Unequal Opportunity: An Investigation of Workplace Harassment and its Effects on Emotional Exhaustion through Perceived Organizational Support
King, William 1985-
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Workplace discrimination and strain are both linked to decreased job performance, diminished commitment, and reduced organizational citizenship behaviors (Cropanzano, Rupp & Byrne, 2003; Goldman, Gutek, Stein, & Lewis, 2006). Together, they cost U.S. employers over a billion dollars per day (American Institute of Stress, 2012; Center for American Progress, 2012). Surprisingly, despite these high costs and associations with important organizational factors, little is known about how the two constructs are related. Thus, whereas research suggests that individuals who directly experience harassment are prone to some forms of strain (e.g., Goldman et al., 2006), there is a paucity of empirical investigations that examine the impact of workplace discrimination on burnout among individuals who simply work in environments where harassment is present. In order to fill this gap, I apply the Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) model (e.g., Schaufeli & Bakker, 2004) to explore the potential mediating role of perceived organizational support (POS; Eisenberger, Huntington, Hutchinson, & Sowa, 1986) in conjunction with the buffering capability of personal resources. Results supported the majority of predictions by indicating that: (1) EO climate was significantly positively related to emotional exhaustion and (2) POS mediated the relationship between EO climate and exhaustion.