Employee responsibility – Conceptualization, validation, determinants, and outcomes

Sammanfattning: The term 'personal responsibility' is frequently found in organizational research and heard in daily life. In the literature, the term 'responsibility' is used inconsistently, ambiguosly, and variously. As a result, some researchers describe 'responsibility' as 'an essentially contested' notion and a 'container' concept. This study explores the meanings of 'personal responsibility', proposes a cohesive, multidimensional conceptualization of the term, and applies this new conceptualization in an organizational context. Using Mokken scaling and exploratory factor analysis to investigate the responses from 677 individuals at a Swedish multinational organization, the study finds that the three concepts of 'personal initiative' (agency), accountability, and obligation comprise a new construct designated 'Employee Responsibility'. The study tests fourteen hypothesis using hierarchical regression analysis to investigate how certain job characteristics influence 'Employee Responsibility' dimensions and to test how these dimensions influence four work-related outcomes in two occupational categories, namely, managers and non-managers. The results indicate that certain job characteristics have a direct effect on the three dimensions, and one job characteristic has a mediated effect on one dimension. The results also indicate that the dimensions have a direct, a mediated, or a moderated influence on certain work-related outcomes. Variations exists between the two occupational categories in the detection and the shape of these relationships.

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