Job demands, job resources, and work engagement of Japanese employees: a prospective cohort study

Akiomi Inoue, Norito Kawakami, Kanami Tsuno, Akihito Shimazu, Kimiko Tomioka, Mayuko Nakanishi
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 2013, 86 (4): 441-9

PURPOSE: Research on the prospective association of job demands and job resources with work engagement is still limited in Asian countries, such as Japan. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the prospective association of job demands (i.e., psychological demands and extrinsic effort) and job resources (i.e., decision latitude, supervisor support, co-worker support, and extrinsic reward), based on the job demands-control (JD-C) [or demand-control-support (DCS)] model and the effort-reward imbalance (ERI) model, with work engagement among Japanese employees.

METHODS: The participants included 423 males and 672 females from five branches of a manufacturing company in Japan. Self-administered questionnaires, including the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ), the Effort-Reward Imbalance Questionnaire (ERIQ), the nine-item Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES-9), and demographic characteristics, were administered at baseline (August 2009). At one-year follow-up (August 2010), the UWES-9 was used again to assess work engagement. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted.

RESULTS: After adjusting for demographic characteristics and work engagement at baseline, higher psychological demands and decision latitude were positively and significantly associated with greater work engagement at follow-up (β = 0.054, p = 0.020 for psychological demands and β = 0.061, p = 0.020 for decision latitude).

CONCLUSIONS: Having higher psychological demands and decision latitude may enhance work engagement among Japanese employees.

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