Date of this Version


Document Type

Discussion Paper

Publication Details

James B. Shaw, Mitchell W. Fields, James W. Thacker, Cynthia D. Fisher (1991) The Availability of Personal and External Coping Resources: Their Impact on Job Stress and Employee Attitudes During Organizational Restructuring

School of Business Discussion Paper ; No. 15, Dec. 1991

Revised 2nd ed. available here

© Copyright James B. Shaw, Mitchell W. Fields, James W. Thacker, Cynthia D. Fisher and the School of Business, Bond University


This study examined the relationships among personal coping resources, social support, external coping resources, job stressors and job strains in a sample of 110 American Telephone & Telegraph employees undergoing a major organizational restructuring. The study expanded on a model suggested by Ashford (1988) by defining another category of coping resources that employees may draw upon to deal with the stressors and strains which occur during major organizational changes.

External coping resources were defined as those which provided employees with a sense of "vicarious control" in stressful situations. Results indicated that personal coping resources, social support, and external coping resources had a direct effect upon job stressor and strain levels. No "buffering" effect of these coping resources was found. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that external coping resources added to the prediction of job stressors and strains even when personal coping resources and social support were entered first into the prediction equations.