We integrate behavioral contagion and faultline perspectives to understand the association between workgroup context and individuals' coping with home demands. Our central contention is that workgroup members who are similar to one another come to adopt similar strategies for coping with home demands. To assess similarity, we use faultline techniques based on average silhouette width to differentiate an individual's workgroup into an in-group versus out-group based on a set of theoretically derived demographic characteristics concerning life conditions (i.e., gender, age, marital status, and parental status). Results from a sample of 3640 staff employees in 471 workgroups showed consistent positive relationships between a focal individual's coping with home demands and the aggregated level of coping in his or her in-group for coping strategies of using social support, limiting avocational activities, and reducing overload. This contrasts with consistent null relationships with the aggregated level of coping in one's out-group. Moreover, for the coping strategies of using social support and limiting avocational activities, an individual's coping was more positively related to the in-group members' coping when he or she perceived higher family supportive supervision. Our results show that workgroup members experiencing similar life conditions deploy similar strategies for coping with home demands, and that family supportive supervision strengthens this contagion of coping behaviors.
- Behavioral contagion
- Family supportive supervision