Successfully navigating informational diverse work environments: The important roles of job crafting and emotional intelligence

Sonja RISPENS, Huatian WANG, Evangelia DEMEROUTI

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsConference Paper (other)Other Conference Paperpeer-review


Research goals: Many employees work in an informationally diverse work environment, which is characterized by increased variations in type, source, or category of relevant information, knowledge, and perspectives in the workplace (Allen et al., 2008). While informational diversity is found to be beneficial, such as facilitating task completion (Bell et al., 2011), making high-quality decisions (Van Knippenberg et al., 2004), enhancing group creativity (Zhang, 2016), and keeping competitive advantages with other competitors (Cox & Blake, 2013), these findings largely concentrated on the team, organizational level. On the individual level, we know little about whether and how employees themselves could engage in customized, ongoing actions to profit from informational diversity, and then optimize their own work. Following the job redesign (Oldham & Fried, 2016) and job demands-resources (JD-R) (Bakker & Demerouti, 2017) perspectives, this study investigates the roles of employees’ job crafting behaviors and emotional intelligence.
Theoretical background: Job crafting refers to the self-initiated adjustments of one’s work conditions, including job resources and job demands (Tims et al., 2013). Based on the JD-R perspective, job crafting involves a motivating process whereby individuals make micro-adjustments based on their own needs, preferences, and unique job conditions. Thus, via job crafting behaviors, employees could actively mobilize valuable job resources they need from informational-diverse work environments, respond to challenging demands, and consequently, improves their work outcomes. Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the ability to effectively manage one’s emotions as well as intentionally harness and use emotions and emotional information (Mayer et al., 1997). The diversity literature indicates that when working in a diverse setting (e.g., exchanging information, ideas, and resources with people of different backgrounds), individuals likely feel more stressed and anxious and may cause discord and conflict (Clark & Polesello, 2017; Gardenswartz et al., 2010). Based on the JD-R perspective, EI is seen as a vital personal resource. We argue that high EI employees could better understand, process, and use different information presented by different people, and thus more likely take appropriate strategies for responding to complex environments.
Methodology: We conducted a weekly diary design over four consecutive weeks. Our sample consisted of employees from three medium-sized hospitals located in China. A total of 254 individuals, including nurses, medical specialists, and admin personnel out of 359 (71% participation rate), completed a general questionnaire and four weekly questionnaires (1,016 observations). In the general questionnaire, we measured perceived diversity, emotional intelligence, and demographic variables. In the subsequent four-weeks diaries, we measured employees’ job crafting behaviors, work engagement and performance (self-rated) by the end of each week. To examine the mediation and moderated mediation effects, we conducted 2-1-1 model using Mplus. Specifically, we drew the model of the mediation and moderated mediation on Level 2 but also drew a model of the relationship between weekly job crafting and weekly employee outcomes on Level 1.
Results: Our results showed that perceived informational diversity indirectly improves employees’ work outcomes (e.g., work performance and work engagement) via engaging in job crafting behaviors. Moreover, this indirect effect was stronger for employees with high levels of EI.
Limitations: Our constructs were self-reported, and our sample was from a single industry and a single country setting, which may raise the issue of generalizability.
Research/Practical implications: First, we add to the workplace diversity literature by highlighting the beneficial role of job crafting in informational diverse workplaces. Traditionally, studies focused on how informational diversity can be managed through top-down approaches (e.g., inclusive HRM practices, organizational justice and equality policies) (Blouch & Azeem, 2019; Jaiswal & Dyaram, 2020; Singh et al., 2013) and/or how these top-down approaches lead to higher team-level outcomes (e.g., team creativity, team productivity) (Bell et al., 2011; Kearney & Gebert, 2009). Our study uncovers a bottom-up means by which employees benefit from the heterogeneity in resources presented by an informational diverse work environment. Second, we contribute to the workplace diversity and job redesign literatures by highlighting the moderating role of EI. We highlight that EI is a vital ability to help employees to take appropriate strategies to process emotional demands presented by an informational diverse work environment. Third, we enrich job demands-resources and job crafting literature by pointing out that informational diversity offers both job resources and job demands and could be a vital antecedent of job crafting.
We suggest that organizations empower employees with more autonomy to take bottom-up approaches to manage informational diversity at work. The job crafting scholars have developed several job crafting intervention programs, which yield numerous beneficial outcomes (Dubbelt et al., 2019; Gordon et al., 2018). Management practitioners may want to use these intervention programs to boost employees’ job crafting behaviors or other proactive behaviors at work, and then achieve desirable work outcomes.
Relevance to the Congress Theme: The diverse workplace makes today’s work uncertain and dynamic. This study aims to highlight the important role of informational diversity at work and how job crafting, and emotional intelligence can help employees to adapt to the diverse, changing, and uncertain work environment.
Relevant UN SDGs: Good health and wellbeing; Decent work and economic growth; Peace, justice, and strong institutions
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2023
EventEAWOP Congress 2023: The Future is Now: the changing world of work - Katowice, Poland
Duration: 24 May 202327 May 2023


ConferenceEAWOP Congress 2023
Internet address


  • workplace informational diversity
  • employee job crafting
  • emotional intelligence


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