Challenge or Hindrance? The Moderating Role of Stress Appraisals in Technostress
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With ICTs becoming more pervasive in the workplace, it is becoming increasingly important to understand the stress outcomes experienced by employees when working with these technologies. The term technostress has been coined to understand this experience. However, the mechanisms through which employees experience technostress remains a murky affair. In this paper, we incorporate the Transactional Model of Stress and Coping (TSMC) into the relationship between technodemands and technostress. Specifically, we hypothesise that technodemands will have a positive relationship with technostress and the ICT user’s appraisal of technodemands moderate the relationship between technodemands and technostress. We propose that a challenge appraisal has a buffering effect, while a hindrance appraisal has an enhancing effect on the technostress experienced by an ICT user. Three technodemands were selected in the study: quantitative demands, mental demands and role ambiguity. Data was collected from 188 participants who worked with ICTs to some extent in their jobs. Correlation and moderation analysis was used to test our hypotheses. Quantitative demands and role ambiguity were found to have a significant positive relationship with technostress. Moderate evidence was found to support the moderating roles of stress appraisals in the relationship between technodemands and technostress, particularly in the case of hindrance appraisals. Moderate support was found for an enhancing effect present when a hindrance appraisal is high for quantitative and mental demands, and for a buffering effect when a challenge appraisal is high for mental demands. Results will be discussed.