Imperfectly perfect: Examining psychosocial safety climate's influence on the physical and psychological impact of perfectionism in the practice of law
Michael A. Leven School of Management, Entrepreneurship and Hospitality
Existing evidence suggests that perfectionism is related to depressive symptoms, burnout, and clinical disorders and that socially prescribed, rather than self-oriented, perfectionism is the most maladaptive. Thus, social expectations of perfection can have detrimental effects on workers that may result in negative organizational outcomes. Using a sample of 176 Arizona attorneys, this two-wave longitudinal study examined whether psychosocial safety climate (PSC) may reduce perfectionist ideals and, in turn, improve employee well-being. Expectedly, PSC negatively influenced physical and psychological distress 2 months later directly and indirectly via socially prescribed perfectionism, suggesting that the beneficial impacts of positive PSCs may manifest over a relatively short period of time. Contrarily, self-oriented perfectionism was not related to PSC, suggesting a demand-resource mismatch, and positively related to physical symptoms only. These results suggest a more complex relationship between self-oriented perfectionism and employee well-being, perhaps depending on other variables.
Behavioral sciences & the law
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