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STRESS IN THE WORKPLACE: A CASE STUDY

A Research Proposal for a Dissertation

by

GERBRECHT SUSANNA NORTJÉ, BA, PDHIV/AIDS MANAGEMENT Student No.: 200157672

To be submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree

MASTER TECHNOLOGIAE

in

Business Administration

FACULTY OF MANAGEMENT SCIENCES

TSHWANE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. J.A. Watkins Co-Supervisor: Mr. W.L. Pretorius

TSHWANE

August 2007

iii

DECLARATION OF COPYRIGHT

I hereby declare that this dissertation submitted for the degree Magister Technologiae Business Administration at the Tshwane University of Technology, is my own original unaided work and has not previously been submitted to any other institution or higher education. I further declare that all sources cited or quoted are indicated and

acknowledged by means of a comprehensive list of references.

Gerbrecht Susanna Nortjé

Copyright© Tshwane University of Technology – 2007

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ii . Wulf and Susan van der Walt for all their love. My Parents. for all his love and support. my son. Ruan Nortjé. advice and talent.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The researcher wishes to acknowledge the contribution of the following: • • • • • • The Almighty for the ability. Prof Dr Watkins for his patience. Ms Rachel Fourie for typing of the dissertation. To the countless others to whom I owe a great debt of gratitude and have not mentioned here: I pass along a sincere thank you for your time. support and the upbringing they gave me. guidance and support.

Positive stress or ‘good stress’. is when a person hates his work. Negative stress or ‘distress’. Higher Education in SouthAfrica has seen extensive change in the past 10 years. resenting the multiple pressures of life and feeling like a victim. BA. Stress in the workplace is detrimental to an organization when it comes to productivity. and where one wishes to go. Technikon North West and Technikon Northern Gauteng. TUT is now the largest residential higher education institution in South Africa. performance standards and job satisfaction.ABSTRACT Author: Degree: University: Faculty: Promotor: Date: Gerbrecht Susanna Nortjé. at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). and make recommendations to mitigate the adverse impact thereof. and has eight campuses and seven faculties. resulted in stress at all levels due to the impact of the change initiative not only on the workplace but also in the private lives of people. iii . and is not necessarily ‘bad’. As a rule is a meaningful goal or project that taps into our talents and passion on a daily basis. PDHIV/AIDS Management Magister Technologiae in Business Administration Tshwane University of Technology Faculty of Management Sciences Prof Dr J A Watkins 31 August 2007 The aim of this study is to identify and classify the stress experienced by staff members in the Faculty of Arts. Organizations whose workers are stressed are also less likely to be successful in a competitive market. The Tshwane University of Technology was formed on 1 January 2004. when the following three Technikons merged: Technikon Pretoria. Stress is a term we all are aware of. With the merging of tertiary institutions whereby the former Technikons became Universities of Technology. is the positive tension between where one is now.

The Faculty of Arts forming the object of this research. which serve as both academic and commercial facilities for various Departments. namely the Breytenbach and Rostrum. while all the other departments are located at the Arts Campus in the Pretoria CBD. with a branch at the University’s Ga-Rankuwa Campus. The Faculty is also home to two performing arts theatres. The purpose of this study is to highlight the prevalence of stress. iv . and the negative effect it has on the individual as well as the organisation. with six departments. Film Studies housed at the Pretoria Campus. Fashion Design. namely the department of music which is situated at the Science Campus.

ABBREVIATIONS TUT EAP HIV AIDS - Tshwane University of Technology Employee Assistance Programme Humane Immune Virus Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome v .

8 THE RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY THE RESEARCH ASSUMPTIONS RESEARCH CONSTRAINTS 1.4 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND THE TSHWANE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY THE RESEARCH PROCESS BACKGROUND TO THE RESEARCH PROBLEM 1.2 1.1 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND THE TSHWANE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY The Faculty of Arts 14 15 15 vi .2 2.5 THE RESEARCH QUESTION 1.1Limitations 1.8.TABLE OF CONTENTS Page DECLARATION ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ABSTRACT ABBREVIATIONS i ii iii v CHAPTER 1: SCOPE OF THE RESEARCH 1.1 Investigative questions 1.1 2.7 1.8.1 1.12 CHAPTER AND CONTEXT ANALYSIS KEY RESEARCH OBJECTIVES SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PROPOSED RESEARCH CONCLUSION 1 4 5 6 8 9 9 9 11 11 11 11 12 12 13 13 CHAPTER 2: THE TSHWANE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY 2.3 1.1Research problem statement 1.5.2.6 1.11 1.10 1.2Delimitations 1.9 1.4.

8.1.1 STRESSORS IN HIGHER EDUCATION 3.1.5 THE IMPACT OF THE MERGER ON TUT EMPLOYEES THE IMPACT OF THE MERGER ON THE FACULTY OF ARTS CONCLUSION 20 22 22 CHAPTER 3: THE CONCEPTS OF STRESS: A LITERATURE REVIEW 3.9.3 2.3 3.1 POTENTIAL SOURCES OF WORKPLACE STRESS 3.6 Environmental stressors 3.3 Support at work 3.11 STRESS MANAGEMENT CONCLUSION CHAPTER 4: RESEARCH SURVEY DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY 4.9.1 3.4 3.9.10 3.2 4.7 3.1 Insecurity 3.4 Bullying at work and workplace violence 3.9 STRESS IN HIGHER EDUCATION 3.5 Work-life balance 3.8 INTRODUCTION WORK RELATED STRESS THE PHYSIOLOGY OF STRESS THE STRESS RESPONSE RECOGNIZING STRESS STRESS AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES STRESS AND PERSONALITY BEHAVIOUR TYPES WORKPLACE STRESS 24 25 27 27 29 32 33 34 35 37 38 38 40 41 42 44 45 46 49 3.9.1 4.1.2.5 3.9.2 3.9.4 2.2 Workload and other job demands 3.1.9.2 4.1.3 INTRODUCTION RESEARCH APPROACH QUALITATIVE RESEARCH QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH DATA COLLECTION 50 50 50 51 51 vii .6 3.1 4.2.1.2.

3.4 6.5 6.3 6.4 4.5 5.6 INTRODUCTION SECTION A: DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SECTION B: LIFE EVENTS SECTION C: IDENTIFYING STRESS AT WORK SECTION D: WORK-LIFE BALANCE CONCLUSION 60 60 64 67 74 77 CHAPTER 6: CONCLUSION 6.6 LITERATURE STUDY QUESTIONNAIRE THE TARGET POPULATION THE CHOICE OF SAMPLING METHOD MEASUREMENT SCALES LIMITATIONS OF THE RESEARCH CONCLUSION 51 52 57 58 58 59 59 CHAPTER 5: ANALYSIS OF DATA AND INTERPRETATION OF RESULTS 5.1 6.4.3 4.2 INTRODUCTION THE RESEARCH DESIGN AND DATA COLLECTION DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY 79 79 80 80 81 82 82 6.7 6.5 4.3.1 4.9 6.6 6.8 THE RESEARCH PROBLEM RE-VISITED THE RESEARCH QUESTION RE-VISITED THE INVESTIGATIVE QUESTIONS RE-VISITED KEY RESEARCH FINDINGS RECOMMENDATIONS KEY RESEARCH OBJECTIVES AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESEARCH 83 84 84 6.2 4.4 4.3.10 PERSONAL REFLECTION CONCLUSION viii .1 5.3 5.4 5.3.2 5.

BIBLIOGRAPHY 85 LIST OF FIGUERES Figure 2.1: Table 3.3: Gender distribution of permanent staff members Distribution of academic and non-academic staff members The main factors that lead to stress and affect productivity Symptoms of Stress The four phases of stress 19 19 26 30 31 ix .1: Table 2.1: Structure of the Faculty of Arts 18 LIST OF TABLES Table 2.2: Table 3.2: Table 3.

x .

