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Promotion- and Prevention-Focused Coping: A Meta- Analytic Examination of Regulatory Strategies in the Work Stress Process

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Abstract

We provide a meta-analytic examination of the regulatory strategies that employees adopt to cope with different types of stressors in the workplace and how these strategies are linked to work and personal outcomes. Drawing from regulatory focus theory, we introduce a new taxonomy of promotion- and prevention-focused coping that complements the traditional taxonomy of problem- and emotion-focused coping in the transactional theory of stress. In addition, we propose that challenge stressors tend to evoke promotion-focused coping, whereas hindrance stressors tend to evoke prevention-focused coping. As a pair of important coping mechanisms in the work stress process, promotion-focused coping is positively related to employees' job performance, job attitudes, and personal well-being, whereas prevention-focused coping is negatively related to these outcomes. We conducted an original meta-analysis of coping strategies in the workplace and tested the hypotheses with 550 effect sizes drawn from 156 samples that involved a total of 75,344 employees. We also tested the tenability of the proposed stressor-coping-outcome processes using meta-analytic path models and further examined the robustness of these models using full-information bootstrapping technique. The results converge to show that promotion- and prevention-focused coping serve as important intervening mechanisms that account for the relationships between work stressors and individual outcomes.

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... We come up with a few interesting questions for future studies to explore. Recent studies suggest that in addition to stressor appraisal, the self-regulation process is another important route through which job stressors affect work outcomes (Zhang, Zhang, Ng, & Lam, 2019). On top of investigating how employees appraise workflow interruptions, it will be insightful to examine how workflow interruptions influence employees' self-regulation, such as promotion focus and prevention focus, and how the different regulation strategies make a difference in employee outcomes. ...
... Perhaps, workflow interruptions may inhibit promotion focus (i.e., tendencies toward approaching personal gains) but elicit prevention focus (i.e., tendencies toward avoiding personal loss). Because self-regulation has significant implications for emotion, motivation, and behavior (Koopmann et al., 2019;Zhang et al., 2019), it may offer extra insights in explaining employees' psychological and behavioral responses to workflow interruptions. Furthermore, the current study focused on work outcomes of those being interrupted. ...
... Previous studies have shown that challenge stressors play a positive role in job performance, job attitudes, and personal well-being, while hindrance stressors suppress these positive perceptions and behaviors [5,10]. In addition, Hong et al.(2013) took hotel employees and their direct supervisors as the research objects, and found that challenge stressors had a significant positive impact on employee creativity, while hindrance stressors had a significant negative impact on employee creativity [11]. ...
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Based on the challenge-hindrance stressors framework and regulatory focus theory, this study explored the mediating role of promotion focus between challenge stressors and employee creativity, and the mediating role of prevention focus between hindrance stressors and creativity. In addition, we further explored the moderating role of proactive personality in this model. In the end, we discuss implications and limitations of our argument for theory and practices.
... By contrast, avoidance coping involves strategies aimed at evading the source(s) of stress (see Skinner, Edge, Altman, & Sherwood, 2003). Problem-focused coping is generally more effective at alleviating stress, because these strategies reduce levels of stress by proactively dealing with the stressors encountered by athletes (Nicholls, Taylor, et al., 2016;Zhang, Zhang, Ng, & Lam, 2019). The effectiveness of avoidance coping in reducing stress is more complex. ...
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... The motivational potential of hope results in workers with high hopes to take advantage of opportunities at work and effectively respond to any work challenges, to achieve career success and happiness. In line with the existing findings suggesting that coping with change is positively correlated with work attitudes (Zhang, Zhang, Ng, & Lam, 2019), we expected those who adapted to the environment more successfully to be more satisfied. Therefore, positive traits such as self-esteem and selfefficacy are highly correlated with hope (Cai et al., 2015;Snyder et al., 2002) as predictors of job satisfaction (Chang, Li, Wu, & Wang, 2010). ...
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In today’s world of excessive burnout and turnover, it is essential to understand how job satisfaction can be improved in workers. Few studies have investigated the association between proactive personality and job satisfaction in the Chinese context. This study aims to examine this association and the mediating role of social support and hope in this association. Participants for this study were workers from petroleum mining areas in Northeast China (n = 590). Data were collected by administering a self-reported electronic questionnaire. Regression analysis was used to test the proposed model. The results revealed that after controlling for gender and age, proactive personality significantly predicts job satisfaction. Proactive personality also predicted job satisfaction through social support and hope independently and sequentially. These findings show the effect of proactive personality traits on workers’ job satisfaction. Thus, understanding the personality characteristics of the workers and the work environmental factors will aid in improving their job satisfaction.
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Chapter
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Chapter
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Using the regulatory-focus theory (i.e. promotion- and prevention-focused concepts), the research investigates shoppers' positive/negative coping behaviours and segmentation linked to COVID-19. Supported by an online survey with 213 shoppers conducted after the first national lockdown (March 2020), factor analysis identified a set of four shopping factors meaningful to profile shoppers’ coping behaviours and segmentation. Positive coping is represented by quality-, price- and brand-focused shopping factors, whereas negative coping is represented by store-focused. The resultant three shopper segments are known as the mindful shopper (positive and negative coping), and the indulgent and the optimal shoppers (more positive coping).
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In this study, we examined the relationship continuity between parent–child relationships and friendships. Based on the theoretical framework of the internal working model, the study aimed to investigate the mediating role of regulatory focus in the relationship between adult children’s perceptions of parenting styles and friendship intimacy in the Chinese cultural context. The sample included 400 emerging adults aged 18–25 years from Taiwan. Using structural equation modeling, we found that both perceived authoritative and authoritarian parenting styles directly contributed to intimacy in emerging adults’ friendships—authoritative parenting contributed to higher levels of friendship intimacy, whereas authoritarian parenting contributed to lower levels of friendship intimacy. Authoritative parenting was positively associated with both promotion and prevention focus, and authoritarian parenting was positively associated with prevention regulatory focus. Only promotion regulatory focus was positively linked to friendship intimacy. Moreover, authoritative parenting was found to indirectly contribute to higher friendship intimacy through the mediating effect of promotion regulatory focus. These results expanded our understanding of regulatory focus theory in the field of intimate relations and explained how regulatory focus plays a role in the underlying mechanisms of the relationship between perceived parenting and emerging adult friendship intimacy.
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Utilizing conservation of resources (COR) theory and social exchange theory (SET), we argue that supervisors influence employee performance through two opposing means. First, supervisor-induced hindrance stressors enhance the degree to which employees seek to conserve psychological resources by engaging in job neglect in response to these stressors. This neglect negatively influences task performance and organizational citizenship behavior. Next, we argue that supervisors who create high-quality leader-member exchange (LMX) with subordinates via social exchange processes influence this hindrance stressor–neglect relationship by reducing the impact of these stressors on employee neglect and subsequent employee performance. As such, both the negative and positive aspects of the relationship between supervisors and employees influence neglectful behaviors and ultimately, employee performance. Using time-lagged, multisource data collection, we establish that these relationships have a theoretical and practical impact, demonstrating the interactive influence of supervisor-induced hindrance stressors and LMX in the workplace.
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