Organizational constraints: a meta-analysis of a major stressor

Shani Pindek, Paul E. Spector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The stressor organizational constraints, reflecting aspects of the work environment that inhibit or interfere with an individual's performance of job tasks, is prevalent in the workplace. This meta-analysis summarizes findings concerning the relationships of organizational constraints with other variables. Using five search methods, we located 84 research reports that provided data from 119 independent samples that contained 33,998 employed individuals. Fitting a stressor–strain framework, constraints had significant relationships with behavioural (counterproductive work behaviour), physical (somatic symptoms), and psychological (e.g. emotions and job dissatisfaction) strains and with well-being variables. Relationships were also found with all other work environment variables, and most personal characteristics (demographics and personality) except for gender. Moreover, a series of regression and relative weights analyses based on meta-analytic correlations showed that constraints had a unique contribution to strain beyond other stressors. The current meta-analysis shows that many commonly studied variables are related to organizational constraints, and it should more often be the centre of empirical research and theoretical development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-25
Number of pages19
JournalWork and Stress
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis.


  • Organizational constraints
  • counterproductive work behaviour
  • hindrance stressors
  • job stress
  • meta-analysis
  • regression
  • situational constraints

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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