As a result. or other factors that require a response or change. Kreitner. Individual differences. social. that is a consequence of any external action. the It is generally believed that some stress is acceptable. Distress. Work stress has been 1 . economic. Work stress and other psychosocial factors are recognized worldwide as a major challenge to workers’ health and the health of organizations.CHAPTER 1 SCOPE OF THE RESEARCH 1. “…emotional or physical strain or tension”. constraint or demand related to what he or she desires and for which the outcome is perceived to be both uncertain and important”. Healthy pressure stimulates and energizes human beings and promotes motivation and creativity. physical. burntout and in the worst scenario. or too much stress. situation or event that places special physical and/or psychological demands upon a person”. Kinicki & Buelens (1999:503) define stress as. the clinical and the organization. sometimes referred to as ‘challenge’ or ‘positive stress’ (eustress). Robbins (2001:563) defines stress as. “…an adaptive response. referred to as ‘stressors’. namely: Environmental demands. Stress can also be explained as the result of any emotional. which is either too little stress that creates boredom and apathy. This definition can be broken down into three interrelated dimensions. An adaptive response. mediated by individual characteristics and/or psychological processes. “…a dynamic condition in which an individual is confronted with an opportunity. 2003:20).1 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND The Collins English Dictionary (2000:1517) defines stress as. destructive and uncontrolled rage (Vinassa. health problems. can result in fatigue. namely: medical. stress can be viewed from three different viewpoints.

a United Nations Report entitled “job stress the 20th Century Disease” emphasised the severity of the concept and a few years later. Stress-related disease is responsible for the loss of 6. the term “stress” will be referred to as ‘distress’. In 1992. the World Health 2 .7 billion.6 million a year” (WHO European Ministerial Conference on Medical Health. 2002:7). 2005:2). as well as organizations’ effectiveness. The healthcare expenditure in the USA are nearly 50% greater for workers who report high levels of stress at work (KortumMargot.7 billion. Of the respondents to a survey. and the cost of work-related psychological illness is estimated to be €2. one in five workers was ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ stressed as a result of occupational influence. amounting to €265 billion annually. poorly motivated. higher staff turnover and reduced ability to innovate. in addition to the price of lower productivity. In the Netherlands in 1998.proved to adversely impact on individuals’ psychological and physical health.5 million working days each year in the United Kingdom. In the USA. including financial or family problems. Organizations whose workers are stressed are also less likely to be successful in a competitive market. In this research study. less productive and less safe to work with at work. In Sweden during 1999. “…In the 15 Member States of the pre-2004 EU. 68% confirmed that they had to work very fast and 60% never had enough time to finish their work. costing employers around €571 million and society as a whole as much as €5. 14% of the 15 000 workers on long term sick leave said the reason was stress and mental strain. The total cost of sick leave to Sweden in 1999 was €2. problems at work seem to be more strongly associated with health complaints than any other life stressor. the cost of stress at work and the related mental health problems were estimated to be on average between 3% and 4% of gross national product. In the United Kingdom during 2000. Workers who are stressed are more likely to be unhealthy. Studies estimate that work-related stress alone costs the businesses and governments of those countries about €20 billion in absenteeism and related health costs. mental disorders were the main cause of incapacity (32%).

2002:10). A 1998 study reported that rapid changes in the workforce had resulted in a staggering unemployment rate of 10% in the European Union and higher rates of job stress complaints. The South African work environment is more challenging and complex than ever before. compared with only 19% of the Australian population overall (Winefield. as well as a wide range of psychosomatic symptoms (headaches. it is not always clear what forms of harm are caused by psychosocial hazards. At one extreme it may be psychiatric illness but at the other. A study executed in 2004. but all play an intrinsic role in the wellness of staff and the productivity of the work-force. etc. increased alcohol abuse. a wide range of moods (anxiety. substance abuse. Dua & Hapuararchchi. Japan had a similar problem as a result of a major and prolonged Research from across the globe indicates that the phenomenon of occupational stress in universities is widespread and increasing exponentially. at the University of Luton and the University of Leeds on stress and work-life balance in academic and academic related employees in the UK. Challenges such as diseases. It may also be the reason why most companies overlook the importance of a holistic stress management program. physical and mental illness. Gillespie. 3 . 2004:Online). found that 69% indicating that they experience high levels of job stress (Kinman & Jones. are challenges that neither employees nor employers have anticipated. stress. While most physical hazards have clear tangent planes to physical injury. family issues and the technological revolution. irritability) or affective states (poor job satisfaction.). diagnosed illness or symptoms. HIV&AIDS. sleeplessness. low organizational commitment) are attributed to stress.Organization declared that stress had become a ‘world wide epidemic’. Stough. A key finding of a national survey conducted in 2002 on occupational stress in Australian Universities is that approximately 50% of Australian University staff taking part in the survey were at risk of psychological illness. depression. recession.

namely Arts. physical and psychological health. Technikon North-West and Technikon Pretoria. combined with life events in the life of staff members. The two main changes were the merging of many institutions. These workplace stressors. According to Olivier. The Tshwane University of Technology Technikon Northern (TUT) was formed by the merging of three Technikons: Gauteng. This can be attributed to the high crime rate.South Africa. Polokwane. global changes in the 21st Century have brought major changes and challenges to higher education. changes in management styles and structures and the merging of institutions. Soshanguve and Ga-Rankuwa. which are frequently debated and researched. Occupational stress in higher education is a worldwide problem. Engineering & Built 4 . Arcadia. changes in student demographics and students’ levels of preparedness. Arts. Two major changes which have occurred is the merging of various institutions and the second being the former Technikons becoming Universities of Technologies. the modularisation of courses. Grootboom and Tokota (2005:913) the pressure of change. Technikon Northern Gauteng and Technikon North West. unemployment. and the devastating effect of HIV & AIDS. retrenchments. Both can be seen as stressors. Economics & Finance. 1. the information and technological revolution. tended to become stressors and taking their toll on many tertiary staff. Furthermore.2 THE TSHWANE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY On 1 January 2004 the Higher Education landscape in South Africa changed. the changing socio-political landscape. increased workloads. Nelspruit. and former Technikons becoming Universities of Technology. can impede their professional growth. work wellness. as well as challenges such as financial constraints. for a number of reasons is for many a stressful country to live and work in. The merging of the Technikon Pretoria. Witbank. De Jager. with 44 013 students registered for 2007. TUT is now the largest residential higher education institution in South Africa. Higher education in South Africa has seen extensive change in the past decade. created major changes and uncertainty. TUT has seven faculties. TUT has eight campuses: Pretoria West.

namely: Reviewing the literature.3 THE RESEARCH PROCESS Remenyi. Fine & Applied Arts. Reviewing the literature. Dance & Musical Theatre. there are six fundamental stages in the research process. In this research. Collecting evidence. According to Hussey. Photography. explain the research process as consisting of eight specific phases. Formalising a research question. and Entertainment Technology. Management Sciences and Science. Developing conclusions. School of Music. Analysis and interpretation of the research data. 1. Williams. The Faculty of Arts has the following departments: Vocal Art. Collection of the research data. R.Environment. & Hussey. Humanities. To date it has grown into one of Southern Africa’s most highly regarded academies in the creative industry. Definition of the research problem. as a school of fine art. the following research process will be followed: The identification of the research topic. Determining how the research is going to be conducted. namely: The identification of the research topic. Drama. J. Understanding the limitations of the research. Information and Communication Technology. Analysing the evidence. 5 . Money and Swartz (2002: 64 – 65). Producing management guidelines or recommendations. The Faculty of Arts was founded in 1921. Interior Design & Multimedia. (1997: 15). Motion Picture Academy. Fashion Design & Technology. Establishing the methodology. Graphic Design. Writing up of the dissertation or thesis. Textile Design.

the programme then was an in-house programme. Du Plessis & Potgieter (2000:34) explain that the word emotion originates from the Latin word. “…emotions represent a release of energy that leads to actions or reactions”. ‘emove’. The researcher has been employed as a Senior Employee Assistance Practioner in the Department of Human Resources of TUT. fear. Valuing diversity: The diverse nature of the workforce is promoted as being on the organizations strengths through the Employment Equity process. Developing conclusions. anger. 1. that stress is ‘an emotion’. The Human Resources department has the following values: Professionalism: In respect to its conduct. Analysing the evidence. “…an emotion. Emotions such as joy. Hattingh (2003:143) noted that.Formalising a research question. started in 2001 at the former Technikon Pretoria under the auspices of the researcher. disgust and shame is generally accepted as the core or primary emotions. Excellence: The Directorate of Human Resources fully acknowledges its role in contributing towards the overall strategic goal of excellence on a macro level as well as on a micro level dealing with the daily operations of the Human Resources function.4 BACKGROUND TO THE RESEARCH PROBLEM Everyone is at the same risk of work-related stress for the simple reason. contempt. distress. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP). which means ‘to move out’. Determining how the research is going to be conducted. surprise. The EAP function falls under the auspices of the Directorate of Human Resources. interest. desire. (E)motive is then described as. 6 . Caring: The Employee Assistance Programme places the caring principle high on the agenda within the Directorate of Human Resources. physiological need or similar impulse that acts as an incitement to actions”. accountability and interaction with all its customers. Establishing the methodology. Collecting evidence.

hi-jackings. Threat to kill a supervisor. violent death of co-workers. etc. Various health problems that are stress related. Emotional abuse. 7 . Gout. Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. Critical incidents experienced by the staff members such as: rape. Applications for medical disability that vary from depression. the following: Physical assault in the workplace. Depressive Episodes. spouse retrenchment. High-rate of death among staff members. Chronic ischaemic heart disease. The aspects listed above maps to the findings of the Discovery Health Corporate Health Review (Fourth Dimension Health & IFG Africa Healthcare Consultants 2005/2006). Family-problems such as: divorces. Complaints about the ergonomics of TUT. cancers. problem children.Typical issues being dealt with. bi-polar disorders. which indicated that the chronic conditions for which principal members younger than 65 are most commonly registered for are: Essential (primary) hypertension. Alcohol abuse. etc. Suicide and suicide attempts. Disorders of lipoprotein metabolism and other lipidaemias. Other Hypothyroidism. Menopausal and other peri-menopausal disorders. within the ambit of the Employee Assistance Programme. Non-Insulin dependant diabetes mellitus. Asthma. heart diseases. Major depression. Sexual harassment.

