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Original Article

Time and Performance Pressure

Just two Sides of the Same Coin?

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1026/0932-4089/a000256

Abstract. Time pressure and performance pressure are among the most crucial job demands of today’s workforce. However, the literature on psychological stress barely distinguishes between these constructs. Therefore, we aimed to examine time pressure and performance pressure as two qualitatively different job demands in terms of unique moderators for both demands. We investigated whether time control would moderate the relationship between time pressure and both emotional exhaustion and work engagement. As a vulnerability factor for dealing with performance pressure, we investigated perfectionism. The cross-sectional data of 167 employees showed that time control was a significant moderator of the stress–strain relationship, but only for time pressure. By contrast, perfectionism acted as a personal risk factor only for performance pressure, strengthening the negative impact of performance pressure on strain. Our findings suggest that dealing with time and performance pressure seems to be affected by differential safety and risk factors. Therefore, both should be treated as two distinct constructs.


Zeit- und Leistungsdruck: Zwei Seiten einer Medaille?

Zusammenfassung. Zeit- und Leistungsdruck gehören zu den bedeutendsten Stressoren der heutigen Arbeitswelt. Jedoch wurde in der psychologischen Stressforschung kaum zwischen beiden Konstrukten differenziert. Ziel der Studie war es daher, Zeit- und Leistungsdruck als zwei qualitativ unterschiedliche Arbeitsanforderungen mit jeweils spezifischen Moderatoren zu untersuchen. Dabei wurde Zeitspielraum als Moderator für die Beziehung zwischen Zeitdruck und emotionaler Erschöpfung sowie Arbeitsengagement postuliert. Als möglicher Vulnerabilitätsfaktor für den Umgang mit Leistungsdruck wurde Perfektionismus betrachtet. Die Analyse der Querschnittsdaten mit insgesamt 167 Beschäftigten ergab, dass Zeitspielraum nur den Zusammenhang zwischen Zeitdruck und den beiden abhängigen Variablen moderierte. Demgegenüber konnte Perfektionismus als individueller Risikofaktor für Leistungsdruck, nicht aber für Zeitdruck, identifiziert werden und verstärkte die negativen Auswirkungen von Leistungsdruck auf Erschöpfung. Unsere Befunde liefern erste Hinweise darauf, dass unterschiedliche Schutz- und Risikofaktoren beim Umgang mit Zeit- und Leistungsdruck eine Rolle spielen und somit beide Anforderungen als zwei qualitativ unterschiedliche Konstrukte behandelt werden sollten.

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