ERI and Psychological Strain Among Interns: Does Anticipating Future Career Rewards Moderate the Associations?

Lior Oren, Abira Reizer, Avital Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Abstract: According to the Effort–Reward Imbalance (ERI) model, employees may accept high-cost/low-gain conditions in their work for a certain time because they anticipate career promotion and related rewards at a later stage (i.e., strategic choice). The current study examines the associations between ERI and psychological strain among interns who seem to fit this condition. In addition, intention to work in their future profession, and therefore receive the aforementioned rewards, was investigated as a moderator of the relationships between ERI and psychological strain. A questionnaire measuring ERI, psychological strain (social dysfunction and anxiety/depression), and intention to pursue a career in accountancy was administered to 172 accounting interns. Regression analyses were conducted to test the proposed relationships and moderating hypotheses. Overcommitment (but not ERI nor ERI × overcommitment) was positively correlated with both social dysfunction and anxiety/depression. Intention moderated the relationships between overcommitment and both social dysfunction and anxiety/depression. The findings emphasize the important role of career dynamics and raise the possibility that employees may show resiliency toward ERI as well as overcommitment when they expect career rewards at a later stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-401
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Studies of Management and Organization
Issue number4
StatePublished - 23 Sep 2017


  • Effort reward imbalance
  • internship
  • overcommitment
  • psychological strain
  • theory of planned behavior


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