must be taken in consideration.For confidentiality reasons. These choices relate to nutrition. 1. it is widely accepted that at least two-thirds of all diseases are caused by lifestyle choices that people make. Interpersonal relationships between workers. the analogy can be drawn that in all spheres of life stress is evident. From the above. depressive episodes. Family-related problems. 8 . Research has shown that hypertension. Critical incidents such as crime and natural disasters. to insufficient rest and relaxation. also in the Tshwane University of Technology. non-insulin dependant diabetes mellitus. HIV&AIDS is not listed in the Discovery Corporate Health review. has identified four key sources of stress responsible for the bulk of the emotional problems they encounter: The perpetual pressure for change and reorganization in the workplace. and many other abuses of the body”. to smoking. Covey (2004:336) mentioned that. “…in professional circles.1 Research problem statement Against the above background the research problem for this research study reads as follows: “Unacceptable high levels of stress in the Faculty of Arts at TUT. The fact that principal members are staff members and not the dependants. ICAS (Independent Counselling and Advisory Services) of South Africa.4. according to Vinassa (2003:20). disorders of lipoprotein metabolism. to attempting to burn the candle at both ends. and chronic ischemic heart disease and gastro-oesophageal reflux diseases are all stress related. adversely impacting on employee well being”.

Case study research aims not only to explore certain phenomena. 1. THE RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY Yin (1994:19) define a research design as. the following investigative questions will be researched: Can it be determined whether the staff members at the Faculty of Arts experience stress and furthermore which types of stress are most common? Can practical stress management techniques be implemented to address stress as experienced by staff members of the Faculty of Arts at TUT. but also to understand them in a particular context. how they were implemented. and likely to be used in case study research.1.1 Investigative questions In support of the research question. The case study as a research strategy comprises an all-encompassing method – with the logic of design incorporating specific approaches to data collection and 9 . to its conclusions”. “… the logical sequence that connects the empirical data to a study’s initial research question and ultimately.5. especially when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident. Case study research will serve as the primary research method. ‘How’ and ‘why’ questions are explanatory. A case study illuminates a decision or set of decisions – why they were taken. and with what result. classified and ultimately mitigated”? 1.6.5 THE RESEARCH QUESTION The research question forming the crux of the research reads as follows: “Can the type of stress experienced by staff members at the Faculty of Arts be identified. Some of the more salient aspects of case study research described by Yin are listed below for ease of reference: A case study is an empirical enquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context.

which may be both qualitative and quantitative. An approach suggested by Yin is that of ‘pattern matching’. In addition. the following types of case studies can be identified: Descriptive case studies: Where the objective is restricted to describing current practice. According to Hussey. which are especially important for case studies: Study questions: The case study is most likely to be appropriate for ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions. ‘reason for the study’.data analysis. R. say a person with a rare medical problem. In this sense. proposition points to the. 10 For greater clarity. (1997:66). but ‘a comprehensive research strategy’. Linking data to propositions: A number of ways are open to students to link data to propositions. which calls for the initial task being to clarify precisely the nature of the study questions. Unit of analysis: Should the case study involve a specific person being studied. the case study is not either a data collection tactic or merely a design feature alone. J. The tentative definition of the unit of analysis is related to the way in which the initial research questions were formulated. Explanatory case studies: Where existing theory is used to understand and explain what is happening. A case study is typically used when contextual conditions are the subject of research. Illustrative case studies: Where the research attempts to illustrate new and possibly innovative practices adopted by particular companies. case studies are often described as exploratory research used in areas where there are few theories or a deficient body of knowledge. Experimental case studies: Where the research examines the difficulties in implementing new procedures and techniques in an organisation and evaluating the benefits. and Hussey. the . Study propositions: A study proposition directs the attention to something that should be examined within the scope of the study. emphasises the following five components of a research design. Case study research uses multiple methods for collecting data. the individual being studied is the primary unit of analysis. Yin (1994:20 – 27).

and in that case it is difficult to know how true or reliable the answers are.8 RESEARCH CONSTRAINTS 1. They may not have the knowledge or even an opinion on the topic of concern. 1. They may view the topic as too sensitive and the questionnaire as potentially embarrassing or intrusive. A respondent may feel obliged to give an opinion. 1. Non-co-operation could point to the following: People fail to see any value in participating. Criteria for interpreting findings: If the different ‘patterns’ are sufficiently contrasting. Staffs in the Faculty of Arts at TUT are familiar with the term ‘stress’. A respondent may interpret the question differently from what was intended by the researcher. 1.1 LIMITATIONS The quantity and quality of information to be gleaned from the survey questionnaires will depend on the willingness of the respondents to cooperate. They may fear the ‘interview/questionnaire’ experience for some personal reasons. 11 .2 DELIMITATIONS The scope of the research will be limited to the Faculty of Arts at TUT.8.7 RESEARCH ASSUMPTIONS The researcher assumes that: There are high levels of stress at TUT. the findings can be interpreted in terms of comparing at least two rival propositions.whereby several pieces of information from the same case may be related to some theoretical proposition.8.

Chapter 4 .TUT – a Holistic perspective: In this chapter a holistic overview of the Tshwane University of Technology will be provided. the statistical analysis of the results gleaned from chapter 4 will be analysed and interpreted.Conclusion: In this chapter.Interpretation of results: In this chapter. Chapter 2 . 1. To identify the causes of stress as experienced by the staff members of the Faculty of Arts at TUT.10 KEY RESEARCH OBJECTIVES The key research objectives with this research study are: To determine whether the staff members of the Faculty of Arts at TUT experience stress. Chapter 6 . The chapter will be concluded with recommendations which will mitigate the research problem and provide an answer to the research question. Chapter 5 . the research design and methodology to be followed in this study for data collection are elaborated upon. the research is concluded and final analogies drawn.1. Chapter 3 – Concept of ‘Stress’ – A literature review: A literature review is conducted that focus on stress. Attention is given to stress related issues and stress management techniques which have been used to manage stress effectively.Scope of the research: Provides a holistic background to be conducted within the ambit of this dissertation. To identify practical stress management techniques that could mitigate the primary research problem.9 CHAPTERS AND CONTEXT ANALYSIS The following chapter content analysis will pertain to this research study: Chapter 1. 12 .Data collection design and methodology: In this chapter. as well as of the Faculty of Arts. Related statistics regarding staff members and students are also provided.

13 .1. Should the recommendations made in this dissertation be acceptable. the research design and methodology was explained and the chapter concluded with a chapter and content analysis and key research objectives. In Chapter 2. 1. it would have the potential to facilitate a relatively stress free working environment in a highly stress orientated environment. Furthermore.11 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PROPOSED RESEARCH The significance of this research stems from the fact that: This research is the first research executed on stress at the TUT after the merger. The research process. a holistic perspective has been provided of the issues pertaining to the research environment. the research problem and associated research question were elaborated upon.12 CONCLUSION In this chapter. a holistic perspective will be provided of the on the Tshwane University of Technology. with specific focus on the Faculty of Arts.

CHAPTER 2

THE

TSHWANE

UNIVERSITY

OF

TECHNOLOGY

A

HOLISTIC PERSPECTIVE
2.1 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

South Africa’s entire educational system, from primary schools to tertiary institutions, is in the process of being redesigned for the post-apartheid future. The key challenges facing the South African higher education system remain as outlined in the White Paper, “… to redress past inequalities and to transform the higher education system to serve a new social order, to meet pressing national needs, and to respond to new realities and opportunities (South Africa: 1997a). More specifically, as the White Paper indicates, the role of higher education in a knowledge-driven world is three fold:

Human resource development: The mobilisation of human talent and potential through lifelong learning to contribute to the social, economic, cultural and intellectual life of a rapidly changing society. High-level skills training: The training and provision of person power to

strengthen this country’s enterprises, services and infrastructure. This requires the development of professionals and knowledge workers with globally equivalent skills, but who are socially responsible and conscious of their role in contributing to the national development effort and social transformation. Production, acquisition and application of knew knowledge: National growth and competitiveness is dependent on continuous technological improvement and innovation, driven by a well-organised, vibrant research and development system. This integrates the research and training capacity of higher education with the needs of industry and of social reconstruction (South Africa: 1997a).

Higher education in South Africa has seen extensive change in the past decade, in response to two main challenges. First the need to address the inequalities as a result

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of the apartheid legacy, and second to ensure that the higher education system is able to meet the challenges of the 21st century in the context of a globalizing world.

