Background Research indicates that stressed managers could be harmful for employee wellbeing. Social capital is a construct to address the psychosocial work environment. To our knowledge no study has investigated the relationship between stressed managers and workplace social capital.
Objective This study examines the association between managers’ perceived job strain and workplace social capital.
Methods Population includes all employees in the Capital Region of Denmark in 2014 (n=37.720) nested within work units (n=2499). Information on the psychosocial work environment was obtained by a web-based questionnaire (response rate 84%). Work unit mangers reported job strain (high job demands/low job control) on a 7-item 5-point Likert scale. Social capital was reported by employees on an 8-item 5–7 point Likert scale and computed to an aggregated work unit score. The risk of employee rated social capital (lowest quartile) according to managers’ perceived job strain was examined by logistic regression adjusting for characteristics of managers (gender, age, occupation, seniority) and work units (size (weighted), gender ratio, mean age).
Preliminary results The risk of low work unit social capital increased when the manager reported higher levels of job strain: for each unit increase of job strain (scale 1–5), the adjusted risk of low work unit social capital increased by OR=1.72, CI 95% 1.65–1.79.
Conclusion Managers’ perception of job strain was strongly associated with independently measured workplace social capital. The direction of the causal pathway, if any, may be either way which points to a need for prospective studies and analyses of mediating and/or moderating factors.
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