 0.000) suggesting that the proposed model was adequate.
As can be seen from Table 3, Perceived Organizational Support had a positive relationship
with Job Satisfaction.
From the first regression model, it can be observed that Role Ambiguity ( = -1.02), had a
significant and negative relationship with Job Satisfaction at 0.05 level. Additionally, selfrole distance ( =-.64), role conflict ( =-.36) & resource inadequacy ( =-.52) had a
significant effect on job satisfaction but at 0.01 level. These results provided full support for
the first hypothesis of the study. To examine the moderating effects of Perceived
Organizational Support, a third regression model was developed by adding the interaction
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terms. As shown in Table 3, the R2 increase of 33.2% is significant. This means that
Perceived Organizational Support did serve as a moderator in seeing the effect of
organisational role stress variables on Job Satisfaction. Thus, our second hypothesis is also
proved.
5. Discussion and Conclusion
The study attempts to find out the impact of Organizational Stress on Job satisfaction and
investigate moderating impact if/any of perceived organizational support between the two.
For the purpose, a sample of 200 managers was selected to examine the postulated
hypotheses. Through this study an attempt was made to identify the impact of perceived
organizational support on the relationship between job satisfaction and organizational role
stress.
Stressful work fosters decisions to leave the employer (e.g., Firth, Mellor, Moore, & Loquet,
2004), increases absenteeism (Brun & Lamarche, 2006) and affects employee productivity
(Jex, 1998; Motowidlo, Packard, and Manning, 1986).
As per our first result, it is being analysed that organizational role stress is negatively related
to job satisfaction. In other words, employees who are able to tackle with stress in a positive
way will be more satisfied with his/her job as compared to those who consider stress as a
barrier. It is consistent with previous findings (e.g. Le Rouge et al.,2006), job satisfaction
was related to stressful work. It also finds indirect support in the works of Schabracq and
Cooper 2000; concluding that occupational stress contributes to low motivation and morale,
decrease in performance, high turnover, sick leave, accidents, low job satisfaction.
Another study done by (Sahu & Gole, 2008 and Verma, 2008) says that Occupational stress
was found to be significantly related to job satisfaction; the greater the stress the lower the
satisfaction.
Results shows that the role-ambiguity has the strongest relationships with the job satisfaction.
Another study by Joachim Quah & Kathleen Campbell (2004) found that role conflict & role
ambiguity were positively & significantly related to work stress and work stress was
negatively & significantly related to job satisfaction.
Second hypothesis that the perceived organizational stress moderates the relationship
between job satisfaction and organizational stress is also proved by our results. The results
are finding support with the studies done earlier. Hussami (2008) in his research found that
job satisfaction & organizational commitment were significantly related. And, the employees
strongest attitude towards job satisfaction were the feelings of strong perceived organizational
support. Further, Christina C. Stamper & Mark C. Johlke (2003) in their research reached to a
conclusion that perceived organizational support moderates the relationship between role
stress and job satisfaction. They found that perceived organizational support has strong
effects on role ambiguity & role conflict as well as job satisfaction and intent to remain.
According to Eisenberger, Fasolo and Davis-LaMastro (1990), employees who feel supported
by their organization and care about the organization would engage in activities that help to
further the organizations goals. In another study by Shore & Tetrick (1991), it was found that
there is strong & positive relationship between perceived organizational stress and overall job
satisfaction. On the whole, the obtained results indicate that private jobs involve high levels
of organizational stress for various reasons. Occupational stress if not managed properly may
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lead to increase in absentee rates, internal conflicts and low employee morale (Christo and
Pienaar,2006). Acceptable level of stress helps to improve the individuals performance
whilst excessive amounts of stress can lead to decreased performance (Stevenson and Harper,
2006).
As expected, the study findings confirm the moderating role of perceived organizational
support in the relationship between Job Satisfaction and Organizational Stress. The findings
of this study suggests that Employees who perceive that organization considers their goals
and cares about their satisfaction & opinions will face less organizational stress in their work
areas and will be more satisfied with their jobs.
5.1 Contribution of the current study
The study reveals that the stress is the dynamic condition that can manifest itself in both the
aspects. Stress found among the employees has become a major concern of the modern times
which can harm to employees' health and performance both. At the end of the study, we can
conclude that though there are signs of stress among the employees & such stress is affecting
their behaviors, but it can be controlled & reduce effectively. This can be done by giving
counselling, incorporating the suggestions given by the employees, aligning the goals of
employees with the overall organizational goals and caring about the well-being of
employees. HR must implement these commitments so that the ideals of the enterprise and
deeds of its employees are congruent to ensure a consistent flow of trained & satisfied
manpower in the future.
5.2 Limitations of the study
The results of this study should be viewed with a small number of limitations. Caution should
be made that findings of this preliminary study should not be generalized to the larger
population due to its small sample size. A bigger sample would be needed to represent the
general population. The method used in the present study to collect the data is very common
as the questionnaire method was used. A comparative study between Managers of Public and
Private sector organisations should have been given a better to the research work.
5.3 Directions for Future Research
To enhance external validity, future research efforts should obtain a representative sample
from more organisations in different geographical areas. Measures with few items are more
prone to unreliability than summated measures with greater no. of items (Spector,1992). A
further research can be done to compare the perceived organizational support among public
& private sector manager & its impact on the level of stress & overall satisfaction.
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