Need Satisfaction at Work, Job Strain, and Performance: A Diary Study

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Abstract

We performed a daily diary study to examine the mediating role of autonomy need satisfaction and competence need satisfaction in the relationships between job characteristics (i.e., job resources, challenge and hindrance demands) and strain and performance. For 10 consecutive working days, 194 employees reported on their daily job resources, challenge and hindrance demands, task performance, strain level, and satisfaction of the needs for competence and autonomy. Multilevel path modeling demonstrated that the within-person relationships between job resources, challenge and hindrance demands, and strain are mediated by autonomy need satisfaction, but not by competence need satisfaction. However, the relationships between job resources and hindrance demands, and performance are mediated by both competence and autonomy need satisfaction. Our findings show that organizations may benefit from designing jobs that provide employees with the opportunity to satisfy their basic needs for competence and autonomy.

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