Employee to leader crossover of workload and physical strain.

Shani Pindek, Lorenzo Lucianetti, Stacey R. Kessler, Paul E. Spector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most stress research focuses on the effect of workplace stressors on frontline employees. However, less research has focused on how employees affect leaders’ stress. The purpose of this study is to highlight an important yet neglected type of stressor crossover: from employees to their leader. The current study used multisource data (i.e., subordinate and leader) from 588 employees working in 164 groups in Italy. Results indicated that subordinates’ workloads were associated with their leaders’ workload both directly and indirectly via subordinates’ physical strain. The leaders’ workload then related to their own physical strain. This study has implications for understanding the stressful role of managing subordinates and can inform practitioners interested in improving leaders’ well-being. This is one of the first studies to address how subordinates’ stressors contributes to their leaders’ stressors, and the use of a multisource multilevel design helps overcome concerns of common method bias and increases our confidence in the results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-334
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Stress Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Psychological Association


  • employees
  • leadership
  • multilevel modeling
  • physical strain
  • work stress
  • workload

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Business, Management and Accounting (all)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychology (all)


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