You are on page 1of 28


Stress Management has become a major concern of the modern times as it

can cause harm to employees health and performance. Different
psychologists and psychologists have defined stress differently. In simple
words, stress refers to pressures or tensions people feel in life. As living
human being makes constant demands, so it produces pressures, i.e. stress.
Stress is, therefore, a natural and unavoidable feature of human life.
Stress is not necessarily bad in and of itself. Although stress is typically
discussed in negative context, it also has positive value. Its an opportunity
when it offers potential gain. Many professionals see the pressures of heavy
workloads and deadlines as positive challenges that enhance the quality of
their work and the satisfaction they get from their job.
Stress is associated with constraints and demands. The former prevent you
from doing what you desire. The latter refers to the loss of something desired.
Two conditions are necessary for potential stress to become actual stress.
There must be uncertainty over the outcome and the outcome must be
important. Regardless of the conditions, it is only when there is doubt or
uncertainty regarding whether the opportunity will be seized, the constraint
removed, or the loss avoided that there is stress.

Three categories of potential stressors: environmental, organizational


Environmental factors Change in the business cycle create economic
uncertainties. When the economy is contracting, for example, people become
increasingly anxious about their job security. Technological uncertainty is a
type of environmental factor that can cause stress. Because new innovations
can make an employee's skills and experiences obsolete in a very short time,
computers, robotics, automation and similar forms of technological
innovation are a threat to many people and cause them stress.
Organizational factors Pressures to avoid errors or complete tasks in a limited
time, work overload, a demanding and insensitive boss and unpleasant
coworkers are a few examples.
Individual factors the typical individual works about 40 to 50 hours a week.
But the experiences and problems that people encounter in those other 120plus non-work hours each week can spill over to the job. Our final category,
then, encompasses factors in the employee's personal life.
Stress Management is a body reaction to any demands or changes in its
internal and external environment. Whenever there is a change in the external
environment such as temperature, pollution, humidity and working conditions

it leads to stress management. In these days of competition when one wishes

to surpass what he has been achieved by others, leading to an imbalance
between demands and resources it causes psychologists stress. It is a part of
everyday life. Stress management is a contagion a black plague spreading like
wildfire and spewing large number of organizational members across the
world. Stress management is an individuals response to a disturbing factor
in the environment and the consequences of such reaction. Stress
management obviously involves interaction of the person and the
environment. The physical and psychological demands from the environment
that causes are stressors. They create stress or the potential for stress when an
individual perceives them as representing a demand that may exceed that
persons ability to respond.


Stress Management is an adaptive response to an external situation that
results in physical, psychological and behavioral deviations for organizational
Stress Management is a dynamic condition in which an individual is
confronted with an opportunity, constraint or demand related to what he or

she desires and for which the outcome is perceived to be both uncertain and
Stress Management is not necessarily bad in and of itself. While stress is
typically taken in negative sense, it also has positive value. It is an
opportunity when it offers potential gain. Consider, for example, the superior
performance that as athlete or stage performer gives in difficult situations.
Such individuals often use stress management positively to rise to the
occasion and perform at or near their maximum.
Stress Management is associated with constraints and demands. The former
prevents you from doing what we desire. The latter refers to the loss of
something desire. So when we take a test to school or we undergo our annual
performance review at work, we feel because of we confront opportunity
constraints, and demands. A good performance review may lead to
promotion, greater responsibilities, and higher salary. But a poor review may
prevent getting the promotion. An extremely poor review might event result
in being fired.
Two conditions are necessary for potential stress to become actual stress
management. There must be uncertainty over the outcome and the outcome
must be important. Regardless of the conditions, it is only when there is doubt
or uncertainty regarding whether the opportunity will be seized, the
constraints removed, or the loss avoided that there is stress. Stress