2.2

THE TSHWANE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

On 1 January 2004, the Higher Education landscape in South Africa changed. The two main changes were first the merging of a number of institutions, and secondly the former Technikons which became Universities of Technology. The Tshwane

University of Technology (TUT) was established on 1 January 2004, in terms of a Government Notice No 25737, published in the Government Gazette on 14 November 2003, relating to a provision in the Higher Education Act, 1997 (Act No 101 of 1997), which reads as follows: “… I, Professor Kader Asmal, MP, Minister of Education, in accordance with section 23(1) of the Higher Education Act, 1997 (Act 101 of 1997), and after consulting the Council of Higher Education, hereby merge the Technikon Northern Gauteng, Technikon North West and Technikon Pretoria into a single public Higher Education Institution” (South Africa:2003).

TUT is now the largest residential higher education institution in South Africa, with 44 013 students registered for 2007. TUT have eight campuses, namely: Pretoria West, Arts, Arcadia, Witbank, Nelspruit, Polokwane, Soshanguve and Ga-Rankuwa. TUT have seven faculties, namely Arts, Economics & Finance, Engineering & Built Environment, Humanities, Information and Communication Technology,

Management Sciences and Science.

2.2.1 The Faculty of Arts

The Faculty of Arts was founded in 1921, as a school of fine art. Today it has grown into one of South Africa’s most highly regarded academies in the creative industry. The faculty consists of the following six departments: Drama and Film Studies, Entertainment technology, Performing Arts, Fashion Design and Technology, Fine and Applied Arts, and Visual Communication.

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The Faculty of the Arts offers the following courses, namely Dance, Drama, Fashion Design, Fine and Applied Arts, Graphic Desigh, Interior Design, Jewellery Design and Manufacture, Film Studies, Multimedia, Music, Musical Theatre, Performing Arts Technology, Photography, Textile Design and Technology, Vocal Art and Art Administration.

Qualifications offered in the Faculty are as follows: National Certificate (1 year); National Higher Certificate (2 year); National Diploma (3 years); Bachelor of Technology (4 years); Master of Technology (graduate research degree); Doctor of Technology (advanced graduate research degree).

The prime purpose of the Faculty of Arts is to lead and sustain creativity and the creative process. To this end, it offers leading-edge programmes that prepare students for degrees and diplomas in the cultural sector.

The vision of the Faculty of Arts is “… To be the leading Faculty of the Arts in South Africa and elsewhere in the world that: Promotes creativity, scholarship, knowledge and technology innovation in the cultural domain; Provides world-class education in the cultural sector; Encourages the dual role of culture in South Africa (that is, art for the sake of art, and culture-led social, economic and physical development)

The mission of the Faculty of Arts is to enable and realise this vision. The faculty strives to: Empower students by harnessing and enhancing their creative and intellectual competence, at both under graduate and postgraduate levels. Empower Southern African societies by contributing to socio-economic development needs through the transfer of knowledge and technology to communities. Extend the boundaries of creativity, technology innovation and arts practice by making knowledge accessible and useful through strategic research programmes that are both practice-based and theory-driven.

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in both local and global contexts. The structure of the Faculty of Arts is graphically depicted in Figure 2. To improve the success rate of learners and the graduation rate. To develop quality plans to improve the quality of our offerings and products. To develop community engagement. The strategic goals of the Faculty are as follows: To develop research and innovation capacity. To improve quality assurance. To develop research and innovation incubators to create job opportunities. To develop at least one community project to create job opportunities.Establish and sustain strategic alliances with academic and business partners. To increase partnerships to develop local economy.1 17 . The objectives of the Faculty are as follows: To improve staff development to do research.

Musical Theatre.1: Structure of the Faculty of Arts. Motion Picture Academy Fashion Design and Technology Fashion Fine and Applied Arts Entertainment Technology Performing Arts Technology Fine and Applied Arts Jewellery Design Textile and Product Design Performing Arts Dance. (Source: Own Source) 18 .EXECUTIVE DEAN Breytenbach Theatre Research Project Manager Executive Secretary Faculty Administrative Officer Faculty Marketer Financial Officer / Campus Administrator / Procurement Officer Drama and Film Studies Drama. Jazz and Popular Music. Vocal Art Visual Communication Graphic Design and New Media Interior Design Photography Figure 2.

1 Table 2.2: Distribution of academic and non-academic staff members (Source: ITS System.2 Table 2. Interior and Multimedia Performing Arts Visual Communication Total Academic 2 13 8 14 15 7 8 5 72 Non-Academic 6 6 2 2 5 2 1 0 22 Total 8 19 10 16 20 9 8 5 96 19 .The gender distribution of permanent staff members are reflected in Table 2. Interior and Multimedia Performing Arts Visual Communication Total Male 4 8 4 6 9 2 9 4 46 Female 3 9 4 10 11 6 7 0 50 Total 7 17 8 16 20 8 16 4 96 The distribution of academic and non-academic staff members are reflected in Table 2. TUT) Department Dean: Arts Drama and Film Studies Entertainment Technology Fashion Design and Technology Fine and Applied Arts Graphic.1: Gender distribution of permanent staff members (Source: ITS System. TUT) Department Dean Arts Drama and Film Studies Entertainment Technology Fashion Design and Technology Fine and Applied Arts Graphic.

radical change involving reframing of assumption about the organization and the world in which it operates. economic shocks. has been devastating for their emotional and professional lives of all staff. discontinuous. Furthermore. Robbins describes second-order change as a multidimensional. characteristics that the organization values. first-order change which is linear and continuous. multilevel. A new management team was appointed. technology. Organizational culture is a system of shared meaning held by members that distinguishes the organization from other organizations. or still in the process of been written. The use of rumour and myth-creation clearly contributes to the merger climate within the 20 . Such emotional upheaval can be attributed to the following: Corridor politics: This refers to strong feelings of betrayal and abuse. The first impact that a merger has on the staff is paradigmatic change. who are now placed in the same departments. The third dramatic change was represented by the merger of three different organizational cultures. nature of the workforce. as the merger causes change on all levels. it is a set of key According to Jansen (2003:44). “…as a strategy through which two firms agree to integrate their operations on a relatively co-equal basis because they have resources and capabilities that together may create a stronger competitive advantage”. On closer scrutiny.2. however cultural compatibility has become the primary concern in mergers. Employees have to learn to work with new colleagues. and that is ‘the people’ involved. competition. social trends and world politics. There are different forces of change in the workplace. new policies & procedures were written.g. The researcher is of the opinion that TUT has undergone a second-order change. at all levels. It implies no fundamental shifts in the assumptions that organizational members hold about the world or how the organization can improve its functioning. e. There is however one key factor that needs to be taken in consideration when a merger occurs.3 THE IMPACT OF THE MERGER ON TUT EMPLOYEES Hitt. the impact of mergers on staff in many cases. It is people with different values and norms. Robbins (2001:542) distinguishes between. Ireland and Hoskisson (2001:277) define a merger. Incompatibility of cultures cannot be put forward as a reason why many mergers fail.

including the media. downsizing. Some of the factors which contributed to the uncertainty experience by staff members of TUT as a result of the merger. The second impact that the merger has on the staff members. Kreitner et al.institution. survivor syndromes and stress on the workers. Strong individual or group competition. Mergers can often be traumatic for the employees of acquired firms. Corridor politics however not alter the speed or outcome of the merger process. “…the souls of the partners involved are also affected and they have to relate to the process of change”. Boardroom politics: This refers to the active negotiation and securing of the position of one merger partner ahead of his/her competition during and after the merger process as a result of deliberate management actions. (1999:311) list the following as the five common sources of uncertainty within organizations: Unclear objectives. High levels of uncertainty have an increased level of anxiety. layoffs. and through representations directly to government. stress and aggressiveness. not only the governing systems of the impacted institutions are affected. campus organizations. and the impact can range from anger to depression. which manifests itself in greater nervousness. and to very active micro-politics among staff and management. Issues which manifest as a result of mergers and acquisitions are changes in the human resources policies. Street politics: This refers to the active representation of staff politics within public spheres. Any type of change. is uncertainty. Vague performance measures. Ill-defined decision processes. the following: Reports in the press that the institution is technically bankrupt. but does not influence the final outcome of the merger. Skodvin (1999:68) is of the opinion that in a merger. Street level politics displays aggression and threats. and staff members who worked for the last two months have not been paid. 21 . it simply generates frustration.

