Conservation of resource caravans and engaged settings


Correspondence should be addressed to Stevan E. Hobfoll, Rush University Medical Center, 1645 W. Jackson Blvd, Suite 400, Chicago, IL. 60612, USA (e-mail:


Conservation of resources (COR) theory is a stress and motivational theory that has been applied broadly in the organizational literature. Increasingly, this literature is transforming from a focus on resource-setting fit to an understanding that ‘fitting’ is an active process that operates dynamically with both individuals and settings altering and metamorphosing. COR theory provides a framework to understand, predict, and examine this transactional relationship that can then be used to shape settings towards more optimal balance of resource cost and benefit. Rather than focusing on single, isolated variables or seeing individuals and settings as independent agents, COR theory suggests that resources exist in caravans. Therefore, employers that hope to ensure employee engagement must maximize the ecology that fosters resource caravan enrichment and challenge that promotes excellence, dedication, and commitment.