Management is higher those individuals who perceive that they are uncertain
as to whether they will win or lose and lowest for those individuals who think
that winning or losing is a certainty. If winning or losing is and unimportant
outcome, there is no stress management.
Primarily, these factors are family issues, personal economic problems and
inherent personality characteristics.
1. Forces for Change
More and more organisations today face a dynamic and changing
environment. This, in turn, is requiring these organisations to adapt. "Change
or die!" is the rallying cry among today's managers worldwide. Six specific
forces that are acting as stimulants for change.
Almost every organisation is having to adjust to a multicultural environment.
Human resource policies and practices have to change to reflect the needs of
an aging labor force. And many companies are having to spends large
amounts of money on training to upgrade reading, math, computer, and other
skills of employees.
Nature of the workforce

More cultural diversity
Aging population


Many new entrants with inadequate skills

Faster, cheaper, and more mobile
computers Online music sharing

Economic shocks

Deciphering of the human genetic code

Rise and fall of dot-com stocks
2000-02 stock market collapse


Record low interest rates

Global competitors
mergers and consolidations

Social trends

Growth of e-commerce
Internet chat rooms
Retirement of Baby Boomers

World politics

Rise in discount and "big box" retailers

IraqU.S. war
Opening of markets in China
War on terrorism following 9/11/01

Technology is changing jobs and organisations. For instance, computers are

now commonplace in almost every organisation; and cell phones and hand
held PDAs are increasingly being perceived as necessities by a large segment
of the population. Computer networks are also reshaping entire industries.
The music business, as a case in point, in now struggling to cope with the
economic consequences of widespread online music sharing. For the longer
term, recent breakthroughs in deciphering the human genetic code offers the
potential for pharmaceutical companies to produce drugs designed for
specific individuals and creates serious ethical dilemmas for insurance
companies as to who is insurable and who isn't.
We live in an "age of discontinuity." In the 1950s and 1960s, the past was a
pretty good prologue to the future. Tomorrow was essentially an extended
trend line from yesterday. That's no longer true. Beginning in the early

1970s, with the overnight quadrupling of world oil prices, economic shocks
have continued businesses have been created, turned tens of thousands of
investors into overnight millionaires, and then crashed. The stock market
decline from 2000 to 2002 eroded approximately 40 percent of the average
employee's retirement account. Which may force many employees to
postpone their anticipated retirement date. And record low interest rates have
stimulated a rapid rise in home and remodelers, furniture retailers, mortgage
bankers, and other home-related businesses.
Competition is changing. The global economy means that competitors are as
likely to come from across the ocean as from across town. Heightened
competition also makes it necessary for established organisations to defend
themselves against both traditional competitors who develop new products
and services and small, entrepreneurial firms with innovative offerings.
Successful organisations will be the ones that can change in response to the
competition. They'll be fast on their feet, capable of developing new
production rapidly and getting them to market quickly, They'll rely on short
production runs, short product cycles, and an ongoing stream of new
products. In other words, they'll be flexi adapt to rapidly and even radically
changing conditions.
Social trends don't remain static. For instance, in contrast to just 15 years
ago, people are meeting and sharing information in Internet chat rooms;

Baby Boomers have begun to retire; and consumers are increasingly doing
their shopping at discount warehouses and "big box" retailers like Home
Depot and Circuit City.
Throughout this book we have argued strongly for the importance of seeing
OB in a global context. Business schools have been preaching a global
perspective since the early 1980s, but no one-not even the strongest
proponents of globalization- could have imagined how world politics would
change in recent years. We've seen the breakup of the Soviet Union; the
opening up of South Africa and China; almost daily suicide bombings in the
Middle East; and of course, the rise of Muslim fundamentalism. The
unilateral invasion of Iraq by the United States has led to an expensive postwar rebuilding and an increase in anti-American attitudes in much of the
world. The attacks on New York and Washington on September 11; 2001,
and the subsequent was on terrorism, has led to changes in business practices
related to the creation of backup systems, employee security, employee
stereotyping and profiling, and post-terrorist attack anxiety.

