Occupational stress


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Is is possible not to have stress at work place? If your answer is no, then you can emphasize occupational stress theories, occupational stress models, and tools to cope with occupational stress in this presentation. I wish all of you a stress-free job.

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Occupational stress

  1. 1. Organizational PsychologyProf. Dr. Elçin KürşatGönenç DALGIÇYaşar UniversityPhD in Business AdministrationMay 7, 2013 1
  2. 2. OUTLINE Introduction Topics relevant to occupational stress History Approaches Terminology Occupational Stress Models Workplace Stressors Reducing The Impact of Workplace Stressors Cross-Cultural Occupational Stress Research Generalizability Stressors Experienced Coping With StressMay 7, 2013 2
  3. 3. Introduction• Health of employees• Physical• MentalResearches• Media attention• EverydayconversationPopularity• OCCUPATIONALSTRESSScientific StudyMay 7, 2013 3
  4. 4. IntroductionDoes occupational stress really have an aversiveaffect on individuals and organizations???Are those who are studying occupational stress“making mountains out of molehills”???May 7, 2013 4
  5. 5. May 7, 2013 5
  6. 6. Negative Outcomes of StressIncreased healthcare costsMore on-job-accidentsHigher rates ofabsenteeism &turnoverIncreasedcompensationclaimsReducedproductivityMay 7, 2013 6
  7. 7. History of Occupational StressMilestones: 1914: Walter Cannon 1956: Hans Selye 1960s: University of Michigan Institute for Social Research 1978: Terry Beehr & John NewmanMay 7, 2013 7
  8. 8. History of Occupational StressWalter Cannon Well-known physiologist Relationship between emotions & physiological responses It is considered the earliest work in the field ofpsychosomatic medicine. Coined the term: Homeostasis Meaning: Body’s effort to restore normal physiologicalfunctioning when some deviation is required. It is a processin which the body’s internal environment is kept stable orconstant. Stressful work conditions are perceived as aversive eventsthat require adaptive response to restore normal functioning.May 7, 2013 8
  9. 9. History of Occupational StressHans Selye He is the first on scientific investigations of stressand considered as “Father of Stress”. He is an endocrinologist. His research:May 7, 2013 9Research• Aversive stimuli exposed to animals E.g.: TemperatureextremesFinding• Animals effort to adapt the aversive stimuli.Result• People do much the same to cope with challenges in everdaylife GENERAL ADAPTATION SYNDROME
  10. 10. History of Occupational StressUniversity of Michigan Institute for Social Research The first large-scale program focusing specifically onstress in the workplace. The research focuses on psychosocial factors in theworkplace that may be stressful to employees. Psychosocial factors represent the aspects of the workenvironment having to do with interactions with otherpeople. Focus on role stressors.May 7, 2013 11
  11. 11. History of Occupational StressTerry Beehr & John Newman 1978: large review and analysis on occupational stresspublished in the journal of Personnel Psychology Important and frequently cited work Alert people in the field of organizational psychologythat occupational stress is a worth of attention. Volume of occupational stress research has increasedafter the publication of this review.May 7, 2013 12
  12. 12. ApproachesOccupationalStressMedicalClinical /CounselingEngineeringpsychologyOrganizationalpsychologyMay 7, 2013 13
  13. 13. Terminology of StressMay 7, 2013 14Stimulus• Stress = some type of force acting upon the individual.• (Stress is used for negative aspects of the work environment)Response• Stress = a way in which employees react to stressful job conditions.• (Stress is used for response of employee)Stimulus-response• Stress = overall process by which the work environment maynegatively impact employees.• Stressor: It represents anything in the job or organizationalenvironment that requires some adaptive response on the part ofemployees.• Strain: It refers to a multitude of maladaptive ways of employeesmay react to stressors.
