CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



AbstractProject employees suffer increasing pressures brought by uncertainty, complexity, and temporality, especially in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry. Complicated by both need-related factors and stress-related factors, a variable-centered approach to test the main effects of stressors on employee well-being cannot detect distinct configurations that may lead to the same outcome. Combining self-determination theory (SDT) and conservation of resources theory (COR), our study investigated the configural impacts of job stressors and psychological needs on employee well-being in Chinese AEC projects. By collecting 265 questionnaires from 27 Chinese AEC projects, we conducted a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA), and found that (1) the combination of SDT and COR provides multiple equifinal configurations sufficient to produce high or low employee well-being, and SDT is more salient than COR for the interpretation of well-being in AEC projects; (2) counterintuitively, role overload and role conflict can be contributive to employee well-being when certain psychological needs are satisfied; role ambiguity needs to be avoided for its salient threats to well-being; and (3) need for relatedness is particularly salient in all configurations for employee well-being in Chinese culture. We also found evidence for causal asymmetry for high and low well-being. Our person-centered approach yielded more theoretically consistent results than a variable-centered approach. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed.



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