The match and place process will have the reality of retrenchments. its vision. Retrenchment has an emotional impact on the affected employee as well as on the remaining staff. Job loss is one of the most devastating experiences second only to the death of a loved one. Due to this consolidation there will be fewer heads of departments and secretaries. Detail was provided on the impact of the merger on TUT employees. 2. The match and place is a process in order to achieve the consolidation and integration of academic. Out-sourcing of departments. mission and objectives. with employees living in a state of fear of putting a foot wrong” (Page. and the chapter concluded with a discussion of the impact of the merger on the Faculty of Arts. the latter forming 22 . The researcher is of the opinion that the emotional stress and traumatic experience created by the merger. without the prescribed procedures. In addition. 2. several of the academic departments in the Faculty of Arts will be consolidated. 2001:15).The ‘match and place process’ which started. in line with the Institutional Operating Plan. “…A retrenchment experience is so traumatic that the stress continues for months. and as a result.4 THE IMPACT OF THE MERGER ON THE FACULTY OF ARTS On 6 November 2006 the Senate approved the consolidation of academic departments.5 CONCLUSION In this chapter a holistic perspective was provided of the merger status quo of the Tshwane University of Technology. as well as support structures. the Faculty of Arts were analysed in terms of courses presented. detail was provided on the entities’ structure and an analysis provided of the gender distribution and distribution of academic and non-academic staff. as well as other stressors in the workplace and life event stressors has a direct impact on the health and work performance of staff members at TUT. The researcher is further of the opinion that the stress at TUT has reached unacceptable levels directly influencing the well being of staff adversely. Furthermore.

the focus of this research study. 23 . a literature review will be conducted on the concept of ‘stress’. In the next chapter.

surging heart rate and blood pressure. marital problems. Such as moving to a new house. resulting in a symptomatic pattern in the likes of combat fatigue being observed (Berry. A crisis that creates stress: Such as financial difficulties. Stress was the object of study in early clinical research. 1998:416). Cryer. shock reactions to civilian disasters were also studied in early research as well as living in chronically stressful situations for prolonged periods. extreme fearfulness. McCraty & Childre (2003:103) refer to stress as “…two simultaneous events: an external stimulus called a stressor. anxiety. fast breathing. illness. injury etc. and so on). Good stressors (a ski run. from an organizational perspective and from an individual perspective. a poetry contest) inspire you to achieve”. Stress can derive from life events and according to Looker & Gregson (2003:93). 24 .CHAPTER 3 THE CONCEPT OF STRESS: A LITERATURE REVIEW 3. muscle tension. ‘life event stressors’ fall into the following categories: Unavoidable stress: Are stressors such as death. its causes. Stress can be defined from a health perspective. defining stress. and the emotional and physical responses to that stimulus (fear. work problems etc. Psychotic behaviour.1 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND While stress is readily acknowledged to be a common occurrence of modern life. Events that require some adjustments: children starting school etc. known as ‘combat fatigue’. ulcers and hypertension were found to result from this stressful experience. The emotional breakdown of men in military combat was studied in clinical research in the early 1949’s. Furthermore. anxiety. symptoms and effects is a very complex matter.

financial difficulties. Anxiety deals with imagined or unreal dangers. sleeplessness or pain of muscles and organs. It causes physical Vermeulen further distinguish discomfort such as headaches. habitual negativity. change within the organisation or any of the plethoras of aspects which could induce stress in a work environment. poor ethics and supervision and a dislike for their 25 . current or imminent. Employees attribute the major causes of work related stress to inadequate skills. between three types of stress. Workers who are stressed are more likely to be unhealthy. Vermeulen (2001:50) explains that. workloads. namely: Physical stress: Is the stress a human body can feel.2 WORK RELATED STRESS Research on work related stress started in the late 1960’s. less productive and less safe at work. Because stress includes both fear and anxiety. stress at work and other psychosocial factors are now major occupational health concerns. Psychosocial stress: Involves the stressors that arise from interpersonal relationships and inadequate or inappropriate social interactions such as aggression. “…stress is anything that causes us to feel we are losing control”. Fear deals with ‘actual’ or ‘threatened’ dangers.Positive stress (eustress): Is healthy pressure that stimulates and energizes us and promotes motivation and creativity. Furthermore. 3. “… the feeling that results from the desire to terminate. can be defined as. poorly motivated. It includes anxiety and fear. ulcers. which found that stress and productivity appears to be more of an issue for employees than in their 2003 survey. lack of concentration and low creativity. escape from or avoid real or imagined. negative event”. emotions and reactions such as depression. work stress is recognized worldwide as a major challenge to workers’ health and the health of their organizations. With increasing of work pressures as a result of competitiveness. stress according to Vermeulen (2001:50). Work stress could adversely impact an individuals’ psychological and physical state. Lee (2006:3) cites the Kelly 2006 Human Capital Survey. Psychological stress: Is the result of our attitudes. The organizations are less likely to be successful in a competitive market.

defining and solving problems.1 The main factors that lead to stress and affect productivity are: (Source: Lee. and relationships with co-workers are less contributory to causing stress. Table 3. Setting goals. research has shown that employers lose around eleven days per employee annually on stress related issues. which invariably causes work related stress: Verbal communication and listening skills.daily tasks. parenting stress. Motivating others. Managing conflict. Recognizing. On average. Self awareness. personal relationships). The main factors that lead to stress and affect productivity are reflected in Table 3. Making individual decisions. Managing time and stress. Team building.1. Delegating. returned that the following rates as the top ten issues with which managers around the globe are grappling. 26 . The University of Michigan Business School Pressing Problems Survey 2001. 2006:3) Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Cause of stress Workloads too high or low Employees lack skills Personal finance Poor supervision Health problems Personal relationships Job too complex % 90 86 78 73 70 70 69 Work/life issues (household chores.

Ironically. or a demand that is being made in order to accomplish a personal goal. threestage physiological responses are elaborated upon below: 27 . as explained in the SOLVE Directors Course program of the International Labour Office (2004. the obvious analogy can be drawn that employers cannot afford to ignore stress in the workplace. crime. 3. namely ‘distress’. who originally conducted research on the body’s response to stressors. namely that of: Pressures of deadlines. whether it is an environmental condition that we must survive. which is the body’s response to negative events and ‘eustress’. Cannon also introduced the term ‘fight or flight’. the frustrations of traffic jams.3 THE PHYSIOLOGY OF STRESS According to Berry (1998:418) Hans Selye an important theorist and pioneer. referring to the response which prepares one to cope with the threats posed by a predator. which is the body’s response to positive stress. Selye also distinguished between two forms of stress. while the world has changed significantly with no real world predatory threats. the irritation of noise. ‘the physiological reaction’. From the results of the survey. emphasizing that both positive and negative stress can constitute to physiological stress or reaction in the body. Walter Cannon was the first person who used the term stress to refer to. the predators’ now manifest in a new form.Online).From the Kelly’s 2006 Human Capital Survey (Lee. changes in the workplace etc. which is caused by the perception of aversive or threatening situation. This response results when any demand is made on the body. 2006:3) and the University of Michigan Business School Pressing Problems Survey 2001. 3. the throes of poverty. The predictable non-specific. three-stage pattern of physiological responses.4 THE STRESS RESPONSE The body’s stress response consists of a predictable. it is evident that stress is a concern for both employees and managers. ‘a non-specific or generalized bodily response. defined stress in physiological terms as. non-specific.

death. Experiencing stress for long periods of time (such as lower level but constant stressors at work) will ‘activate’ this system. • • • • • Increased cholesterol and fatty acids in blood for energy production systems. This system is very effective for the alarm stage or ‘fight or flight’ responses one needs when faced with an immediate danger. 28 . With its resources severely depleted. Our bodies are designed. absenteeism. is a reaction to the constant high metabolic demands of an extended alarm stage. heat and pain). the body is susceptible to illness or in extreme cases. faster heartbeat. The problem is that the human body deals with all types of stress in the same way. with a set of automatic responses to deal with stress. The signs and symptoms that are characteristic of the alarm reaction virtually disappear. The human body's ‘pre-programmed’ response to stress is termed the ‘generalized stress response’ and includes: • • • An increased blood pressure level. Increased metabolism (e. If the stressor is not eliminated.The alarm stage: It is the ‘fight or flight’ response that prepares a person to meet a challenge or threat. Faster blood clotting. poor productivity. once the stressors are eliminated. the person enters into a mode of energy conservation. intestinal movement (digestion). Increased production of blood sugar for energy..g. tardiness etc. The adaptive/resistance stage: Represents the stage during which the body may return to its pre-excited state and recovers from the physiological strains of the alarm stage. which may be evidenced by social withdrawal. swelling. A decrease in protein synthesis. The exhaustion stage: Often termed ‘burn out’. Localized inflammation (redness. the individual reaches a new level of adaptation as the internal organs mount a sustained resistance. Increased stomach acids. faster respiration). If the stressor persists. but it does not get the opportunity to ‘de-activate’ the system. immune and allergic response systems.

