This study tests a central theoretical assumption of stress process and job strain models, namely that increases in employees’ control and support at work should promote well-being. To do so, we use a group-randomized field trial with longitudinal data from 867 information technology (IT) workers to investigate the well-being effects of STAR, an organizational intervention designed to promote greater employee control over work time and greater supervisor support for workers’ personal lives. We also offer a unique analysis of an unexpected field effect—a company merger—among workers surveyed earlier versus later in the study period, before or after the merger announcement. We find few STAR effects for the latter group, but over 12 months, STAR reduced burnout, perceived stress, and psychological distress, and increased job satisfaction, for the early survey group. STAR effects are partially mediated by increases in schedule control and declines in family-to-work conflict and burnout (an outcome and mediator) by six months. Moderating effects show that STAR benefits women in reducing psychological distress and perceived stress, and increases non-supervisory employees’ job satisfaction. This study demonstrates, with a rigorous design, that organizational-level initiatives can promote employee well-being.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was conducted as part of the Work, Family and Health Network (http://www.WorkFamilyHealthNetwork. org), which is funded by a cooperative agreement through the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Grant # U01HD051217, U01HD051218, U01HD051256, U01HD051276), National Institute on Aging (Grant # U01AG027669), Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Grant # U01OH008788, U01HD059773). Grants from the University of Minnesota?s College of Liberal Arts, McKnight Foundation, William T. Grant Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Administration for Children and Families provided additional funding. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of these institutes and offices.
© 2016, American Sociological Association 2016.
- organizational intervention
- subjective well-being