Coping processes linking the demands-control-support model, affect and risky decisions at work

Kevin Daniels, Nick Beesley, Alistair Cheyne, Varuni Wimalasiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


As a model of job design, the demands-control-support model (DCSM) indicates that dynamic processes involving individual agency underpin the effects of job characteristics. Specifically, the DCSM indicates that control and social support facilitate effective coping with work demands. To examine such processes in detail, 32 nuclear design engineers participated in an experience sampling study (number of observations = 456). Findings indicate that enacting problem-focused coping by control and support across situations may be beneficial for affect. Problem-focused coping enacted by control was also related to fewer decisions that bear risks to design safety. Although higher levels of risky decisions were related to consistent use of emotional-approach enacted by control coping across situations, this form of coping used in specific demanding episodes was related to less cognitive error and fewer risky decisions two hours later. Emotional-approach enacted through support in specific episodes had a mixed pattern of relationships with outcomes. Theoretically, the findings indicate the importance of understanding the purpose for which job characteristics are enacted. Practically, the findings indicate the importance of shaping both problem-solving and emotional processes alongside job redesign.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-874
Number of pages30
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008


  • Coping
  • Demands-control-support model
  • job characteristics
  • Job design
  • Risk
  • Safety
  • well-being

Cite this