The relationship of stress appraisal and personality with work performance
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This study examines the extent to which opportunity appraisal, threat appraisal, neuroticism and extraversion are related to job performance. It utilizes Schaufeli and Bakker’s (2004) Job Demand-Resource Model (JD-R model) to position the different variables in relation to each other. Two additional constructs also included in this research – work engagement and burnout – are based on this model. These constructs are measured with the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES) and the Utrecht Burnout Scale (UBOS-A), respectively. The Big Five Inventory assesses personality, the Individual Work Performance Questionnaire (IWPQ) gauges performance and a new questionnaire is constructed by the author to measure appraisal. Earlier research has indicated that work performance is dependent on the stress that an individual experiences in certain situations. And, stress levels seem to be dependent on the appraisal of a stressor and on individuals’ personalities. Therefore, it is argued that, rather than utilise the traditional categorisation of stressors as either hindrances or challenges, appraisals must be operationalized, and predispositions (such as personality) must be considered to explain performance. This study’s findings indicate that work engagement, opportunity appraisal and extraversion are related to job performance and mediate the impact on performance. However, burnout, threat appraisal and neuroticism do not seem to have a comparable influence. These results are partially in conflict with the findings of previous research. The contradictions may be due to differences in research settings or to the introduction of a new questionnaire to measure appraisal. Another explanation could be the fact that relationships between two study variables were often found for direct relations and not under consideration of a mediator.