The Effects of Congruence Between Work-to-Family Conflict on Organizational Citizenship Behavior: An Empirical Study in China

  • JIANG, Daokui (Business School, Shandong Normal University) ;
  • CHEN, Qian (Business School, Shandong Normal University) ;
  • LIU, Teng (Business School, Shandong Normal University)
  • Received : 2021.12.30
  • Accepted : 2022.03.17
  • Published : 2022.04.30


Excellent employees are those who take on extra responsibilities and commitments at work. Hence, employees must pay attention to out-of-role activities that can help the company perform better. When a person takes on more responsibilities than he can handle, they will have to deal with the issue of work-family balance. This paper examines how the consistency of WFC affects employees' organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) using the Resource Conservation Theory. This study uses empirical research methodologies to assess 417 employees as a sample. (1) When the matches of work-to-family conflict (WFC) and family-to-work conflict (FWC) are consistent, the employee self-control resource depletion level is lower, and OCB is higher in the "high-high" consistency matching state. (2) The "low-high" match had a higher OCB than the "high-low" match when the WFC and FWC matches were inconsistent. (3) In the process of WFC affecting OCB, the depletion of self-control resources acts as a mediating factor. (4) Emotional intelligence plays a moderating role in the whole model. The lower the emotional intelligence was, the stronger the positive relationship between the consistency of WFC, FWC, and self-control resource depletion was.


1. Introduction

Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) generally refers to the behavior carried out spontaneously by employees, which is not clearly stipulated in the formal reward and punishment system of the organization but can improve the organizational effectiveness and promote the survival and development of the organization (Organ, 2018). OCB, a kind of “surprise” for the organization, is not included in the formal work requirements of employees, but it plays a positive role in improving team performance and promoting enterprise growth. Therefore, exploring the influencing factors of such behaviors to improve the level of OCB has received extensive attention from academia and business circles.

Research on the influencing factors of OCB mainly focuses on two aspects: individual employee factors and external situational factors. Individual factors include personality traits (Purba et al., 2015), employee psychology, and so on. Among them, employee psychology includes job satisfaction, emotion, and psychological contracts (Agustiningsih, 2017; Lavy, 2019; Presti et al., 2015). Studies have confirmed the positive relationship between proactive personality traits and OCB. Employees with proactive personality traits tend to set goals and motivate themselves and get a higher level of psychological satisfaction, thus stimulating OCB (Shaffer et al., 2015). External situational factors mainly include organizational atmosphere, leadership style, and other aspects (Hung & Tsai, 2016; Kim & Vandenberghe, 2020). OCB, as an extra role behavior of employees, is closely related to their job roles. Some studies have pointed out that role overload, WFC, and OCB are negatively correlated (Wang et al., 2017). Work-family conflict (WFC) is mainly caused by the imbalance between staff’s work and family roles; it has two components. The performance of family responsibilities is disturbed due to the participation of work roles (Conte et al., 2019). Conversely, the involvement of family roles makes it difficult to fulfill job responsibilities. This phenomenon is regarded as WFC (Major et al., 2002).

Society is currently undergoing a shift. Many businesses are beginning to establish telecommuting and other more flexible working practices with the support of information technology and digital platforms as their economic structure improves. As a result, the work-family boundary is established. People’s values of work and life have changed dramatically as a result of the development of the family structure into a “dual-earner family, ” in which couples share the division of work. These developments have resulted in a number of issues in the workplace and at home, which are referred to as WFC among employees. Finding effective ways to coordinate the interaction between work and family, as well as eliminating WFC, is critical. It has also become a pressing need for family management and structure. The majority of existing research focuses on WFC; however, studies have also found that fam FWC has a significant impact on employees’ behavior (Cho & Ryu, 2016). Hence, this study examines the different effects of WFC on employees’ psychology and behavior from a dual perspective, taking into account two dimensions of conflict at the same time.

