Date of Award

May 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Member

Robert R Sinclair

Committee Member

Mary Anne Taylor

Committee Member

Patrick J Rosopa

Committee Member

Thomas Britt


The annual cost of work stress is estimated at $187 billion, a cost to both organizations and employees. In light of this figure, research on stress and its’ impact on health and productivity has resulted in a number of models of work stress. Conservation of Resources theory is one such model. Conservation of Resources theory identifies patterns of movement for resources and the associated stress outcomes, however one such pattern, loss spirals, is undertested in organizational research as there are methodological challenges that must be overcome to effectively test for loss spirals (Hobfoll, 1989; Zapf, Dormann & Frese, 1996). This study sought to fill this gap in the literature by examining the resource loss process and the impact of loss spirals on health and burnout for employees. Specifically, three forms of resources were utilized in this study, perceived income adequacy, perceived organizational support and job autonomy. These resources were pooled to represent how an individual has multiple resources impacting them at one time. This study modeled loss spirals across three waves of data collection based on the practices described by Salanova (2010). With this, resources were measured over time and were hypothesized to become increasingly low while paired with an increased presence of negative health outcomes and burnout. However, results did not demonstrate a loss spiral, but did show a negative relationship between resources and outcomes (burnout and negative health). While not all hypotheses were supported, this dissertation provides additional support for the movement patterns of resources described in Conservation of Resources theory.



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