Publications by Author: Lee, Shi-Rong

Moen P, Lee S-R, Oakes JM, Fan W, Bray JW, Almeida DM, Hammer LB, Hurtado DA, Buxton OM. Can a Flexibility/Support Initiative Reduce Turnover Intentions and Exits? Results from the Work, Family, and Health Network. Social Problems [Internet]. 2016. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We draw on panel data from a randomized field experiment to assess the effects of a flexibility/supervisor support initiative called STAR on turnover intentions and voluntary turnover among professional technical workers in a large firm. An unanticipated exogenous shock—the announcement of an impending merger—occurred in the middle of data collection. Both organizational changes reflect an emerging employment contract characterized by increasing employee temporal flexibility even as employers wield greater flexibility in reorganizing their workforces. We theorized STAR would reduce turnover intentions and actual turnover by making it more attractive to stay with the current employer. We found being in a STAR team (versus a usual practice team) lowered turnover intentions 12 months later and reduced the risk of voluntary turnover over almost three years. We also examined potential mechanisms accounting for the effects of these two organizational changes; STAR effects on reducing turnover intentions are partially mediated by reducing work-to-family conflict, family-to-work conflict, burnout, psychological distress, perceived stress, and increasing job satisfaction. The effect of learning about the merger on increasing turnover intentions is fully mediated by increased job insecurity. STAR also moderates the negative effects of learning about the merger on turnover intentions for different subgroups. Findings provide insights into the effectiveness of an organizational intervention, the dynamics of organizations, and how competing logics of two organizational changes affect employees’ labor market expectations and behavior.

Lam J, Moen P, Lee S-R, Kelly EL, Buxton OM. Boomer and Gen X Managers and Employees at Risk: Evidence from the Work, Family and Health Network Study. In: Beyond the Cubicle: Job Insecurity, Intimacy, and the Flexible Self. New York: Oxford University Press ; 2016. pp. 51-73. Publisher's VersionAbstract

How does the insecurity of work affect us? We know what job insecurity does to workers at work, the depressive effect it has on morale, productivity, and pay. We know less about the impact of job insecurity beyond the workplace, upon people's intimate relationships, their community life, their vision of the good self and a good life. This volume of essays explores the broader impacts of job precariousness on different groups in different contexts. From unemployed tech workers in Texas to single mothers in Russia, Japanese heirs to the iconic salaryman to relocating couples in the U.S. Midwest, these richly textured accounts depict the pain, defiance, and joy of charting a new, unscripted life when the scripts have been shredded. 

Across varied backgrounds and experiences, the new organization of work has its largest impact in three areas: in our emotional cultures, in the interplay of social inequalities like race, class and gender, and in the ascendance of a contemporary radical individualism. In Beyond the Cubicle, job insecurity matters, and it matters for more than how much work can be squeezed out of workers: it shapes their intimate lives, their relationships with others, and their shifting sense of self. Much more than mere numbers and figures, these essays offer a unique and holistic vision of the true impact of job insecurity.


Moen P, Kelly EL, Lee S-R, Almeida DM, Kossek EE, Buxton OM. Does a Flexibility/Support Organizational Initiative Improve High-Tech Employees’ Well-Being? Evidence from the Work, Family, and Health Network. American Sociological Review [Internet]. 2016;81 (1) :134-164. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This study tests a central theoretical assumption of stress process and job strain models, namely that increases in employees’ control and support at work should promote well-being. To do so, we use a group-randomized field trial with longitudinal data from 867 information technology (IT) workers to investigate the well-being effects of STAR, an organizational intervention designed to promote greater employee control over work time and greater supervisor support for workers’ personal lives. We also offer a unique analysis of an unexpected field effect—a company merger—among workers surveyed earlier versus later in the study period, before or after the merger announcement. We find few STAR effects for the latter group, but over 12 months, STAR reduced burnout, perceived stress, and psychological distress, and increased job satisfaction, for the early survey group. STAR effects are partially mediated by increases in schedule control and declines in family-to-work conflict and burnout (an outcome and mediator) by six months. Moderating effects show that STAR benefits women in reducing psychological distress and perceived stress, and increases non-supervisory employees’ job satisfaction. This study demonstrates, with a rigorous design, that organizational-level initiatives can promote employee well-being.