Resource Conservation Theory (COR) explains the impact of WFC on employees’ behavior from the perspective of individual resource depletion. COR points out that individuals tend to protect and increase existing resources (Hobfoll, 2001a). WFC consumes individual psychological resources. It also can have negative emotional outcomes and cause emotional exhaustion (Sophie et al., 2016). Individuals’ emotional regulation, on the other hand, depletes their self-control resources, resulting in a loss of self-control resources. Individual self-control resources would be depleted as a result of emotion regulation, habit breaking, and other self-control behaviours. Individuals are constantly inclined to seek new ways to increase or protect their own resources when resources are depleted. After emotional resources are consumed, individuals would release negative emotions. Loi et al. (2012) stated that self-control resource depletion has a significant negative impact on OCB. OCB is an altruistic behavior outside the role of employees. Individuals will show such behavior when resources are sufficient. When resources are consumed, they will consciously reduce such behaviors to protect resources.

Emotional intelligence affects individuals’ ability to control their thoughts and behaviors (Mayer et al., 2008). When different individuals lose self-control resources, the extent of resource loss and the subsequent effect on individual behavior are different due to the influence of their characteristics (Li et al., 2020). Individuals with high emotional intelligence have a better ability to control their emotions, which can help lessen the adverse impact of negative emotions and the loss of self-control resources. Some research examines the relationship between emotional intelligence and job happiness, burnout, and performance and explains differences in employee behavior results from the perspective of emotional intelligence (Shi et al., 2015; Gong et al., 2019). Based on previous research, this study introduces self-control resource depletion as a mediating variable. It investigates the impact of emotional intelligence on OCB from the perspective of emotional intelligence’s impact on individual self-control ability, thus innovating and developing emotional intelligence research ideas.

This research integrates the combined and interacting impacts of WFC on OCB, and it adds to the body of knowledge on the internal influence mechanism and boundary conditions of WFC on OCB. Most previous studies on WFC only examined conflict in one way; however, this study looked at both aspects of WFC and FWC and used the resource preservation theory to investigate the curve relationship between the matching scenario and OCB. The interaction between WFC and OCB was confirmed in this paper, and the relationship between WFC and OCB was better understood. Simultaneously, it confirms the mediating role of self-control resource depletion and the moderating role of emotional intelligence in this process, allowing for a more comprehensive demonstration and clarification of the relationship between variables, as well as further opening the “black box” of the relationship between WFC and OCB. It adds to the body of knowledge about the internal mechanisms of influence and boundary conditions of WFC on OCB.

The research framework is as follows: first, it introduces the theoretical foundation, literature review, and hypothesis of the study; third, it introduces the research design, which includes sample selection and variable measurement; fourth, it analyses the data results, which includes factor analysis and hypothesis testing; and fifth, it concludes and illuminates the study.

2. Literature Review and Hypotheses

2.1. WFC and OCB

WFC is a type of inter-role conflict in which the role pressure from the work and family domains are in some ways mutually incompatible. WFC occurs when individual experiences incompatible demands between work and family roles, causing participation in both roles to become more difficult. [1] This imbalance creates conflict at the work-life interface. WFC has a number of negative effects. Employee job satisfaction would be reduced if there were no effective strategies to deal with WFC, which could influence their love for work (Houlfort et al., 2017; Lanaj et al., 2012). FWC lowers employee marital happiness and increases their inclination to leave the job (Minnotte et al., 2013; Rhee et al., 2020). However, after reviewing a large body of literature, we discovered that the majority of the available literature focuses on WFC, FWC has gotten inadequate attention. Therefore, this study focuses on WFC and FWC, and at the same time, explores the relationship between four types of WFC matching conditions (“high-high, ” “low- low, ” “high-low”, and “low-high”) and OCB.

