Understanding the Antecedents of Supervisors’ Support for Recovery: A Profile Analysis



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Recovery from work refers to the unwinding and restorative process that occurs during nonwork time. This process is important for protecting employee well-being and performance. In this dissertation, I sought to understand the motivational factors that impact supervisors’ support for their employees’ recovery (SSR). Using a theoretical framework for principled leadership, I hypothesized that SSR behavior was motivated by supervisors’ beliefs that supporting recovery (1) facilitates retention of their best employees (instrumental motivation), (2) is the morally right thing to do (moral motivation), and (3) facilitates positive working relationships with their employees (interpersonal motivation). In addition, I expected situational factors (employees’ workload and organizational support for recovery) to both be related to SSR and to moderate the effects of the three motivational antecedents on SSR. Participants were 519 full-time supervisors of professional workers. I collected survey data in a time-separated design with predictors measured one week before outcomes. I found support for instrumental and moral motivations as well as subordinate workload as predictors of SSR. Although it was not found to directly relate to SSR, higher organizational support for recovery strengthened the relationship between moral motivation and SSR. Further, I provide empirical evidence for four profiles of supervisors that have meaningful differences in antecedent means and in their recovery-supportive behaviors. In sum, I found that SSR is largely impacted by motivational factors (instrumental and moral) and are mostly generalizable across contexts. Results from the situational factors and their interplay with the motivational antecedents seem to indicate recovery-supportive motivation and behaviors are possible even in recovery-unsupportive environments. I discuss limitations and implications for future research and practitioners.



Leadership, Principled leadership, Profile analysis, Recovery, Supervisors, Work-life balance