Purpose: Surprisingly, most studies have failed to demonstrate a strong correlation between organizational constraints (conditions at work that make doing a job difficult) and job performance. The purpose of this paper is to challenge the view that constraints are a direct barrier on performance and take an alternative approach whereby constraints have an indirect effect via decreased motivation and increased workload. Further, differential effects of various constraints are examined. Design/methodology/approach: Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from 660 engineers licensed in the state of Florida using a single online survey. Findings: Qualitative results showed that the most commonly experienced constraints were from coworkers and organizational rules and procedures. Constraints identified as having a greater detrimental effect on motivation are from the supervisor, and organizational rules and procedures. Quantitative results supported an indirect effects model that includes an indirect path via motivation, and a path via workload, which had a curvilinear component. Originality/value: This is one of few studies to explain the relationship between constraints and performance, rather than simply estimate it. The use of mixed methods allows us to gain an in-depth understanding of constraints, and the convergence of findings across the methods increases confidence in this study’s results.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2019, Shani Pindek, David J. Howard, Alexandra Krajcevska and Paul E. Spector.
- Job demands
- Job performance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Applied Psychology
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management