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Brianna Barker Caza May Meaning Meeting 2008. Exploring the connection between Work Orientation and Resilience. Background. Stemmed from an observation from my dissertation work on certified nurse-midwives Brewed in my conversations with others doing similar work in other contexts

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Brianna Barker Caza

May Meaning Meeting 2008

Exploring the connection between Work Orientation and Resilience


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Background

  • Stemmed from an observation from my dissertation work on certified nurse-midwives

  • Brewed in my conversations with others doing similar work in other contexts

  • Hoping to address these issues further in two future studies


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Goals of this Presentation

  • Present some very preliminary ideas

  • Talk about two different contexts in which to study them

  • Get YOUR feedback

    • Interrupt whenever!


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Research Question

What is the relationship between work orientation and resilience at work?

(and between perceived meaningfulness of work and resilience)


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Resilience at Work

Resilience is dynamic process of positive adaptation after experiences of adversity (Luthar, Chicchetti, & Becker, 2000).

Resilience at work is an individual’s ability to continue on a positive developmental trajectory in the face of adversity; characterized by demonstrated competence in the context of adversity, professional growth, and the ability to handle future challenges


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Resilience at Work

Resilience involves three abilities:

  • the ability to absorb strain and preserve (or improve) functioning despite the presence of adversity (both internal adversity-such as rapid change, lousy leadership, performance and production pressures-and external adversity--such as increasing competition and demands from stakeholders);

  • an ability to recover or bounce back from untoward events. As the system becomes better able to absorb a surprise and stretch rather than collapse, the 'brutality' of an audit decreases

  • an ability to learn and grow from previous episodes of resilient action.

    From: Weickand Sutcliffe. (2007). Managing the Unexpected: Resilient Performance in an Age of Uncertainty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. (p. 71)


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Resilience and Meaning

  • Survey of 220 CNMs testing a model of identity-based resilience at work.

    • Predicted perceived meaningfulness of work to be key mechanism of resilience

    • Controlled for work orientation, but did not explore it’s impact directly

      • Expected that individuals with a calling orientation would be more likely to show resilience at work


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Meaningfulness & W.O.

  • Perceived Meaningfulness of work: individual’s sense of purpose of their work

  • Work Orientation

    • Job - individual is primarily concerned with the financial rewards of work**

    • Career - individual is focused on advancing within the occupational structure

    • Calling - individual works not for financial gain or career advancement, but instead for the sense of fulfillment that the work brings**



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Survey Findings the three dvs)

  • Perceived meaningfulness was significantly associated with reduced burnout but NOT associated with resilience at work

  • Addition of work orientation as a control did not change any of the relationships between model variables (whew), but did account for an bit of variance in resilience at work

    • However, the direction of the relationship was different than expected. Specifically, individuals with calling orientations reported less resilience in the face of critical workplace adversities.


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NS the three dvs)

-

**Controlled for Work Orientation


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Why? the three dvs)

  • Why would perceived meaningfulness of work NOT be associated with resilience at work (but is associated with reduced burnout)?

    • Is there an indirect relationship? Helps you avoid dysfunctional behaviors but not necessarily promote functional behavior?

  • Why would one’s orientation toward their work as calling lead to lowered functioning in the face of adversity?


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    Working Assumption the three dvs)

    Individual Functioning

    (Burnout/ Resilience)

    Work Orientation

    (Job vs. Calling)

    Perceived Meaningfulness of work

    **Note: I am assuming that reporting a calling orientation is associated with increased perceived meaning in one’s work.


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    Insights from Qualitative Data the three dvs)

    • CNMs who talked about going into midwifery as a calling, had a harder time adjusting to unexpected setbacks.

    • “If I were not going to retire in a few more years, I would leave. In fact, I never would have gotten into it. This is not what I thought I would be doing when I dreamed of catching babies.”

    • “This field is not what it what it when I first got into it. It has changed, and it is hard to watch something you love disintegrate.”


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    Insights, cont. (2) the three dvs)

    • CNMs who did not talk about going into midwifery as a calling seemed more flexible about making changes to adapt to their context.

    • “I think in the beginning I was concerned about making concessions and I was gonna change the world and then somewhere along the way I realized there are some people who don’t want that kind of experience, they do not want to have a home birth, they do not want to have an unmedicated birth, and that does not mean they should not be advocated and supported as well. …Ultimately I ended up working in the inner city for a number of years and it was pretty far cry from the midwifery I was trained for. I was working with inner city girls, but at the same time, nobody screams needing a midwife than a fifteen year old homeless girl. So it’s a different kind of midwifery that I just did not know existed until I became one.”


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    Insights, cont. (3) the three dvs)

    • Not ALL the CNMs who talked about their work as a calling showed decreased resilience in the face of adversity. In fact, some talked about it as a reason for their positive functioning in the face of hardships:

    • “I do this work because it was what I was made to do. And so, even when I have a week full of sleepless nights, thankless patients, and hard labors, I still look forward to each and every birth.”


