Two sides of the same coin: Appraising job-related attributes as resilience enhancing or undermining

Jane Frances Maley, Rebecca Mitchell, Brendan Boyle, Karen McNeil, Raymond Trau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Increasing stress levels in the workplace is an economic and social issue for many industries, and coal mining is no exception. However, more recently mining coal has become an intense moral and ethical issue subjecting workers to psychosocial related stress. Previous research has demonstrated that resilience can help manage individual stress to improve health outcomes and workplace productivity. This study examines data collected from 61 interviews with various workers in the coal industry in Australia throughout immense and stressful uncertainty. Drawing on the Job-Demands-Resource and the Transaction of Stress and Coping theories, we find that crucial elements of human resource management processes, supervision and the employee work unit may be modelled as either demands or resources. More significantly, we find that the individual's subjective appraisal of job-related demands and resources plays a significant role in enhancing or undermining their resilience. For theory, this study extends the Job-Demands-Resource model by challenging the prevailing assumption that job-related attributes act as demands or resources in terms of their relationship with resilience; for human resource management practice, the findings help focus on how particular strategies can best support and promote employee resilience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-90
Number of pages17
JournalHuman Resource Management Journal
Issue number1
Early online date2023
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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