2 below. is that the person should acknowledge the possibility that he or she can become stressed. as reflected in Table 3. 29 . The first step in recognizing when a person is stressed. The second step is to be aware of the signs and symptoms of stress. which may vary from mild to moderate or severe. humans do not recognise that they are stressed.5 RECOGNIZING STRESS More often than not.3.

hand wringing. etc. Grinding teeth. Accident proneness. Antisocial behaviour. Suspiciousness. Feeling overwhelmed.g. nicotine. Blaming other persons. foot tapping. Emotional outburst. 2004: Online) Physical signs and symptoms of stress • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Rapid heart rate. Loss of selfconfidence. Memory impairment. Anxiety. Behavioural signs and symptoms of stress • • • • • Change in activity level. Cognitive signs and symptoms of stress • • • • Poor concentration. Inappropriate emotional response.g. Disturbed thinking. Nausea and/or vomiting. Sever panic. Fainting. Change in eating habits. Emotional signs and symptoms of stress • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Apprehension. Deterioration on performance effectiveness. etc. Visual difficulties. Agitation. the identification thereof (signs/symptoms) and associated remedial action are depicted in Table 3. Difficulty breathing. Emotional shock. Difficulty making decisions.. Irritability. Poor abstract thinking. Loss of time. Fatigue. Inappropriate use of humour. Hopelessness. Uncertainty.. Tremor.2 Symptoms of Stress (Source: ILO: SOLVE Course Directors. Chest pain. Denial.Table 3. Guilt. Sleep disturbances. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The four ‘fases of stress’. Grief. Anger. alcohol. teeth grinding. Hearing difficulties. Substance use (e. Change in usual style of communication. hair pulling. Hyper arousal. nail biting. place or person orientation. Depression. caffeine. Increased perspiration Headaches. Nervous mannerisms (e. Racing thoughts. Thirst.). Increased of decreased awareness of one’s surroundings. Fear. Dizziness. Muscle twitching. Loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities.3 30 . Difficulty identifying familiar objects or people. Erratic movements.). Elevated blood pressure.

Mild Symptoms Warning signs have progressed and intensified. Crying spells. Intensified physical and emotional fatigue.Entrenched Cumulative Stress This phase occurs when the above phases continue to be ignored. Apathy. Phase 4 – Severe/ Debilitating Cumulative Stress Reaction This phase is often considered ‘selfdestructive’ and tends to occur after 5 to10 years of continued stress. Physical and emotional fatigue. Intensified depression. rage. Withdrawal. Suicidal or homicidal thinking. Paranoia. grief. Boredom. Muscle aches. Over a period of 6 to 18 months. Asthma. Emotional fatigue. nonprescription drugs. Withdrawal. physical signs may also be evident. Making a change from regular activities. Agitation. 1999: Online) Phase Phase 1 . Withdrawal from contact with others. Taking time for yourself. Carelessness. Inability to manage personal life. Phase 2 . Marital discord. Early warning signs are often more emotional than physical and may take a year or more before they are noticeable. Severe depression. Restlessness.Warning Signs/Symptoms • • • • • Feelings of vague anxiety. Short-term counselling. Muscle tremors. Significant intervention professionals. Depression.3: The four phases of stress: (Source: Anschuetz. Uncontrolled anger.Table 3. family life and personal wellbeing. • • • • • • • • • • • • Increased use of alcohol. • • More aggressive lifestyle changes may be needed. Ulcers. forgetfulness. More frequent headaches/colds. Loss of sex drive. Phase 3 . from 31 . smoking. Inability to perform one's job. Stress starts to create a deeper impact on career. Sleeplessness. B. Extreme chronic fatigue. Irritability. Over-reaction to minor events. Lowered self-esteem/self-confidence. Intense anxiety. The help of medical and psychological professionals is highly recommended. Heart conditions. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Careers end prematurely. Frequent accidents. Depression. • • • • • • • Sleep disturbances.L. Rigid thinking. Action • • • • Talking about feelings Taking a vacation.

The fact that female and male children are raised differently. heart disease and diabetes. particularly during stressful situations. “… women tend to develop psychological stress responses such as depression and fatigue. Self-regard: Reflects general feelings of inner security. stressful challenges. A study done by Van Rooyen (2006:5) identified differences in how males and females would tend to experience and deal with. such as high blood pressure. Focused on regulating own behaviour to the positive regard and cooperation of others. which can distinguish how people perceive and respond to stress. It contributes to positive feelings of personal identity. self-confidence and selfrespect. boys are taught ‘cowboys don’t cry’. e. resulting in the two sexes experiencing stress differently. Sociable and interpersonally comfortable. 32 . orderly and organized approach. Dealing with difficult situations by following a rule of reason.g. males and females are taught to behave differently and to have different expectations in life. The results indicated that differences in behaviour preferences related to the following two personality components: Emotional self-awareness: Involves awareness and understanding of how and why the individual feels as he or she does when dealing with stressful issues.6 STRESS AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES Gender represents an individual difference. Males and females as a group reflect differently on stressful situations as listed below: Males as a group reflect: Feeling ‘in touch’ with self when working according to plans and following rules. law-and-order. whereas men tend to develop physiological or physical stress response. Furthermore. Focused on well-defined criteria and specific results.3. Sulsky & Smith (2005:163) report that.

Focused on creating a good impression and regulating their own behaviour to retain goodwill and cooperation from others.Females as a group reflect: Feeling ‘in touch’ with self in situations. The study of different type behaviours began when medical researchers Friedman and Rosenham who saw a clear tangent planes between certain behaviour in patients and the development of coronary heart disease. Focused on conveying a sense of confidence and defending themselves in a non-destructive manner. Cognition and personality are the most important variables in describing who is likely to be stressed and who is not. 3. an obsession with competition (Pines & Aronson.7 STRESS AND PERSONALITY BEHAVIOUR TYPES Most people are aware that stress is present and have an impact. Type B behaviour personalities: Rosenman et al. 2005:167). Comfortable when engaging with a wide variety of people and being approached for information and expert knowledge. 1988:77). 1978:135) and. describe Type B personalities as easygoing people. (1975) as cited by Berry (1998:438). Coopers & Payne (1978:134) referred to it as. “…coronary-prone behaviour pattern”. Several studies show that Type A behaviour personalities are more prone to heart disease (Sulsky & Smith. a tendency that everything is urgent (Cooper & Payne. Placing emphasis on rules and regulations when experiencing stressful situations. who run their lifes 33 . The different types of personalities can be categorised as follows: Type A behaviour personalities: Type A personality behaviours can be described as being alert and ambitious (Berry.1998:436). however not everyone responds to stress in the same way. allowing them to be socially involved and to prove their own worth and competence.

work environments and work organizations. or needs of the worker”. Pines & Aronson (1988:70) describe Type B personalities as. They focus on the positive elements in situations. justice. courage. fidelity. humility. In addition. an individual strives to fulfil these needs in a work setting over an extended period of time. the cognitive. behavioural and physiological reaction to aversive and noxious aspects of work.8 WORKPLACE STRESS Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory (Maslow.in a less frantic manner than Type A. 34 . They do not blame others when things go wrong. more relaxed. Internal locus of control: People who exhibit an internal locus of control believe that they can influence their circumstances to make a difference. Covey (1989:18) referred to them as. (European Commission. constraint or demand related to what he or she desires and for which the outcome is perceived to be both uncertain and important”. according to the International Labour Office (ILO. “… the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities. decisions and behaviour. It is a state characterized by high levels of arousal and distress and often by feelings of not coping. Job stress can be defined as. 2004:Online) stress at work can lead to poor health and even injury. and accept responsibility for their own situations. Robbins (2001:563) defines stress as. resources. 2002:Online). 2000:2) proposed that all individuals have basic sets of needs they strive to fulfil. and are less likely to develop heart disease. temperance. “… a dynamic condition in which an individual is confronted with an opportunity. “… people who have learned and integrate the principles of ‘Character Ethic’. but their work performance is generally as good as Type A. Type B personalities view competitive situations as threats to their selfesteem. patience and modesty”. These principles are integrity. In the context of organizational behaviour. Furthermore. 3. less ambitious and competitive. There are a plethora of definitions which can be associated with ‘workplace stress’. rather than on the negative ones.

demands and pressures that are perceived to be incurred from the work environment. Aversive tasks.8. From an organizational stress perspective. stressors are the conditions that precede and bring stress. participation and control. which does not map to his/her knowledge and abilities. Research findings show that the most stressful type of work is that which places excessive demands and pressure on the worker. As discussed previously. there are four major types of stressors.1 POTENTIAL SOURCES OF WORKPLACE STRESS For most people. working hours. career development. group. Leka. where there is little opportunity to exercise any choice or control over. status and pay. work load and work pace.al (1999:506) define the concept of ‘stressor’. organizational and extraorganizational. Most of the causes of work stress concern the way work is designed and the way in which organizations are managed. meaningless tasks. under-stimulating. purpose. which calls for closer scruitiny: Work content • • • • Monotonous. Kreitner et. While work can provide the individual with structure. 35 . Unpleasant tasks. namely work content. namely individual. Lack of variety. and where there is little support from others. These aspects of work have the potential for causing harm and are therefore termed ‘stress-related hazards’. the workplace can also be a setting for stress and worry. 3. self-esteem and spending power. as a prerequisite to experiencing the stress response.The author came to the conclusion that work stress is the strains. work is a significant and meaningful feature of life with the majority spending around 25% of their adult lives working. interpersonal relationship. stressors. organizational culture and home work interface. role in the organization. satisfaction. Griffiths and Cox (2003:6-7) identified nine categories of stress-related hazards.

