Examination of supervisor assessments of employee work-life conflict, supervisor support, and subsequent outcomes
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Research in the work-life area has typically concerned individuals' assessments of their own conflict. The current study went beyond this by examining supervisor assessments of employee conflict and how they relate to the support given to employees. This support, traditionally measured using a unidimensional measure of support, was measured with a multidimensional measure that differentiates eight separate forms of support, including listening, emotional, emotional challenge, reality confirmation, task appreciation, task challenge, tangible assistance, and personal assistance support. Additionally, the amount of personal contact between the supervisor and the employee and the extent to which the supervisor likes the employee were examined as potential moderators of the relationship between supervisor assessments and the support given. Further, employee satisfaction with supervisor support, as well as the potential moderating role of the need for support on the relationship between the provided support and the employee's satisfaction with the support, were explored. Finally, employee satisfaction with the eight forms of support and subsequent outcomes (i.e., subsequent work-life conflict, job satisfaction, turnover intentions, organizational commitment, and job performance) as they relate to the provided support were examined. Data were collected from 114 pairs of employees and supervisors. Employees were assessed at two time periods two weeks apart whereas supervisors were assessed at one time period, within five days of the employee's first time period. Results showed that supervisor assessments of employee work-life conflict were either unrelated or negatively related to the eight forms of support. Additionally, it appears that when supervisors perceived employees as having a high degree of work-to-life conflict, they provided relatively high and relatively equal amounts of emotional challenge and reality confirmation support to employees regardless of how much they liked them. When supervisors perceived employee work-to-life conflict as being low, however, they provided significantly more emotional challenge and reality confirmation support when they liked the employee as opposed to when they did not like the employee. Furthermore, the relationship between emotional challenge support and job satisfaction was mediated by satisfaction with emotional challenge support, the relationship between task appreciation support and affective commitment was mediated by satisfaction with task appreciation support, and the relationship between task appreciation support and job satisfaction was mediated by satisfaction with task appreciation support. Finally, when emotional challenge support was provided, greater levels of support led to greater employee satisfaction, especially if there was a need for the support. However, when reality confirmation support was provided, employees were less satisfied with the support when a large amount of support was provided and the employees' need for support was low.
Youngcourt, Satoris Sabrina (2005). Examination of supervisor assessments of employee work-life conflict, supervisor support, and subsequent outcomes. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from