Peers, proactivity, and problem-solving

a multilevel study of team impacts on stress appraisals of problem-solving demands

Andrea Espedido*, Ben J. Searle, Barbara Griffin

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    To date, there is a paucity of research on team-level impacts on the individual stress appraisal process despite the recognised role of teams for solving problems. Applying a multilevel approach, this study investigates the cross-level impact of team problem prevention behaviours on employee stress appraisals of problem-solving demands. It was hypothesised that team problem prevention would moderate the individual-level relationship between problem-solving demands and stress appraisals. Data were collected from 43 work teams comprised of 192 team members including all team leaders who also provided evaluations of their team’s problem prevention behaviour. Results supported the hypothesised cross-level moderating effects on challenge appraisal, but not threat appraisal. As one of the first studies to demonstrate that stress appraisals are impacted by the group, not just by individual factors, the results support a multilevel conceptualisation of stress appraisals. The findings also highlight implications for practice, broadening the scope of possibilities for stress management interventions to utilise team-level strategies such as leadership development programmes and/or team building initiatives.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)219-237
    Number of pages19
    JournalWork and Stress
    Issue number3
    Early online date7 Mar 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • work stress models
    • multi-level analysis
    • demands
    • teams
    • work organisation

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