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    What is the relationship? the three dvs)

    • Complicated relationship; not a clear cut direct relationship

      • Calling orientations seem to both exacerbate and ameliorate individuals’ reactions to adversity

    • MAYBE there is an indirect relationship:

      • Individuals with different work orientations use different tactics in reacting) to adversities

      • Interaction: different tactics work differently for people with different work orientations


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    Work Orientation the three dvs)

    Negative Event

    Coping Tactics

    Individual Functioning

    (Resilience)


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    Tactics the three dvs)

    • Cognitive, affective or behavioral actions individuals take in response to a stressor

    • To demonstrate resilience, these tactics should:

      • allow individuals to absorb strain and preserve (or improve) functioning despite the presence of adversity)

      • Lead individuals to bounce back from untoward events quickly and easily.

      • Allow individuals to learn and grow from previous episodes of resilient action, so that they can better respond in the future


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    Context 1: the three dvs)Interprofessional Relationships

    • General purpose: Study of conflict management between nurses and physicians in a Midwestern hospital system (design and test intervention)

    • My part: Want to understand how individuals react (cognitively, affectively, and behaviorally) to these instances of conflict, and the impact of various individual factors (e.g., work orientation)

    • Methods: Context very open to access (as of now). Plan to use diary/journaling, interviews, and surveys

      **with A. Avgar & L. Wang**


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    Tactics for Resilience in the Face of Conflict the three dvs)

    • Cognitive: Cognitive reframing, attributions

    • Behavioral: Utilizing social support networks, confronting individual, avoidance, filing a complaint

    • Affective: effective management of emotions (having a mix of positive and negative emotions)


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    Context 2: PGA “Q-School” the three dvs)

    • General purpose: To understand how golfers demonstrate resilience during the PGA tour qualifying tournament, and the tactics they use in each of these situations

      • Short-term (bad shot/round)

      • Long-term (between tournaments)

    • This study: Understand the specific tactics (cognitive, affective, social, and behavioral) individuals use for both short and long-term resilience, and how work orientation impacts the use of these tactics.

    • Methods: Pre/Post Survey; Interviews; Observation. (Access unknown)

      **with G. Northcraft**


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    Q-School the three dvs)

    • One of the most intense and important events in a golfer’s life

    • “It launches the careers of future legends and serves crushing blows to past stars looking for one more chance. Every fall, more than a thousand veterans and talented hopefuls sweat through three phases of hell in the Q school, as the tournament is universally known, vying for the 30 slots available on the PGA Tour.  It is a test all but a handful of the most brilliant players have to endure, and it's not just another tournament in which a player can try again next week if he misses the cut. At Q school, a bad round or the wrong mind-set means you're out for the year.”


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    Context 2: PGA “Q-School” the three dvs)

    • General purpose: To understand how golfers demonstrate resilience during the PGA tour qualifying tournament, and the tactics they use in each of these situations

      • Short-term (bad shot/round)

      • Long-term (between tournaments)

    • This study: Understand the specific tactics (cognitive, affective, social, and behavioral) individuals use for both short and long-term resilience, and how work orientation impacts the use of these tactics.

    • Methods: Pre/Post Survey; Interviews; Observation. (Access unknown)

      **with G. Northcraft**


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    Tactics used in PGA the three dvs)

    • Short-term (in tournament):

      • Focus on their strengths

      • Attribute their mistakes to situational variables

      • Surround themselves with individuals who will provide encouraging and optimistic comments.

      • Maintain positive affective state

      • This leads to increased self-efficacy and psychological hardiness, which will be key in cultivating resilience short-term


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    Tactics used in PGA the three dvs)

    • Long-term (between tournaments):

      • Adopt a learning orientation ; focus on improving weaknesses

      • Internal attributions of mistakes/errors

      • Surround self with individuals who will provide critical feedback (instrumental social support)

      • Indulge both positive and negative affective states

      • This leads to a period of learning and growth, which will allow individuals to better demonstrate resilience long-term


    Context 2 pga q school27 l.jpg
    Context 2: PGA “Q-School” the three dvs)

    • General purpose: To understand how golfers demonstrate resilience during the PGA tour qualifying tournament, and the tactics they use in each of these situations

      • Short-term (bad shot/round)

      • Long-term (between tournaments)

    • This study: Understand the specific tactics (cognitive, affective, social, and behavioral) individuals use for both short and long-term resilience, and how work orientation impacts the use of these tactics.

    • Methods: Pre/Post Survey; Interviews; Observation. (Access unknown)

      **with G. Northcraft**


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    Summary of Projects the three dvs)


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    Questions for You the three dvs)

    • What do YOU think the relationship is between work orientation and/or perceived meaningfulness of work and individual functioning in the face of adversity?

    • Will these things impact preference for or effectiveness of certain tactics?

    • Are these useful questions to be asking?

    • Which context do you like? Which do you not like?

    • Any recommendations on how to study this?


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