Career development. Continuously dealing with other people and their problems. Participation and Control • • Lack of participation and decision making. Poor relationships with co-workers. Under-promotion or over-promotion.Workload and work pace • • Having too much or too little to do. Working hours • • • • Strict and inflexible working schedules. Unpredictable working hours. Unclear or unfair performance evaluation systems. Work of ‘low social value’. status and pay • • • • • • • Job security. Conflicting roles within the same job. inconsiderate or unsupportive supervision. work pace. Badly designed shift systems. Lack of promotion prospects. Being over-skilled or under-skilled for the job. 36 . Piece rate payment schemes. Long and unsocial hours. Working under time pressures. Interpersonal relationships • • Inadequate. Lack of control (for example over work methods. working hours and the work environment). Role in the organisation • • • • Unclear role. Responsibility for people.

by the Higher Education Union. and it was recently reported. Organisational culture • • • Poor communication. A study done in November 2004. that more than eighty percent of staff in one British tertiary institution suffered from some form of stress related health problems. Lack of support for domestic problems at work. No agreed procedures for dealing with problems or complaints. A key finding of a national survey done in 2002 pertaining to occupational stress at Australian Universities returns that approximately 50% of Australian University staff taking part in the survey were at risk of psychological 37 . found that stress at work is a major problem in United Kingdom Higher Education. Isolated or solitary work.• • • Bullying. the situation has now changed. the incidence of stress in lecturers is only likely to increase. Lack of clarity about organizational objectives and structure. Home-work interface • • • Conflicting demands of work and home. 3.9 STRESS IN HIGHER EDUCATION Whilst the role of the academic lecturer may traditionally not have been considered to be one that elicited high levels of occupational stress. managers and other professional groups. as well as a sample of the population as a whole (Kinman & Jones. harassment and violence. This survey have shown that stress levels for academic and related staff are higher than for doctors. Poor leadership. Lack of support for work problems at home. 2004: Online). Stress and mental health issues are manifesting at an exponential rate in higher education. It has also been postulated that as we go further into the next millennium. at the University of Luton and the University of Leeds.

even mental illness with consequent effects on social and family life (Page.9. Dua &Hapuararchchi. compared to only 19% of the Australian population overall (Winefield. en beleef hy onsekerheid oor die toekoms vanwee rasionalisasie. wrote “…soos alle ander werkers ervaar die dosent ook stress as gevolg van werksdruk ( die klem op uitnemende prestasies).1 Insecurity For many staff members at tertiary institutions. beleid en procedures van die universiteit en organisasie. boredom. openbaar hy ‘n persepsie van bestuur. Gillespie. bullying at work and workplace violence. workload and other job demands.1. 1998:1). Except for the obvious financial hardship. beloning vir gelewerde prestasie en ondersteuning in die werkplek ontbreek. 2001:15).illness. beleef hy teleurstellings wanneer bevordering. Recent research has found a whole range of stress-induced diseases amongst the unemployed. Unemployment itself is a source of stress. Employers often increase the pressure of work for those who keep their jobs (Volpe. calls for closer scrutiny. 38 . unemployed people suffer loss of self-esteem. hervitalisering en regstellende aksie”.9. namely insecurity. work-life balance and environmental stressors. depression. The stress of unemployment will also affect those who remain at work. support at work. 3.1 STRESSORS IN HIGHER EDUCATION The following stressors present in modern day higher education. 2001:9). social isolation and social stigma. Stough. (The above retained in the language of the original text as to not lose the true interpretation of the author which may occur if translated). Announcing redundancies and restructuring initiatives at short notice can lead to shock. 2002:10) (Venter. Kinman & Jones (2004:Online) stated that job security has become a relevant issue for many academic and academic-related workers. one of the largest sources of stress is raising insecurity and fear of unemployment. Employers may exacerbate this by not announcing change plans until the last moment. 3.

If they have no confidence that support will be forthcoming. if mistakes are made and disciplinary procedures are rigidly applied. equipment layout and style of supervision and very little information is given in advance of the changes being made or any training in new methods or equipment. Morrell & Capparell (2001:107) wrote: “…For now. With the end of uncertainty there came the uncertainty of the end. Insecurity can also occur if employees are still employed by the organization but are actually ‘without a job’. boredom and fears”. training or support to do the job without making mistakes. due to changes and circumstances. a situation. or lack of them – and the state of 39 . Insecurity creates uncertainty. organizational commitment and performance. McLean (1985:54) indicates. and was one of the most commonly reported sources of jobstress. Reynolds and Acosta (1996:77) describe that job insecurity culminate in. “…uncertainty about how amalgamations will influence me”. Kreitner et al (1999:507). the ship’s officers and seamen found themselves without a job. signs of decay set in which we know from other areas of life. If job security is not managed. Furthermore. A man who could not see the end of his ‘provisional existence’ was not able to aim at an ultimate goal in life. which may occur during the “match and place” process at TUT. stated that job security is a powerful stressor that has a significant influence on employees’ attitudes and behaviour. Sharpley. Frankl (1984:91) wrote: “…On entering camp a change took place in the minds of the men. Therefore the whole structure of his inner life changed. information. if there have been too many changes in the organization jobs. A classical example is the crew of the Endurance expedition to the Antarctic (1914 – 1916). it can result in reduced job satisfaction. All that training to make each crewmember a good sailor was for naught. lecturers will feel insecure. this increases individuals’ feelings of insecurity. “…that the period of greatest ill health is that during which unemployment is anticipated – the period of anticipation of the event can be more stressful than the event itself”.Insecurity can also occur if academic lecturers do not feel confident about their ability to do the job well and do not have enough time. Shackleton needed to find a way to tackle the crew’s crushing disappoint. Those who know how close the connection is between the state of mind of a man – his courage and hope.

Hatvany (1996:123). the nervous system and immune system functions. 40 . role conflict and role ambiguity as the most common examples of stressors in the workplace. heart and kidney failure. research. Mental and emotional stress raise blood pressure and high blood pressure is a major cause of stroke. professional/skilled guidance. Kreitner et al. student guidance assistant. administration and control. give workload. institutional involvement. “…both quantitative and qualitative overload are correlated with psychological and physiological indices of stress. evaluation.immunity of his body will understand that the sudden loss of hope and courage can have a deadly effect”. work overload or under load and as high levels of pacing or time pressure.2 Workload and other job demands Workload needs to be described in terms of a quantitative or qualitative paradigm. heart attack. (1999:506). Pines & Aronson (1988:102) indicate that. The job description of a lecturer at TUT. they smoke more. 3. 2006:3). liaison with the profession. long hours for all staff. which most certainly sets the stage for illnesses like cancer. and define it as lack of control over pacing. as a stressful characteristic of work. Overload workers show increased heart rate and serum cholesterol levels. post-secondary education. ‘Quantitative’ means too much or too little work. heart disease. McLean (1985:5) point to the fact that several studies show that a variety of forms of work overload produce at least nine different kinds of psychological and physiological signs of strain on the worker. while qualitative means the work is too difficult or under-stimulating and monotonous. identified the following roles. namely teaching. and early death. PsychoNeuroImmunology is the term that describes the discipline that studies the link between emotions. skilled and professional development. stroke and depression”. views workload/work pace. Work schedules which are inflexible and over-demanding.9. Academics in higher education institutions have to perform a number of roles simultaneously.1. (Harvard Heart Letter. have more job dissatisfaction and tension and show lower self-esteem”. Vermeulen (2001:51) wrote “…Devitalizing stress which is characterized by habitual negativity reads to an all prevailing sense of despondency and purposelessness.

indicates that work pressure is one of the strongest predictors of psychological strain in Australian Universities. and one half of the respondents engaged in teaching felt their classes had become too large. Participants indicated that the heavier workloads result in working longer hours. Diminished job satisfaction can lead to lowered job performance and satisfaction that have implications for the efficient functioning of higher educations institutions. Role overload is a major source of stress at work and such conditions encourage work failure.unreasonably heavy workload. often as a result of superachievement by the most talented.9. It is impossible to work effectively when human resources are overloaded. These social 41 . The research of Winefield et al. Kinman & Jones (2004:Online) found that almost one-half of the respondents in their research were of the opinion that their workloads were unmanageable. the majority were of the opinion that their responsibility had increased over the last 5 years. Olivier et al. Furthermore. who found that work is the main source of stress in the lives of university staff. Furthermore Schackleton never expects one to do more than one is capable of” (Morrel & Capparell. Shackleton again set an example of challenging and meaningful work due to the fact that far from getting bored. without taking leave. research and administration. as well as over weekends and recess periods. (2005:919) found that diverse responsibilities and increased workloads are all factors which contribute to diminished job satisfaction. that the amount of administrative paperwork was excessive. (2002:8). friends and community. people belong also to social systems as work. In addition to the social systems of family. Fisher (1994:64) is of the opinion that the lack of back up for academics has meant that many staff were coping with overload in three areas – teaching. the widening gap between contractual commitments and a seemingly limitless employer-driven workload are all factors that lead to stress. and is supported by the research of Abouserie (1996:52). Pines & Aranson (1989:160) explain that the individual is usually a member of many overlapping groups. 2003:112). the men felt busy. 3.3 Support at work Social factors such as group membership play a primary role as both causes and cures of burnout. unreasonable expectations.1.