  14. 14. Categories of StrainMay 7, 2013 15Psychological• Emotionalresponses tostressors• Depression,anxiety, frustration,hostilityPhysical• Responses relatedwith employees’physical health andwell-being• Blood pressure,heart rateBehavioral• Responses associatedwith behaviors• Job performance,substance abuse,absenteeism,turnover
  15. 15. Occupational Stress Models Institute for Social Research Model (ISR) Beehr and Newman’s Facet Model Demands- Control Model Person – Environment Fit Model Effort – Reward ImbalanceMay 7, 2013 16
  16. 16. Occupational Stress ModelsInstitute for Social Research Model (ISR) 1- Objective Environment = anything in the employee’swork environment 2- Psychological Environment = employee’s perception ofthe objective environment; appraisal process 3- Response = Immediate physical, behavioral andemotional responses of an employee after appraisal 4- Mental & Physical Health and Disease= Depends on theduration and severity of the immediate responseIndividual differences have impact on the 2, 3, 4. steps. 5- Enduring Properties of the Person 6- Interpersonal RelationsMay 7, 2013 17
  17. 17. Occupational Stress ModelsBeehr and Newman’s Facet Model Occupational stress process can be examined in a numberof “facet”s. Facets represent categories of variables to bestudied. Personal facet: Stable characteristics that employees bringthem to the workplace. (e.g: age, gender; personality) Environmental facet : Those stimuli in the workenvironment that employees must confront. (e.g.: workcharacteristics, level of comlexity, nature of job-relatedinterpersonal relations) Process facet: Employees appraise the work environmentand decide whether it is harmful.May 7, 2013 18
  18. 18. Occupational Stress ModelsBeehr and Newman’s Facet Model If the employee perceives stressors after appraisal, theremay be several consequences: Human consequences facet: Ways in which employeesmay respond to stressors (e.g.: health problems, substanceabuse) Organizational consequences facet : Employeeresponses that have implications primarily fororganizational functioning. (e.g.: absenteeism, turnover) Adaptive responses facet: Efforts on the part ofindividuals and organizations to respond adaptively tostressors. Time facet: has an impact on all other facetsMay 7, 2013 19
  19. 19. Occupational Stress ModelsDemands - Control ModelMay 7, 2013 20The most stressful situations in the workplace are those in whichemployees face heavy job demands, but at the same timeare given little control over their work.
  20. 20. Occupational Stress ModelsPerson – Environment Fit ModelMay 7, 2013 21An employee perceives the work environment as stressfulwhen there is a lack of fit.
  21. 21. Occupational Stress ModelsEffort – Reward ImbalanceMay 7, 2013 22It is stressful in the workplace when employee’s efforts are out ofproportion with the rewards that the job provides.
  22. 22. Workplace Stressors Commonly studiedstressors Role stressors Workload Interpersonal conflict Organizationalconstraints Perceived control Contemporaryorganizational stressors Work-family conflict Mergers & Acquisitions Layoffs & Job insecurity Emotional LaborMay 7, 2013 23
  23. 23. Workplace StressorsCommonly studied stressorsRole stressors Role: a set of behaviors that are expected of a person. Role related information is both formal and informal. Uncertainty of role related information leads to: Role Ambiguity Lack of consistency in the role related information leads to: Role Conflict Too many demands that an employee can accomplish leads to:Role Overload24
  24. 24. May 7, 2013 25Workload Definition: Amount of work an employee has to do in agiven period of time. Perceptional / Objective Cyclical Qualitative (Difficulty) Quantitative (Performing) Studies generally focus on physical outcomes of workload.E.g.: Relation between work hours and physiological effectsWorkplace StressorsCommonly studied stressors
  25. 25. Workplace StressorsCommonly studied stressorsInterpersonal conflict Most jobs require interaction with coworkers, customers, contractors… Such social interactions are often a source of satisfaction and personalfulfillment. Negatively charged interactions may make work stressful. Several potential causes of conflict: Competition among people Rude / contentious behavior Unintentional behavior (e.g.: free-riding) Interpersonal conflict is correlated with physical, psychological,behavioral strains; most notably feeling anxiety at workMay 7, 2013 26
  26. 26. Workplace StressorsCommonly studied stressorsMay 7, 2013 27Organizational constraints The more effective employees, the more effective the organization will. Organizational conditions may constrain employee performance(e.g:unnecessary rules, procedures, a lack of resources…) Organizational constraints (Peters & O’Connor – 1980) Job-related information Budgetary support Required support Time and materials Required services and help from others Task preparation Time availability Work environment Scheduling of activities Transportation Job-related authority
  27. 27. Spector’s research (1986)Perceived control Much more general Related with human desire tocontrol over the environmenteven if this control is illusory Perceived control is manifestedin organizations in two ways : Job autonomy: Employee has thediscretion over tasks performed,starting & ending time. Participative decision making:employees who implementdecisions, also participate informulation of decisions. E.g.:Labor management committeesOutcomeJobAutonomyParticipationJobsatisfaction.37 .44Emotionaldistress- .37 - .18Physicalsymptoms- .33 - .34Turnoverintent- .26 - .20Turnover - .25 - .38Performance .26 .23May 7, 2013 28Workplace StressorsCommonly studied stressors