According to Resource Conservation Theory, individuals have incentives to acquire and protect their own resources, such as time and energy. Individuals are under pressure as a result of resource consumption, and they are more likely to take action to avert further resource loss (Hagger et al., 2013). However, such resource protection measures would have an impact on staff behavior and performance. The conflict is directly caused by the unreasonable allocation of family and work resources (mostly time resources), causing the individual’s resources to suffer losses in balancing the duties of work and family. Employees will aim to conserve personal resources such as time and energy if they reach critical levels by reducing effort or maintaining an average level of performance. OCB consumes extra time and experience as an extra-role behavior of employees.

When employees are confronted with a high level of WFC, they may opt not to go above and beyond to protect their organizations’ resources. Their OCB has decreased as well. High WFC costs individual resources, and employees are significantly less likely to engage in OCB when two-way conflict is in a high equilibrium condition. In this situation, if employees are faced with a high level of FWC at the same time, their resources will be depleted twice as quickly, lowering their OCB. Employees are pushed to dedicate additional resources to the task when WFC is inconsistent (“high-low”). Employees’ perceptions of pressure would thus be increased, perhaps leading to negative emotions at work and a loss of self control resources.

As a result, there is no surplus of resources available for them to engage in OCB. If, on the other hand, a person’s WFC level is low, but his FWC level is high, this situation demonstrates that these employees’ family disputes are more significant than their professional stress, and their level of negative feeling at work is lower than those in “high-low” matching situations. As a result, the level of self-control resource depletion lowers, and the amount of perceived organizational conduct rises. Therefore, we proposed the following hypothesis:

H1: When the matches of WFC and FWC are consistent, compared with the “high-high” match, the “low-low” matching has a higher level of OCB.

H2: When the matches of WFC and FWC are inconsistent, compared with the “high-low” match, the “low-high” matching has a higher level of OCB.

2.2. WFC and Self-Control Resource Depletion

Self-control resources influence behavior control abilities and determine the level of self-control. Self-control is managed by unified resources, according to the resource depletion model, and every behavior that demands self control will consume self-control resources and reduce individual self-control, such as emotional regulation and overcoming impulsion (Heatherton & Wagner, 2011). Self-control resources are lost due to limited resources, which limits resources for other activities and inhibits the realization and execution of individual follow-up actions. Simultaneously, temporary impairment of self-control capacity will result in a reduction of certain behaviors that require self-control over a period of time.

The core of the WFC is people’s inability to allocate resources appropriately between work and family. The overall quantity of resources is predetermined. If a job consumes too many resources, family responsibilities will certainly suffer, and vice versa. The two roles may clash throughout this process, and the individual’s resources are depleted in the process of coping with and resolving the conflict, resulting in resource loss (Shui et al., 2020). Individuals have a predisposition to retain and acquire resources, according to Resource Conservation Theory, and the loss of resources will cause them to feel pressured and make efforts to prevent further resource loss or actively increase resources (Hobfoll, 2001b). When the level of WFC and FWC are both high, the individual needs to deal with the two conflicts simultaneously, and the loss of resources accumulates in both ways.

The individual is experiencing a significant loss of resources at this moment, and in the meantime, he or she is experiencing extreme stress and generating negative feelings. Individuals will manage their emotions on purpose to lessen the influence of unpleasant emotions and avoid the negative conduct impulse brought on by negative emotions. If they don’t have an appropriate way to vent their feelings right now, their self-control reserves will be depleted. Individuals are in a state of high self control resource depletion when WFC is in a “high-high” matching state. In the “low-low” matching situation, on the other hand, the employee’s self-control resource depletion level is lower. Accordingly, we, therefore, proposed the following hypothesis:

H3: When the WFC and the FWC match were consistent, compared with the “high-high” match, the self-control resource depletion level was lower in the “low-low” match.

