Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Winny Shen, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Paul Spector, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Carnot Nelson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tiina Ojanen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kristen Salomon, Ph.D.


Expertise, Manpower, Staffing, Team, Work Group


Although most working adults possess a lay understanding of understaffing in the workplace and may, in fact, feel they are experiencing such a stressor, a review of the research literature reveals a general lack of empirical work on understaffing and its consequences. Hudson and Shen (2013, Development and testing of a new measure of understaffing. Paper presented at the Southern Management Association 2013 Meeting, New Orleans, LA) recently proposed a new model of understaffing that distinguished between two types of personnel deficiencies, manpower and expertise shortages, and linked these dimensions to worker well-being and attitudinal outcomes and identified likely mediating mechanisms. However, Hudson and Shen focused exclusively on the individual level of analysis. Therefore, the current study extends their work by investigating whether prior findings also hold at the group level of analysis. Participants in this study were members of 66 intact work groups and their supervisors (N = 57 for groups with matched supervisor data) from a variety of industries and organizations, who filled out a one-time survey. Results supported that perceptions of understaffing, both manpower and expertise, are shared within work groups and that there is some convergence between work groups and their supervisors regarding levels of understaffing. Results from correlational and regression analyses also supported differential relationships between manpower and expertise understaffing and group outcomes. Finally, structural equation models generally upheld Hudson and Shen's (2013) framework at the group level of analysis; results were consistent with group quantitative workload, potency, and role ambiguity serving as key mediators in the relationships between shared group perceptions of understaffing and unit well-being and attitudinal outcomes (i.e., group emotional exhaustion and cohesion). This study broadens our understanding of the construct of understaffing and presents a number of promising directions to be pursued in future research.