2. Managing Planned Change

The goals of planned changes. Seek to improve the ability of the

organisation to adapt to changes in its environment. Second, it seeks to
change employee behaviour.
If an organisation is to survive, it must respond to changes in its
environment. When competitors introduce new products or services,
government agencies enact new laws, important sources of supply go out of
business, or similar environmental changes take place, the organisation
needs to adapt. Efforts to stimulate innovation, empower employees, and
introduce work teams are example of planned-change activities directed at
responding to changes in the environment.
An organisation's success or failure is essentially due to the things that its
employees do or fail to do, planned change also is concerned with changing
the behaviour of individuals and groups within the organisation.
Who in organisations are responsible for managing change activities. The
answer is change agents. Change agents can be managers or nonmanagers,
employees of the organisation or outside consultants. A contemporary
example of an internal change agent Lawrence Summers, president of
Harvard University. Since accepting the presidency in 2001, Summers has
aggressively sought to shake up the complacent institution by, among other
things, leading the battle to reshape the undergraduate curriculum, proposing
that the university be more directly engaged with problems in education and

public health, and reorganizing to consolidate more power in the president's

office. While his critics admit that he has "offended nearly everyone." he is
successfully bringing about revolutionary changes at Harvard that many
thought were not possible.
In some instances, internal management will hire the services of outside
consultants to provide advice and assistance with the major change efforts.
Because they are from the outside, these individuals can offer an objective
perspective often unavailable to insiders. Outside consultants, however, are
disadvantaged because they usually have an inadequate understanding of the
organisation's history, culture, operating procedures, and personnel. Outside
consultants also may be prone to initiating more drastic changes- which can
be a benefit or a disadvantage- because they don't have to live with the
repercussions after the change in implemented. In contrast, internal staff
specialists or managers, when acting as change agents, may be more
thoughtful (and possibly more cautious) because they have to live with the
consequences of their actions.
3. Resistance to Change
Organisations and their members resist change. In a sense, this is positive. It
provides a degree of stability and predictability to behaviour. If there weren't
some resistance, organisational behaviour would take on the characteristics
of chaotic randomness. Resistance to change can also be a source of

functional conflict. For example, resistance to a reorganisation plan or a

change in a product line can simulate a healthy debate over the merits of the
idea and result in a better decision. But there is a definite downside to
resistance to change. In hinders adaptation and progress.
Resistance to change doesn't necessarily surface in standardized ways.
Resistance can be overt, implicit, immediate, or deferred. It's easiest for
management to deal with resistance when it is overt and immediate. For
instance, a change is proposed and employees quickly respond by voicing
complaints, changing in a work slowdown, threatening to go on strike, or the
like. The greater challenge is managing resistance that is implicit or deferred.
Implicit resistance efforts are more subtleloss of loyalty to the
organisation, loss of motivation to work, increased errors or mistakes,
increased absenteeism due to "sickness"and hence are more difficult to
recognize. Similarly, deferred actions cloud the link between the source of
the resistance and the reaction to it. A change may produce what appears to
be only a minimal reaction at the time it is initiated, but then resistance
surfaces weeks, months, or even years later. Or a single change that in and of
itself might have little impact becomes the straw that breaks the camel's
back. Reactions to change can build up and then explode in some response
that seems totally out of proportion to the change action it follows. The


resistance, of course, has merely been deferred and stockpiled. What surfaces
is a response to an accumulation of previous changes.
Easters Management and Distress Management
Easters Management: - Easters Management is anything that changes our
physical, emotional or mental states while encountering various stimuli in our
environment. Easters management is positive stress that accompanies
achievements and exhilaration. Easters management is the stress of meeting
challenge such as those found in a managerial job or physical activity.
Distress Management:- Distress Management is when we feel insecure,
inadequate, helpless or desperate as the result of too much to or too little,
pressure or tension.



