TESTING RECIPROCAL RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN WORK PRESSURE, WORK-HOME CONFLICT AND EXHAUSTION: A THREE-WAVE STUDY
Demerouti, E. and Bakker , A.B., Utrecht University and Bulters, A.J., HCMG Human Capital Management Group, Netherlands
This study was carried out to examine the reciprocal relationships between work pressure, work-home conflict and exhaustion. According to our negative spiral hypothesis, we predicted that work pressure would have a direct and indirect effect on exhaustion (through work-home interference), and that exhaustion, in turn, would have an impact on work pressure over time. Results of structural equation analyses using 3 waves of data obtained from 335 employees working in different districts of an employment agency were partly in line with our hypothesis. It was found that, over time, work pressure contributes to exhaustion and that exhaustion in its turn leads to increased work pressure. In addition, T1 work-home conflict was a causal determinant of T2 and T3 exhaustion, whereas T1 exhaustion was a determinant of work-home conflict at time 2 and time 3. These empirical findings suggest that common theoretical models postulating the causal chain of work pressure ( conflict between work and home ( exhaustion are inadequate. More elaborated models including reciprocal relationships between work characteristics, work-home interference and feelings of exhaustion seem to be more appropriate.