Misfit of organizational and personal work standards and its longitudinal effect on physicians' depressiveness

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Abstract

The misfit of organizational and personal work standards and its relationship to health is an issue that has rarely been investigated in hospital physicians. In particular, compensatory factors for the negative effects of a misfit of organizational and personal work standards remain unknown. Our longitudinal study investigated whether autonomous experiences at work and during leisure time compensate for the effects of a misfit of organizational and personal work standards on depressive complaints. Data were collected through surveys of German hospital physicians. Two surveys were conducted with a time lag of 12 months. One hundred sixty-one physicians participated in both surveys. To test our hypothesis, we used path analysis and controlled for autoregressive effects. The results confirmed that a misfit of organizational and personal work standards affects depressive complaints over a 12-month period. Additionally, leisure autonomy compensates for the negative effects of misfit. Contrary to that, high levels of job autonomy were found to intensify the effects of a misfit of organizational and personal work standards. Our findings support previous research assumptions that job autonomy has the potential to add to stress. Hospitals must ensure that physicians can adequately use their job autonomy.

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