Facets of job effort in bus driver health: Deconstructing "effort" in the Effort-Reward Imbalance Model

John L. M. Tse, Rhona Flin, Kathryn Jane Mearns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


This research aimed to test the relative value of developing and using job-specific facets of effort and testing them using J. Siegrist's (1996) effort-reward imbalance (ERI) theory to extend understanding of how one might determine job strain in urban bus driving. In addition, the interactive effects of the ERI model are further investigated to address the lack of research into the relationships of the model's constructs. Using focus groups and published papers, a measure of bus driver effort was created, which was subsequently completed by 186 male U.K. bus drivers as part of a questionnaire study. The results were factor analyzed to create 4 facets of effort, which demonstrated additional variance in predicting strain, above and beyond J. Siegrist's original effort construct. One facet, workload and fatigue, was observed to be a particularly important contributor to strain. The analyses further indicated that the ERI model's assumptions that ERI creates job strain could not be completely upheld, although poorer levels of reward and higher levels of overcommitment were strong main predictors of job strain. Research and applied implications are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-62
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Occupational Health Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


  • ERI theory
  • occupational stress
  • bus driver health
  • coronary-heart-disease
  • cardiovascular-disease
  • negative affectivity
  • mental-health
  • work
  • demands
  • strain
  • risk
  • accident


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