BACKGROUND: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity (VUCA) have found their way into international business vernacular as descriptors of the stressful modern business world. As stressors, VUCA are believed to be detrimental to employee wellbeing. PsyCap has garnered some attention as a positive psychological resource to cope with workplace stressors.
METHODS: We aimed to investigate the ability of PsyCap to buffer the stressors volatility (operationalized as frequency of change), uncertainty, complexity (operationalized as task variety, job complexity, and skill variety), and ambiguity. We collected a sample of 78 working adults in Germany and used moderation analysis to test if PsyCap can buffer the effects of VUCA on Emotional Exhaustion.
RESULTS: Results showed that PsyCap had a buffering influence on the effects of uncertainty (p≤.05), ambiguity (p≤.04), and job complexity (p≤.01) – but not on volatility, task variety, and skill variety.
CONCLUSIONS: Because of a strong and interesting interaction between PsyCap and Job Complexity, the findings in this study have implications for the challenge-hindrance stressor framework. Further analyses are underway to check the robustness of these findings longitudinally and to determine the directionality.