How Do Employees Invest Abundant Resources? The Mediating Role of Work Effort in the Job-Embeddedness/Job-Performance Relationship


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Anthony R. Wheeler, Schmidt Labor Research Center, College of Business Administration, University of Rhode Island, 36 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881. E-mail:


The present study extends conservation of resources (COR) theory by examining how employees invest abundant resources. Building on the notion of resource caravans, we conceptualized job embeddedness as a state of resource abundance that employees invest into work effort, which mediates the job-embeddedness/job-performance relationship. Using mediated usefulness analyses on data obtained from a sample of 1,989 employees working across 6 locations within a hospital system, we found work effort fully mediated the organizational job-embeddedness/job-performance relationship, while also finding that community job embeddedness directly predicted job performance. We interpret these results as evidence that employees are differentially motivated to invest resources into effort and performance. Implications for COR theory and management practice are discussed.