Overview

job stress


Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

Is a condition where an aspect of work is causing physical or mental problems for an employee. Two sets of stressors can be identified. (a) Work-related stressors include role ambiguity, role conflict, work intensification, interpersonal conflicts, and harassment. (b) Individual stressors include financial worries, family and marital difficulties, and dual-role pressures between work and home life (see work-family conflict). The symptoms of stress reveal themselves in the behaviour of the employee (e.g. aggression, absenteeism, decreased performance, and increased accidents), in the mental condition of the employee (e.g. anxiety, tension, irritability, and depression), and in the physical condition of the employee (e.g. digestive problems, high blood pressure, insomnia, and alcohol/drug dependency). Commentators on stress suggest that the toleration of stress differs from person to person. Some people thrive on stressful environments whilst others flounder. Therefore, it is important to get a match between an individual's tolerance of stress and the stressors in the job. From this perspective, job stress only occurs when there is a mismatch. However, other commentators suggest that whilst this analysis of stress may be adequate, it fails to take into account a general tendency amongst contemporary work towards a greater range of stressors in all jobs. In other words, there is an increasing expectation that both employees and managers will be able to cope with an increased amount of stress at work. As a result, the incidence of job stress is on the increase. [See stress management.]

(a) Work-related stressors include role ambiguity, role conflict, work intensification, interpersonal conflicts, and harassment. (b) Individual stressors include financial worries, family and marital difficulties, and dual-role pressures between work and home life (see work-family conflict).

Subjects: Human Resource Management.


Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.