The role of personal resources in the relationship between job stressors and emotional exhaustion

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Our study was designed to examine an individuals’ affective traits (i.e., dispositional affectivity and emotional intelligence) and job stressors (i.e., interpersonal conflicts, quantitative workload and organizational constraints) on emotional exhaustion. One hundred and fifty-three employees participated in our study. All of them worked in teams and their job required face-to-face contacts with clients. Our main hypothesis was that emotional intelligence acts as a moderator in the relationship between job stressors and emotional exhaustion. The results indicate that employees who report more interpersonal conflicts at work, greater quantitative workloads and greater organizational constraints also report more symptoms of emotional exhaustion. Moreover, the results show that all three stressors were significant as predictors of emotional exhaustion beyond the employee’s dispositional affectivity. The moderating effect of emotional intelligence was observed in the relationship between interpersonal conflicts at work and emotional exhaustion. The relationship between interpersonal conflicts and emotional exhaustion was observed only among employees who were low in emotional intelligence. In contrast, interpersonal conflicts and emotional exhaustion were unrelated among employees who were high in emotional intelligence. The results are discussed from the Job Demands–Resources model perspective.

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