CHAPTER 9The Role of Job Control in Employee Health and Well-Being

Paul E. Spector

Department of Psychology, University of South Florida, USA

Research over the past few decades has established a clear link between control in its various forms at work and health, both physical and psychological. Much of the work on control has viewed it as a major component in the job stress process in which exposure to stressful conditions at work can adversely affect employee physical health and emotional well-being. Control variables play a prominent role in the job stress process. Control affects how people view their work environment, and it may serve to buffer the emotional impact of that environment. Furthermore, control can affect people’s behavioural coping responses to workplace stressors. Less attention has been paid to other effects of control that may have little to do with stressful job conditions. Specifically, control might play a role in accidents and injuries in the workplace, perhaps by having an influence on people’s exposure to unhealthy work conditions, or their safety-related behaviour.

Control is the extent to which individuals are able to influence their environment. In the workplace an employee can have control over many different aspects of the job, such as when and where to work, and how to perform job tasks. Other forms of control have to do with being able to influence how others will do their jobs. Although there are objective features of the work environment that ...

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