2.3. Mediator of Self-Control Resource Depletion

The concept of self-control resource depletion is derived from the limited Self-control Model, and it states that the behavior’s main body will consume self-control resources for self-control, resulting in a decrease in self control ability. Self-control resources are limited in time, and they are unable to be recovered quickly after they are lost, so in the short term, the individual will be in a state of weak self-control, which will affect their behavior performances. Managing emotions, avoiding temptation and impulse, dealing with stress, and so on. There are a number of reasons why people’s self-control resources are depleted, and their ability to manage subsequent behaviors is weakened, such as adjusting emotions, resisting temptation and impulse, coping with stress, and so on (Ruth et al., 2018).

Employees’ work behavior will be disrupted by a lack of control, which will have a negative impact on the organization. Individual spontaneous altruistic behavior is associated with OCB, which uses the remaining resources. When a person gives additional support to his coworkers, for example, he is consuming his own time and energy, which is altruistic but not selfish behavior. Because everyone possesses egoistic motivation, engaging in altruistic behavior necessitates the suppression of desire and the overcoming of extra benefit, both of which result in the loss of self-control resources.

Employees with great self-control have superior interpersonal skills and are more inclined to engage in OCB, according to studies (Tangney et al., 2004). Individuals feel secure when resources are abundant, but when resources are scarce, they experience a sense of deprivation because of insufficient resources. Hence, they prefer to protect and retain limited resources rather than engage in OCB to consume additional resources (Hobfoll, 1989). The staff’s sense of identity and belonging to the organization is similarly low at this time, resulting in a low OCB level. We, therefore, proposed the following hypothesis:

H4: Self-control resource depletion plays a mediating role in the process of WFC affecting OCB.

2.4. Moderating Effect of Emotional Intelligence

The World Economic Forum (2016) identifies the top ten abilities that future employees will need to succeed in the workplace, and emotional intelligence is ranked as the sixth most important skill. Individuals’ ability to detect and control their own emotions, as well as perceive and comprehend the emotions of those around them, is referred to as emotional intelligence (Mayer et al., 2008). Individuals with high emotional intelligence are able to recognize and understand their emotional fluctuations quickly and accurately, as well as manage and control their emotions (Miao et al., 2020). The relationship between emotion control and individual performance was studied by Joseph and Newman (2010), and the result indicates that efficient emotion regulation can significantly improve employee performance.

Individuals with low emotional intelligence, on the other hand, have poor emotional perception and control, making it difficult for them to adjust to emotional changes immediately. Their emotional regulation would take up more energy, leading to a further loss of self-control. Emotional intelligence is a personality quality that is intimately linked to the outcome of a person’s conduct (Kang & Furnham, 2016). Personality traits influence the relationship between self-control resource depletion and employee work behavior (Dogra & Dani, 2019).

Employees with high emotional intelligence have good emotional control and can deal with negative emotions quickly. It can help employees recover self-control resources lost due to negative emotions brought on by WFC. As a result, they effectively reduce the loss of their own resources. Individuals with poor emotional intelligence, on the other hand, struggle to cope with the negative emotions brought on by WFC, and the act of emotion regulation drains a lot of self-control resources. Individuals are more likely to preserve and safeguard resources at this time, hence they reduce their participation in OCB. Accordingly, we formed the following hypothesis:

H5: Emotional intelligence moderated the relationship between WFC, FWC congruence, and self-control resource depletion. The lower the level of emotional intelligence, the stronger the positive relationship between WFC, FWC congruence, and self-control resource depletion.

H6: The mediating role of self-control resource depletion in the relationship between WFC and OCB was moderated by emotional intelligence.