Organizational Stress Management :- Organizational Stress Management

are various factors in the workplace that can cause stress management. Three
general sets of organizational stress management.

a) Task Demands:-Task demands are stress management associated with the

specific job a person performs. Some occupations are by nature more
stressful than others. The jobs of surgeons, air traffic controllers, and

professional football coaches are more stressful than those of general

practitioners, airplane baggage loaders, and football team equipment
Beyond specific task- related pressures, others aspects of a job may pose
physical threats to a persons health. Unhealthy conditions exist in
occupation such as coal mining and toxic waste handling. Security is
another task demand that can cause stress. Someone in a relatively secure
job is not likely to worry unduly about losing that position. Threats to job
security can stress task dramatically.
b) Physical demands:- The physical demands of a job are its physical
requirements on the worker; and are a function of the physical
characteristics of the setting and the physicals tasks the job involves. One
important element is temperature. Working outdoors in extreme
temperatures can result in stress, as can working in an improperly heated
or cooled office or factory. Strenuous labor such as loading heavy cargo or
lifting packages can lead to similar results. Office design also can cause a
problem. A poor designed office can make it difficult for people to have
privacy or promote too much or too little social interaction. Too much
interaction may distract a person from his task, whereas too little may lead
to boredom or loneliness. Likewise, poor lighting, inadequate work
surface, and similar deficiencies can create stress.

c) Intrasender Conflicts:- Intrasender Conflicts occurs when a single

source sends clear but contradictory messages. This might occur if the
boss says one morning that there can be no more overtime for the
next month but after lunch tells someone to work late the same evening
Personal- role conflict results from a discrepancy between the role
requirements and the individuals personal values, attitudes, and needs.
Stress in organizational settings can be influenced by events that take place
outside the organization. Life stress management generally is categorized in
two terms:
1) Life Change:- A life change is any meaningful change in a persons
personal or work situation. Major changes in a persons life can lead to
stress and eventually to disease. Several of these events relate directly
(fired from work, retirement) or indirectly (changes in residence to work.
Each events point value supposedly reflects the events impact on the
individual. At one extreme, a spouses death, assumed to be the most
traumatic event considered, is assigned a point value of 100. At the other
extreme, minor violations of the law rank only 11 points. The points
themselves represent life change units, or LCUs. Both negative events


(divorce and trouble with the boss) as well as positive ones (marriage and
vacations) may be assigned point values or LCUs.
A person can handle a certain threshold of LCUs, but beyond that level
problems can set in particular, they suggested that people who encounter
more than 150 LCUs, in a given year will experience a decline in their
health the following year. A score of between 150 and 300 LCUs,
supposedly carries a 50 percent chance of major illness, while the chance
of major illness is said to increase to 70 percent if the number of LCUs,
exceeds 300. These ideas offer some insight into the potential impact of
stress and underscore our limitations in coping with stressful events.
2) Life Trauma:- A life trauma is any upheaval in an individuals life that
alters his or her attitudes, emotions, or behaviors. To illustrate, according
to the life change view, a divorce adds to a persons potential for health
problems in the following year. At the same time, the person will
obviously also experience emotional turmoil during the actual divorce
process. This turmoil is a form of life trauma and will clearly cause stress,
much of which may spill over into the workplace.
Life trauma is similar to life change, but it has a narrower, more direct,
and shorter-term focus. Major life traumas that may cause stress include
marital problems, family difficulties, and health problems initially
unrelated to stress. A person learns that he has developed arthritis that will
limit his favorite hobby. His dismay over the news may translate into

stress at work. Similarly, a worker going through a family breakup will

almost certainly go through difficult periods, some of which will affect his
job performance.

(1). Individual Consequences:- Stress is both friend and a foe. Stress
is not always damaging or bad. A mild stress may lead to increase in
employees job performance. People in certain jobs such as newspapers
journalists and televisions announcers who work under time pressure
would seem to benefit from mild level of stress. Yet, the mild level of
stress will vary from individual to individual. But, a high a level of stress
has three types of harmful consequences on the individual as discussed
Impact on Health:- Stress Management has tremendous impact on
physical health of the employees. A high level of stress is accomplished by
high blood pressure and high level of cholesterol. It may lead to heart
disease, ulcers and arthritis. Health care professionals have reported that

up to 90 percent patients complain of stress related symptoms and







consequences are anger, anxiety, depression, nervousness, irritability and

tension. These psychological outcomes of stress, in turn, lead to lowering
of self-esteem, resentment of supervision, inability to concentrated and
make wrong decisions. These all boil down to poor job performance.

