ORIENTATION: Job characteristics are well accepted as sources of burnout and engagement amongst employees; psychosocial safety climate may precede work conditions. RESEARCH PURPOSE: We expanded the Job Demands and Resources (JD-R) model by proposing psychosocial safety climate (PSC) as a precursor to job demands and job resources. As PSC theoretically influences the working environment, the study hypothesized that PSC has an impact on performance via both health erosion (i.e. burnout) and motivational pathways (i.e. work engagement). MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: So far, integration of PSC in the JD-R model is only tested in a Western context (i.e. Australia). We tested the emerging construct of PSC in Malaysia, an Eastern developing country in the Asian region. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: A random population based sample was derived using household maps provided by Department of Statistics, Malaysia; 291 employees (response rate 50.52%) from the State of Selangor, Malaysia participated. Cross-sectional data were analysed using structural equation modelling. MAIN FINDINGS: We found that PSC was negatively related to job demands and positively related to job resources. Job demands, in turn, predicted burnout (i.e. exhaustion and cynicism), whereas job resources predicted engagement. Both burnout and engagement were associated with performance. Bootstrapping showed significant indirect effects of PSC on burnout via job demands, PSC on performance via burnout and PSC on performance via the resources-engagement pathway. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Our findings are consistent with previous research that suggests that PSC should be a target to improve working conditions and in turn reduce burnout and improve engagement and productivity. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: These findings suggest that JD-R theory may be expanded to include PSC as an antecedent and that the expanded JD-R model is largely valid in an Eastern, developing economy setting.Mohd A. Idris, Maureen F. Dollard and Anthony H. Winefiel
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