3. Research Method

3.1. Sample and Procedure

The QR code is used to create the online questionnaire, which generates the filling link, which is then distributed via the questionnaire platform, social media platform, and enterprise employee working group. With the help of the department director, the investigators invited the employees to fill out the offline questionnaires on the spot. The input was acquired in exchange for a price to ensure the participants’ interest in answering. Through the Questionnaire Star platform, respondents were offered cash-filled red envelopes ranging from 5 to 10 yuan, while offline, they were offered WeChat Red Packet or small gifts. In this study, We sent out 600 questionnaires to employees in enterprises in Beijing, Shandong, Shanghai, and other places, and we received 528 questionnaires with a recovery rate of 88.0%. In total, we received 417 effective questionnaires with complete data, which translated to a response rate of 79.0%. Thus, data of 417 employees of different institutions or organizations were analyzed (193 men and 224 women; i.e., 46.3% and 53.6%, respectively). Among them, there were 65 people with a junior college degree or below, accounting for 15.5%; 326 people with a bachelor’s degree, accounting for 78.2%; 26 people with a master’s degree, accounting for 6.3%. There are 8 people under 25 years old, accounting for 1.9%; 299 people between 25 and 35 years old, accounting for 71.6%; 83 people between 36 and 45 years old, accounting for 19.9%; and 27 people over 46 years old, accounting for 6.6%.

3.2. Measures

In this study, the Maturity Scale was used to rate the items .. Items were rated on the Lickert 5-point scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). WFC: We adopted the scale developed by Netemeyer et al. (1996) to measure the WFC, including 2 dimensions and 10 items. Example items include “My work needs conflict with family life”, “My family or partner needs conflict with work-related activities”, etc. The average of all 10 items showed high reliability (Cronbach’s α = 0.89).

Resource depletion of self-control: the 5-item scale used in the literature was adopted from Johnson et al. (2014) and used to measure self-control resource depletion: Example items include: “I feel my willpower has disappeared”, “I can’t concentrate now”, The average of all 5 items showed high reliability (Cronbach’s α = 0.95).

Emotional intelligence: We adopted the scale developed by Wong and Law (2002), to measure emotional intelligence, which includes 16 items. Example items include “I can control my emotions well”. The average of all 16 items showed high reliability (Cronbach’s α = 0.94).

OCB: We adopted the scale developed by Lee and Allen (2002) to measure OCB). Example items questions include “Putting forward suggestions to improve the operation of the organization”. The average of all items showed high reliability (Cronbach’s α = 0.816).

Control Variables: We controlled for gender, age, and educational level in the current study consistent with previous studies.

4. Results

4.1. Descriptive Statistics and Correlations

Table 1 shows the results of variable correlation analysis. The correlation coefficients of WFC, FWC and self-control resource depletion were significant (r = 0.613, p < 0.01; r = 0.605, p < 0.01), There was a significant negative correlation between self-control resource depletion and OCB (r = −0.189, p < 0.01). The variable had content validity.

Table 1: Means, Standard Deviations and Correlations Among the Variables Studied

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Note(s): *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01; EI: Emotional Intelligence; SRD: self-control resource depletion; OCB: OCB.

4.2. Confirmatory Factor Analysis

Amos 22.0 structural equation test was used to construct discriminant validity, and the fitting degree of the five models was compared. As shown in Table 2, the goodness of fit of the five-factor model is better than that of the other four models (χ2 = 760.734, df = 337, χ2/df = 2.257, p < 0.001, RMSEA = 0.055, CFI = 0.913, TLI = 0.902, IFI = 0.913), which preliminarily indicates that these five latent variables have certain discriminative validity.

Table 2: Confirmatory Factor Analysis Results (n = 417)

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Note(s): Emotional Intelligence; SRD: Self-Control Resource Depletion; OCB: OCB.

Table 3: Polynomial Regression and Response Surface Analysis Results

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Note: *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001.

Harman Single-factor Test was used to test the single source bias among variables, and unrotated principal component analysis was conducted for all items. The maximum factor explained 20.024% of the total variation, which was less than 50%. It indicated that the common variance of data was within the acceptable range. At the same time, the reflexive loads of the five variables were assigned to the same common latent factor (CMV). The structural equation model was constructed and compared with the five-factor model. The goodness of fit of the five factor model is better than that of the six-factor model, and ΔIFI = 0.012, ΔCFI = 0.011, and ΔRMSEA = 0.003. The changes of indexes were all less than 0.020, indicating that there was no obvious single source bias in this study.

