Help me if you can: Psychological distance and help-seeking intentions in employee–supervisor relations

Izhak Berkovich*, Ori Eyal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Social support at work is considered useful in treating job-related stress, and supervisors' emotional support has been found to be the most effective source of support at work. But an understanding of what elements make employees use supervisors as a source of emotional support is lacking. The present qualitative study included in-depth interviews with 24 teachers and 12 principals and a focus group with 12 school counsellors. The findings pointed at 2 groups of determinants of subordinates' intentions of asking socioemotional help from supervisors. The structural–organizational factors included low formalization structure, supportive and open work climate, shared goals, and manager's professional expertise; the dyadic factors included quality of relationship and demographic similarity. The determinants reflected different dimensions of psychological distance forming a close construal level that played a central part in employees' viewing the supervisor as an accessible socioemotional resource. The role of construal fit is discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)425-434
Number of pages10
JournalStress and Health
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords

  • help seeking
  • psychological distance
  • social support
  • work

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