Impact on Behavior:- Stress Management, if sustained over a long

period, also adversely affects the employees behavior. The consequences
of stress on employees behavior reflected include overeating or
underrating sleeplessness, increased smoking and drinking drug abuse.
Employees may experience stress and react by getting drunk and staying
home from work on the next day with hangover. They may eventually quit
or be sacked from the job.
Research has proved that the employees suffering from job stress become
less cooperative at home also. Stress management, if continued beyond the
abilities and capacities of employee to respond, leads to the physical and







management is, therefore, considered and an invisible killer also.


The above individual consequences of stress can affect the organization also.
The adverse consequences on the organization include low performance and
productivity, high rates of absenteeism and turnover, lost customers because
of poor workers attitudes increased alienation of the worker from the job, and
even destructive and aggressive behaviors resulting in strikes and sabotage.
The stress experienced by employees who take on critical role and are
responsible for public safety can sometimes be detrimental to the well being
of the constituents served. For instance, stress experienced by a train driver or
an airline pilot, can endanger several precious lives. Thus, the costs of
employee stress to the organization in terms of lost profits, declining assets,
bad image and loss of future business are enormous.

Burnout is a general feeling of exhausting that develops when a person
simultaneously experiences too much pressure and has too few sources of
satisfaction. Quite often, people with high aspirations and strong motivation
to get things done are prime candidates for burnout under certain conditions.


They are especially vulnerable when the organization suppresses or limits

their initiative constantly demanding that they serve the organizations own
The individual is likely to put too much of himself in the job. The most likely
effects are prolonged stress, fatigue, frustration, and helplessness under the
burden of overwhelming demands. The person literally exhausts his
aspirations and motivation, much as a candle burns itself out. Loss of
Self-confidence and psychological withdrawal follow leading to burnout.
Burnout is often associated with a mid-life or mid-career crisis, but it can
happen at different times to different people. Individuals in the helping
professions, such as teachers and counselors, seem to be susceptible to
burnout because of their job, whereas other may be vulnerable because of
their upbringing, expectations, or personalities. Burnout is frequently
associated with people whose jobs require close relationships with others
under stressful and tension-failed conditions.
The dangerous part of burnout is that it is contagious. A highly cynical and
pessimistic burnout victim can quickly transforms entire group into burnouts.
Therefore it is important that the problem be dealt with quickly.Once it has
begun, it is difficult to stop. Some of the symptoms of burnout include:
Chronic figure
Angler at those making demands

Self-criticism for putting up with demands

Cynicism, negativism, and irritability
A sense of being besieged
Trigger display emotions.

Other symptoms might include recurring health problems, such as ulcers,

back pain, or frequent headaches. The burnout victim is often unable to
maintain an even keel emotionally. Unwarranted hostility may occur in totally
inappropriate situations. Subsequently, burnout is harmful to the individuals
mental and physical health, resulting in performance problems both
individually and organizationally.



There is an increasing amount of research to support the proposition that the

effect of stress on an employees behavior is moderated by his or her
personality type. Personality traits that moderate an individuals response to
stress at work include extroversion, rigidity, and authoritarianism, dogmatism
locus of control, and tolerance for ambiguity.


Individuals and the organizations cannot remain in a continuous state of
tension. Even if a deliberate and conscious strategy is not utilized to deal with
the stress, some strategy is adopted; the strategy may be to leave the conflicts
and stress to take care of them. This is also a strategy, although the
individuals or the organization may not be aware of this. This is the term
coping is used to denote the way of dealing with stress. It is the process of
managing demands (external or internal) that are appraised as taxing or
exceeding the resources of the person. Because effective coping helps
reduce the impact of stressors and stress management, ones personal life and
managerial skills can be enhanced by a better understanding of this process
depicts an instructive model of coping with stress.