4.3. Hypothesis Testing

The regression results model 3 show that the WFC has a positive influence on OCBs (b1 = 0.132, p < 0.01), but FWC has no significant influence on OCB. It shows that in the process of WFC influencing OCB, the influence of work on family is the main reason for the lower levels of OCB. WFC and FWC were divided into two groups with 27% as the boundary (see Table 4).

Table 4: Analysis of the Moderating Effect of Emotional Intelligence

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According to the ranking of the mean value from high to low, the level of OCB and low WFC-low FWC (3.917) is > high WFC-high FWC (3.863). The response surface graph in Figure 1 also showed that the level of OCB in the front corner was higher than in the back corner, so Hypothesis 1 was verified. According to the regression results of Model 4, the slope of the cross-section along the inconsistency line (WFC = −FWC) is significantly less than zero, and the curvature is not significant (b2 = −0.257, p < 0.001). It shows that, when the match of WFC is inconsistent, compared with the “high-low” match situation, in the “low-high” matching state, the level of OCB is high, which verifies Hypothesis 2. Combined with the response surface results in Figure 2, the level of OCB in the right corner is higher than that in the left corner, supporting Hypothesis 2. The regression results of Model 2 showed that the slope of the cross-section along the consistency line (WFC = FWC) was significantly bigger than zero. The curvature was not significant (b1 = 0.542, p < 0.001), indicating that compared with the “low-low” match situation, in the “high-high” matching state, the level of self-control resource depletion was higher. Combined with the response surface results in Figure 1, self-control resource depletion in the front corner is lower than in the back corner, and Hypothesis 3 is verified.

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Figure 1: The Interaction of WFC on SRD

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Figure 2: The Interaction of WFC on OCB

To verify the mediating effect of self-control resource depletion, this paper follows the calculation method of block variables proposed by Edwards and Cable (2009). The original values of WFC, FWC, WFC2, WFC × FWC, and FWC2 were combined with polynomial regression coefficients as the set variable with consistent self-control resource loss, and we used SPSS 22.0 and PROCESS to verify the hypothesis. The results show that the direct effect of WFC on OCB is 0.813, with 95% confidence interval [0.289, 1.337], excluding 0; The indirect effect of self-control resource depletion is 0.165, and the 95% confidence interval is [0.038, 0.356], excluding 0; The total effect was 0.978, and the 95% confidence interval was [0.458, 1.499], excluding 0. The mediating effect of self-control resource depletion was verified. Hypothesis 4 is verified.

All samples were divided into high and low groups according to the median to test the moderating effect of emotional intelligence. Then, Zou’s Test was used to test whether the polynomial coefficients were significantly different between the two groups of emotional intelligence. The regression results in Table 4 show that the regression coefficients of primary items in the low group are higher than those in the high group (low group, b1 = 0.128, b2 = 0.316; High group, b1 = 0.086, b2 = 0.291), the slope of congruence line of low emotional intelligence group was higher than that of high emotional intelligence group (b1 = 0.444, p < 0.001; b1 = 0.377, p < 0.001). Meanwhile, the regulatory effect of emotional intelligence was verified by combining the level of self-control resource depletion (low emotion intelligence > high emotional intelligence) in Figure 3. It shows that high emotional intelligence weakens the relationship between WFC, FWC congruence, and self-control depletion. Hypothesis 5 and Hypothesis 6 are supported.

