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Thriving in a bruising job: How high achieving IT professionals can cope with occupational demands

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/03/2024
<mark>Journal</mark>Information Systems Journal
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date12/03/24
<mark>Original language</mark>English


AbstractWe report on a study of high performing IT professionals in a global IT services company, whose exceptional performance in a highly demanding work environment raises the question of how they cope with their occupational demands. While literature has focused primarily on technology‐induced stressors and associated coping behaviours of IT users, our study examines distinctive coping behaviours of IT professionals in response to diverse occupational demands. We combine qualitative interviews and heart rate variability data from an exemplar sample of 15 high performing IT professionals to provide insights into their psychological and physiological strain levels respectively. Our participants exhibit four strain levels, each related to a distinctive combination of coping behaviours, which we abductively theorise as coping portfolios. We find that high performing IT professionals with both a low psychological and physiological strain level apply a broad and varied portfolio of coping behaviours in response to diverse occupational demands. We contribute to IS research on IT professionals by studying the coping behaviours of an exemplar sample of high performing IT professionals in a leading IT firm. Theoretically, we complement the established concepts of coping flexibility and coping repertoires by introducing the notion of coping portfolios.