1. Situational and Personal Factors.
2. Cognitive Appraisal of Stress Management.
3. Coping Strategies.
(1) Situational and Personal Factors:- Situational factors are environmental
characteristics that affect how people interpret or appraisal stress
management. The ambiguity of the situation- such as walking down a dark
street at night in an unfamiliar area-make it difficult to determine whether
a potentially dangerous situation exists. Ambiguity creates difference in
how people appraise, and subsequently to a stress and social networks.
Personal factors are personality traits and personal resources that affect the
appraisal of stress management. For instance, because being tired or sick
can distort the interpretation of stress management, an extremely tired
individual may appraise a innocent question as a threat or a challenge.
Traits such as locus of control self-esteem, self-efficacy and experience
have found to affect the appraisal of stressors.
(2) Cognitive Appraisal of Stress Management:- Cognitive appraisal
reflects an individuals overall evaluation of a situation or stress

management. Appraisal is an important component within the stress

process because people appraise the same stress differently. Some
individuals perceive unemployment as a positive, liberating experience,
whereas others perceive it as a negative, debilitating one.
Cognitive appraisal results in a categorization of the situation or stress as
harmful, threatening, or challenging. It is important to understand the
differences among these appraisals because they influence how people
cope with stress.
(3) Coping Strategies:- Coping strategies are characterized by the specific
behaviors and cognition used to cope with a situation. People use a
ambulation of three approaches to cope with stress management and
stress. The first called control strategy, consists of using behaviors and
cognition to directly anticipate or solve problems. This strategy has a takecharge tone.
To tackling the problem head-on, an escape strategy amounts to running
away: behaviors and cognition are used to avoid or escape situations.
Individuals use this strategy when they passively accept stressful
situations or avoid them by failing to confront the cause of stress (an
obnoxious co-worker, for instance). Finally, symptom management
strategy consists of using methods such as relaxation, meditation, or
medication to manage the symptoms of occupational stress.


(1) Coping with stress at the level of the individual.

(2) Coping with organizational sources of stress.
(3) Prevention of job stress.
(4) Personnel related initiative.


(1) Coping with Individual Stress Management:- At the individual level,
attempt may be made to ascertain how a switch from maladaptive to
adaptive behavior can be accomplished, who should be involved and what
actions are appropriate. It is suggested that the individual himself should
be responsible for managing his stress with the support of the
organization. Individual strategies are based on self-control or do you
approach. Physical exercise in any form, be it walking, jogging,
swimming, riding bicycles or playing games help employees combat stress
through relaxation, enhanced self-esteem and simply getting ones mind
off the work for a while.
Behavioral self-control or self-management is another method. It refers to
a conscious analysis of the causes and consequences of employees own
behavior. In ultimate analysis, self-control strategy implies employees
controlling the situation instead of letting the control them. Accordingly,
one way to avoid stress is to avoid people or situations that will put
employees under stress.


Coping with Organizational Stress Management :- The management

may purse the following strategies to reduce job stress:
(a) Setting of clear objectives for the organization, departments and
individuals so as to minimize scope of job conflicts and ambiguity among
the employees
(b) Starting an Organization Development (OD) department for creating
meaningful and enriching jobs for employees.
(c) Having a flexible organizational structure so as to accommodate changing
social, economic, political and technological developments.
(d) Devising plans for career paths and development taking into considering
both the individual capabilities and aspirations, on the one hand, and the
organizational requirements, on the other. It is necessary because the stress
is caused by not knowing what the next move is and how they are going to
make it.

Stress is a fact of life, particularly for work-at-home entrepreneurs who,
because were sometimes blazing new and unfamiliar territory, tend to
shoulder more burden than Atlas.
We like to be in control, we like to be productive, and we like to do things on
our own. While these are all admirable qualities, when taken to the extreme,
they can end up costing us in terms of sleepless nights, stress-ridden days,
and lost efficiency.


I hope that after reading this report, youll see that while stress may be
unavoidable, there are things we can do to help mitigate its detrimental
effects. Stress is unavoidable in the work-at-home life but it doesnt have
to overwhelm us.

Selye, H (1950). "Stress and the general adaptation syndrome"
Human Resource Management: Text and Cases By: K. Aswathappa
Managing Stress: Principles and Strategies for Health and Wellbeing
by Brian Luke Seaward