Crafting Your Way Out of Paradoxes: How and Why Paradoxical Tensions Influence Job Crafting

Nanfeng Luo, Ziwen Nie, Fang Li, Wen Chen, Jinzhao Qu, Ying Zhang, Zhen Wang

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Individuals constantly live in contradictory yet competing roles, values, and demands at work. Tensions arise and accompany individuals’ everyday work practice, sparking destructive or constructive responses. While previous studies have offered some insights on how individuals experiencing paradoxical tensions perform their job, the empirical evidence is rare and limited to in-role performance and creativity. How individuals take ownership and exert agency to shape, mold, and redefine the paradoxes within their work boundaries remains uncovered and urges exploration. In a three-wave study of 256 employees, we followed the job demands-resources approach of job crafting to examine why and how employees’ experience with organizational paradoxes influences their avoidance and approach crafting behavior. Results showed that employees’ experiencing tensions has positive effects on both avoidance resource crafting and approach resource crafting, showing a double-edged sword effect. Furthermore, ego depletion and proactive motivation mediated employees’ experiencing tensions on avoidance resource crafting and approach resource crafting respectively. We also found that paradox mindset (i.e., individuals’ general propensity to be comfortable and embrace the paradoxes) negatively moderated the tensions-ego depletion-avoidance crafting path, so that the mediated relationship is mitigated among employees with a high paradox mindset.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2022
EventThe 82nd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management: Creating a Better World Together - A hybrid event taking place online and in Seattle, Washington, USA, Seattle, United States
Duration: 5 Aug 20229 Aug 2022


ConferenceThe 82nd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
Abbreviated titleAOM 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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