Does the Motivational Orientation Matter? A Regulatory Focus Perspective on Work-Life Enrichment and Work-Life Conflict

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Abstract

The aim of this article was to examine the role of employees’ motivational orientation for work-life enrichment (WLE) and conflict (WLC). On the basis of the Work-Home-Resources Theory and Regulatory Focus Theory we conducted 2 cross-sectional studies (n1 = 202, n2 = 199). We hypothesized that a promotion orientation (toward personal growth and success) indirectly goes along with higher levels of WLE through work-related stress. We assumed that a prevention orientation (toward the prevention of losses and failure) is indirectly associated with higher levels of WLC through work-related stress. Simple mediation analyses partly supported our hypotheses. Higher levels of promotion focus went along with higher levels of WLE. Higher levels of prevention focus were associated with higher levels of WLC. Although we found an indirect effect of regulatory focus on WLE and WLC through emotional stress, we did not find one for cognitive stress. This project contributes to a deeper understanding of what fosters WLE and WLC and adds a new motivational perspective for work-life research. Our results can also be taken into account in practice for the development of organizational work-life policies or interventions.

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