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Title: I am a stressed lawyer, get me out of here : drivers of stress in front-line employees of professional services firms
Author: Valipour, Arash
ISNI:       0000 0004 8508 6412
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2019
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Working in professional services firms imposes high levels of job stress on professional service providers, such that three-quarters of solicitors are reported to have moderate to extreme levels of job stress. This research aims to identify different drivers of job stress in professional services firms. In reviewing the extant literature on the job stress of professional front-line employees, several gaps have been identified, notably in understanding the role of clients in the process of service delivery. Based upon the job demands-resources theory, a series of hypotheses were developed and tested using the results of a paper-based survey of 230 senior B2B solicitors in the UK. The results showed that time pressure, as a challenge demand, causes job stress in senior solicitors if it exceeds a certain level. Job autonomy, as a job resource, was also found to buffer the effect of time pressure on job stress. The analysis also indicated that there is a positive link between administrative hassles, as a hindrance demand, and job stress in professionals. Regarding the role of clients in the process of service delivery, the results suggested that frequency of client participation positively affects job stress of senior solicitors. Similarly, low quality of client participation was found to have a positive relationship with job stress. The results also demonstrated that emotional intelligence, as a personal resource, positively moderates the effects of frequency and low quality of client participation on job stress. This study has produced several contributions. First, it introduces challenge stressors to the marketing literature. Second, it examines client participation as a demand in addition to the traditional job demands. Third, this study suggests low quality of client participation as an uninvestigated aspect of client participation. Regarding the managerial implications, this research provides guidelines for managers of professional services firms to understand and manage job stress in their front-line employees.
Supervisor: Zaefarian, Ghasem ; Robson, Matthew ; Najafi-Tavani, Zhaleh Sponsor: Leeds University Business School
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available