Conservation of Resources Theory


  • Cynthia Thompson

Document type: Encyclopedia Entry

Appears in: Work and Family Encyclopedia

Year: 2001


  • Roles
  • Stress
  • Work and Family


  • Business and Management


The Conservation of Resources (COR) Model (Hobfoll, 1989) is an integrated model of stress that encompasses several stress theories. According to the model, individuals seek to acquire and maintain resources, including objects (e.g., homes, clothes, food), personal characteristics (e.g., self-esteem), conditions (e.g., being married or living with someone provides social support, more financial security), and energies (e.g., time, money, and knowledge). Stress occurs when there is a loss of resources, or a threat of loss. For example, the model proposes that work-family conflict leads to stress because resources (e.g., time, energy) “are lost in the process of juggling both work and family roles” (p. 352), which in turn leads to job dissatisfaction, anxiety, and thoughts about quitting one’s job. Individual difference variables, such as self-esteem, are treated as resources that may moderate the relationship between work-family conflict and stress.

Link:Conservation_of_Resources_Theory-2001 encyclopedia