Role stressors and employee deviance: the moderating effect of social support

Su Fen Chiu, Shih Pin Yeh, Tun-Chun Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose-The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationships among role stressors, social support, and employee deviance. Specifically, this study explores the relationships of role stressors (i.e. role conflict, role ambiguity, and role overload) to interpersonal and organisational employee deviance. Furthermore, this study examines the moderating role of social support (from supervisors and coworkers) on the above relationships. Design/methodology/approach-Data were collected from 326 paired samples of sales and customer service employees as well as their immediate supervisors in Taiwan. Findings-Role conflict had a positive relationship with both organisational and interpersonal deviance. Role ambiguity was positively, while role overload was negatively related to organisational deviance, respectively. Role ambiguity was more strongly related to organisational than to interpersonal deviance. Coworker support had a significant moderating effect on the role overload-interpersonal deviance relationship. Practical implications-Organisations may implement policies and programs, such as clarification of job responsibility, provision of performance feedback and training in stress coping techniques, to lessen the negative effect of role conflict, and role ambiguity on employee deviance. Originality/value-This study contributes to the literature in several ways. First, this study extends prior research on stressor-performance relationship by investigating the effect of role stressors on two forms of employee deviance (interpersonal deviance and organisational deviance) in a collectivist cultural context (i.e. Taiwan). Second, this study demonstrates that work-related characteristics (e.g. role stressors) have different degrees of effect on interpersonal and organisational deviance. Third, this research offers explanations on why there is little support for the moderating effect of social support on the stressor-deviance relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-324
Number of pages17
JournalPersonnel Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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