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Reviewing the effort-reward imbalance model: drawing up the balance of 45 empirical studies

  • van Vegchel, Natasja
  • de Jonge, Jan
  • Bosma, Hans
  • Schaufeli, Wilmar
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    The present paper provides a review of 45 studies on the Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI) Model published from 1986 to 2003 (inclusive). In 1986, the ERI Model was introduced by Siegrist et al. (Biological and Psychological Factors in Cardiovascular Disease, Springer, Berlin, 1986, pp. 104-126; Social Science & Medicine 22 (1986) 247). The central tenet of the ERI Model is that an imbalance between (high) efforts and (low) rewards leads to (sustained) strain reactions. Besides efforts and rewards, overcommitment (i.e., a personality characteristic) is a crucial aspect of the model. Essentially, the ERI Model contains three main assumptions, which could be labeled as (1) the extrinsic ERI hypothesis: high efforts in combination with low rewards increase the risk of poor health, (2) the intrinsic overcommitment hypothesis: a high level of overcommitment may increase the risk of poor health, and (3) the interaction hypothesis: employees reporting an extrinsic ERI and a high level of overcommitment have an even higher risk of poor health. The review showed that the extrinsic ERI hypothesis has gained considerable empirical support. Results for overcommitment remain inconsistent and the moderating effect of overcommitment on the relation between ERI and employee health has been scarcely examined. Based on these review results suggestions for future research are proposed.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VBF-4D34HWS-1/2/71cd34dc5ca27176541657019a974d15
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 60 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 5 (March)
    Pages: 1117-1131

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:60:y:2005:i:5:p:1117-1131
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