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Figure 3: Moderating Effect of Emotional Intelligence

5. Discussion and Limitations

5.1. Theoretical Implications

First, a path model of the impact of WFC two-way matching on OCB was developed, which adds to Resource Conservation Theory’s theoretical achievements. From the perspective of resource depletion, this study examined the correlation between two-way conflict and OCB under various matching settings, focusing on “conflict”—a type of resource depletion stressor. The model regression findings suggest that when the WFC is in the “low-low” matching condition, the level of OCB is at its highest. In the “low- high” matching condition, the level of OCB is higher when the match is inconsistent. Hence, this research provides a more thorough and complete explanation of the internal mechanism of WFC’s impact on OCB, as well as a deeper knowledge of the process.

Second, it has widened and deepened research on WFC and the work-family relationship. WFC has gotten greater attention in previous studies, however, this study indicates that FWC and WFC interact to influence employee behavior. The field of WFC outcome variables is expanded to employee workplace behavior by investigating the association between WFC and OCB. As a result, this research adds to the body of knowledge in this field and suggests new directions for future research.

Third, the internal mechanism and boundary conditions between WFC and OCB are enhanced by examining the mediating role of self-control resource depletion and the moderating role of emotional intelligence. On the one hand, it has contributed to a better understanding of the “Stressors- behavior” process. This study shows that WFC, as one of the most common workplace stressors, has an impact on employees’ OCB behavior through depleting individual self-control resources. On the other hand, the level of individual emotional intelligence is related to the cognitive of self-control resource depletion. Under the same stress, different people will have different psychological states. Self-control resources are not easily depleted by those with high emotional intelligence.

5.2. Practical Implications

First, work-life balance should be prioritized, and WFC should be reduced through flexible work systems, flexible working hours, and organizational care and support. The level of employees’ OCB is larger in the “low-high” matching state than in the “high-low” matching state of WFC and FWC. Thus, one must first settle for internal affairs. If employees’ work roles consume most of their resources, their WFC is high, and it is difficult for them to care for their families. The negative emotions that result will cause them to lose self-control resources and reduce their willingness to participate in OCB, detrimental to the organization’s long-term development. Hence, organizations can reduce employee stress and load through flexible work arrangements, ensuring their enthusiasm for their jobs. Organizations can potentially lower the WFC by utilizing organizational support and family welfare. Employees may only fulfill their family responsibilities while completing their work tasks in this manner, and therefore achieve a balance between work and family roles.

Second, we should respect employees’ working emotions and use employee welfare to foster a caring business culture. Employees’ perceptions of organizational support and their ability to control their emotions can both be improved by effective welfare measures. When employees are under pressure or experiencing negative emotions, high emotional intelligence might help them conserve internal resources. As a result, they create a more positive feedback to work behaviors, allowing them to engage in OCB while reducing the tendency to engage in counterproductive behavior. Additionally, good organizational culture output can be used to increase the psychological quality of employees, as well as their ability to resist pressure and modify their emotions.

Third, we should consider incorporating emotional management courses in employee orientation and attention to individual emotional intelligence during recruitment. The moderating effect of emotional intelligence in the process of WFC affecting employees’ work behavior through the depletion of self-control resources was proven in this study. According to the findings, employees with high emotional intelligence have higher job flexibility, and it is easier to create higher performance. On the other hand, employees with high emotional intelligence have strong emotional self-regulation abilities. In the face of pressure, they can quickly reclaim self-control resources and limit the harmful impact on individual behavior. Paying attention to emotional intelligence during the recruitment process can help employees integrate into the organization more quickly and promote positive behavior of employees.

5.3. Limitation and Future Prospects

To begin with, the research data only covers employees’ self-evaluation; therefore, future research can combine employees’ self-evaluation with other people’s evaluations to collect data. Second, the mechanism of WFC influence on OCB has several pathways. This study solely analyses the path of self-control resource depletion, other mediating factors, such as emotional balance and work attitude, can be examined in the future with the support of relevant theories. Finally, this study only addresses the moderating influence of employees’ emotional intelligence from the perspective of individual characteristics; future research can examine the contingent impact of organizational factors on this process from the perspective of organizational aspects.


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