  28. 28. Workplace StressorsContemporary organizational stressorsWork-Family Conflict Demands from work and familyare competing more. Demands of work interfere withfamily responsibilities. Demands of family interfere withwork responsibilities. Sources of support to helpbalance those are increasinglyunavailable. Work-family conflict literature: Time-based conflict Strain-based conflict Behavior-based conflictMergers & Acquisitions Merger: Two separateorganizations combine toform a new one. Acquisition: One companyobtains a controllingfinancial interest in anothercompany. Employees’ feelings ofanxiety, uncertainty, and jobinsecurity. Recommendation:communicate to employees asmuch information aspossible.May 7, 2013 29
  29. 29. Layoffs & Job Insecurity 66% of US firms with more than5.000 employees reportedreducing their workforcethrough layoffs in the late 1980s. Layoffs’ impacts: Employees who survive layoffsmay have feelings of vulnerabilityand even guilt. Job loss has bad outcomes onmental and physical health (tillreemployment). Job insecurity has a negativeimpact on employee emotionsand well-being.May 7, 2013 30Workplace StressorsContemporary organizational stressorsEmotional Labor There is a shift from heavymanufacturing to servicesector. This changed thecontent of jobs. An employee is forced toconfront negative emotions. An employee is forced tosuppress his/her emotionsfor organizational goals= surface acting
  30. 30. Reducing The Impact of Stressors Stress management training Reduction of Stressors Alternative Work Schedules and Telecommuting Family – Friendly Benefits Health & Fitness ProgramsMay 7, 2013 31
  31. 31. Reducing The Impact of StressorsStress management training Purpose: to help provide employees with the necessaryresources to cope with stressors when they faced.It is not eliminating or minimizing the stressors; their existenceis basically taken for granted. Education Programs Relaxation Training Biofeedback Training Teaching techniques Stress-Inoculation Training Gathering information about stress Self-statements to cope with stress Application training: application of self-statements in everyday situations. Health CirclesMay 7, 2013 32
  32. 32. Reducing The Impact of StressorsReduction of Stressors Less popular than stress management Purpose: to reduce the levels of stressors E.g.: redesigning a job to increase autonomy, providinggreater participation to employees, training managers tocommunicate more effectively with subordinates These interventions are usually offered as trainingprograms or as a part of organizational developmentstrategy. Result: decrease in stressors & increase in employees’well-being.May 7, 2013 33
  33. 33. Reducing The Impact of StressorsAlternative Work Schedules and TelecommutingMay 7, 2013 34AlternativeworkschedulesCompressedwork weekFlextimeYes, that is what I’ve said!My idea has beenscientifically proved! 
  34. 34. •These benefits are designed to helpemployees balance the demands ofwork and family.•Flexible spending accounts, childcare, elder care referrals, part-timework options…•More salient to women.•Related with job satisfaction, lowerlevels of depression and somaticcomplaints, lower cholesterol•Reduce feelings of work-familyconflictMay 7, 2013 35Reducing The Impact of StressorsFamily – Friendly Benefits
  35. 35. Reducing The Impact of StressorsHealth & Fitness ProgramsMay 7, 2013 36Healthy & physically fit employees are lesslikely to be absent due to illnessReduce employees’ health care costs.Improve employees’ physical health andfitness
  36. 36. Cross-Cultural Occupational Stress Research Can occupational stress models be generalized? Do cultural factors impact the work stressors? Do cultural factors impact the ways ofemployees to cope with work stressors?May 7, 2013 37
  37. 37. Cross-Cultural Occupational Stress Research- Generalizability38
  38. 38. Cross-Cultural Occupational Stress Research- GeneralizabilityXie(1996): Testing Karasek’s Demand-Control Model in China Have had greater exposure toWestern values Personal control is one of thesevalues. Benefited recent economicchanges Generally less educated, lessexposed to Western influences More likely to maintaintraditional values Traditional values impede thedesire personal control.39
  39. 39. Cross-Cultural Occupational Stress Research- Stressors Experienced Peterson et al. (1995): Are there cultural differences in the perceptionof stressors? Perception of role stressors vary across nations. Levels of role stressors could be predicted from characteristics ofdifferent national cultures. Perception of role stressors differ with respect to Hofstede’s culturaldimensions. Van De Vliert & Van Yperen (1996): Research on cross-nationaldifferences in role overload Cross-national differences in ambient temperature led to differences inrole overload. Liu (2003): Stressors btw. American – Chinese employees differ.May 7, 2013 40
  40. 40. Cross-Cultural Occupational Stress Research- Coping With Stress Coping represents the manner in which employeesattempt to adapt to the stressors they experience. Employees in the US. confront conflict more directlythan Taiwanese and Arab Middle Eastern employees. Americans reported more direct (being rude to others),Chinese reported more indirect conflict (doing thingsbehind people’s backs)May 7, 2013 41
  41. 41. Thank youforyour attentionI wish you a goodand stress-free day.May 7, 2013 42