The person/s who gives this appreciation must meet the following criteria namely. namely ‘academic’ staff engaged in teaching and research. as well as the supervisory structures (Mahomed & Naudé. technical support. Bradley & Eachus (1995:153) found that “…relationships with others is a stressful factor”.systems include. Workplace bullying is everything from harassment. “…lack of necessary equipment and/or infrastructure support” is a job stressor. This social support system has various functions and can be divided in six basic categories. to being passes over for an expected promotion. If these functions are fulfilled in the individuals’ environment. financial problems. supervisors. 1989:162). subordinates. 3. individuals can accepts support as genuine. If these requirements are met. The research of Sharpley et al. Higher Education institutions. as work organizations have two distinct social structures. namely listening. offensive behavior. but they were less happy with the support they received from the administrative and technical staff. and also from their immediate managers.1. technical challenge. racism. (1996:77) point out that. refusing to delegate. and removing responsibilities. and ‘nonacademic’ administrative and support staff. and delivery of products and services. co-workers and clients. Kinman & Jones (2004:Online) found that the respondents in their research were positive about the support they received from their colleagues. emotional challenge and the providing of social reality. All individuals need technical appreciation for the work they do.4 Bullying at work and workplace violence Bullying in the workplace is one of the fastest growing forms of violence plaguing the world today. they are well protected against burnout and towards reducing stress in life and work. estranged or strained relationship with co- 42 . The ability to provide technical appreciation is especially powerful and useful when it comes from knowledgeable supervisors (Pines & Aranson. emotional support. they must be experts in their field and their honesty and integrity must be trusted. The two structures map each other closely in terms of strategic objectives.9. 2006: 90). but the nature of the work of the two structures is completely different.

CEO of South Africa’s Foundation for Workplace Trauma. All of the listed issues culminate in attempts to undermine individuals. and a perception of being targeted by management. but also that workplace violence is a cause of stress. Abusive behaviour can be as high as 78% in organizations undergoing change. explains that colleague bullying is a form of survival behaviour. overloaded and stressed the more they will revert to bullying to survive. economic. but a structural. Landy & Conte (2004:582). Paige as cited by Burton (2001:24) believes that workplace violence often stems from overwhelming feelings of powerlessness. Educational institutions are not excluded from violence. draw the analogy that stress is a cause of workplace violence. organizational and cultural factors. 43 . which could manifest in behaviours such as stealing and sabotage. The latest incident of a student who shot 32 people on the campus of the Virginia Technicon places the spotlight on the vulnerability of educational institutions. There are also hidden costs that are more difficult to measure. “…People who are being bullied develop depression and psychosomatic illnesses and have to stay off work”. strategic problem. will leave an organization. Workplace bullying and violence can be devastating. The more staff feels threatened. “…the victimisation of the worker is symptomatic of corporate survival behaviour”. people are stripped of their dignity and purpose. while 24% of bullied people will leave. Marais-Steinmann (Marais-Steinmann. Violence at work includes both physical and psychological violence.workers. 2007:Interview) points out that more and more people find themselves on the receiving end of bullying. Workers are often in a fear and anger space. According to Marais-Steinmann (2007:Interview). Burtons view is supported by Marais & Herman (1997:14) when they state that. rooted in wider social. done by employees or non-employees. The biggest danger which Marais-Steinmann encountered in her research was that of revenge from the bullied person. In an interview with Dr Susan Marais-Steinmann. Di Martino (2001:22) is of the opinion that workplace violence is not merely an episodic individual problem. Reciprocally in South Africa. and they take it out on others. Marais-Steinmann (2007:Interview) points to research which shows that 22% of people who witness others being bullied. Burton (2001:24). recently newspapers reported on an incident where a child shot a teacher in the classroom. such as absenteeism.

Paul Companies in 1992 found that staff who believed work was causing problems in their personal lives. employees who are not scared to answer e-mails from home over weekends. Today more and more employers are recognizing the value of having a healthy. over half of the employees can be expected to experience some kind of work-family stress within a three month period of a major workplace change dynamic. taking part in kids’ lives. South African business has to meet the demands of the changing workforce in an effort to attract top talent and beat the brain drain. including flexible working time.5 Work-life balance Life is fast with millions of things to do. managing a home.3. “…we live in a knowledge worker age but operate our organizations in a controlling industrial age model that 44 . Deadlines at work. Skinner and Crosby (1997:66). Conflicts between work and personal life affect productivity and general wellbeing. Codrington (2006:21) is of the opinion that the concept of work-life balance is ‘a myth’. balanced workforce. part-time studies are all things that need to be done on a daily basis. Employees experience work-family conflict is three times as likely to think about quitting their jobs those who do not. provides the following on issues pertaining to work-life balance: Family and personal stress is a widespread source of stress in every workplace. Ivancevich. adding to workplace stress. Work-life balance is about improving the quality of working life. Covey (2004:15) refers to the problem as. or work nights as required. time to have fun and leisure. trying to remain connected to a partner or spouse. expect the company to reciprocate and allow them time to watch their childs’ sport game. A study done by St. were much more likely to make mistakes. than those who hade few job-related problems. for e.9. lifelong learning and family-friendly policies.1. and prefers the concept of work-life integration. Long working hours and absenteeism needs to be replaced by the emphasis on performance rather than the number of hours work. Well. Lorenzi. They will probably be on the phone or using their Blackberry while they are there anyway.g. Work-life integration represents a different employer-employee relationship.

but also hidden costs such work delays. 2003:95). lay-out of the workspace. This findings is supported by the study of Jackson & Rothman (2006:82). King & Robinson (2000:62) are of the opinion that. suboptimal performance. which showed that working unsocial hours. staff members who resign and the ripple effects on co-workers. Half of the sample indicated that they had little time available for hobbies and interest. never completely dividing the two never letting one overtake the other” (Morrell & Capparel. Shackleton set an exceptional example. Employers need to take into consideration that when work-life issues lead to turnover.absolutely suppresses the release of human potential. can cause stress. a balance between work and fun was maintained “…Shackleton kept a balance between work and fun. 3.9. More concerning is the fact that people have taken this same controlling mind-set home! Kinman & Jones (2004:Online) indicates that the majority of respondents (67%) in their survey returned that their work was steadily encroaching onto their private lives. Working at home during evenings and weekends was commonplace. such as sound and noise levels.1. and that the quality of their family life suffered. when even under harsh circumstances.6 Environmental stressors Freeman (1990:184) indicates that the environment in which teachers work. and distinguished between micro and macro-environmental stressors. the resulting costs for the company is not only the visible expenses of recruiting and training a new employee. colour scheme etc. Although the human body continuously make minor adjustments to adapt to the situation. is a stressor that obtained a higher than average sten score. “…perhaps more than any single factor – more than the uncertainties present in the new economy and concerns about being economically and emotionally prepared for long years in retirement – the quest for time freedom is driving successful professionals away from traditional careers to alternatives such as network marketing”. temperature. for example the human ear adjust to 45 . Micro-environmental stressors: Micro-environmental stressors refer to stressors in the workplace.

‘early morning traffic. 3. Mahlangu (2006:36) refers to it as.the prevailing level of noise. prioritizing gives us the ability to act rather to be acted upon. 1995:25): Priorities: “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least”. but rather the limits and the costs one pays to adapt to theses stressors. they miss a valuable opportunity to increase productivity. neck muscles to tighten. Expectations: When one starts making decisions and act on assumptions.1989:146). stress levels and improving work process efficiency. People work to satisfy a social need. either travelling with your own transport or public transport that has the extra stressor of unreliability. and if business does not cater for this need in the layout of the work environment. one 46 . According to Covey (1989:148). Arenson (2003:33).10 STRESS MANAGEMENT Stress management is a complete undertaking. Gatto (1993:88) explains that time constraints causes stomach churn. namely priorities. (Goethe cited by Covey. To manage stress effectively an individual has to manage three fundamental elements of their lives. and the area where the workplace is situated’. people to argue and generally feel miserable. blood pressure to rise. points to the well documented effects of ergonomics on reducing the incidence and cost of occupational injury. To prioritize helps an individual to avoid stress by giving the person a way to evaluate a stressful situation. Duffy (2003:39) describes that the business environment is identical to the development of a suburb. the question is not whether one can adapt because that we do continually. To manage workplace stress effectively. it needs to be addressed on an individual as well as an organizational level. Covey (1989:148) explains that leadership decides which tasks should be prioritised in the run of our daily lives. and also giving the person a valuable perspective when stress threatens to overwhelm the individual. expectations and coping with change (Brewer. Macro-environmental stressors: Macro-environmental stressors refer to stressors outside the gates of the workplace.

namely • • • Resist and fight it to maintain the status quo: ongoing stress. stress management. This researcher is also of the opinion that stress management require leadership. This researcher is of the opinion this represents a ‘patchup’ people approach. Healthy eating According to Van der Merwe (2005:18). emotional intelligence etc. time management. There are three basic ways we can respond to change. clear communications is of the utmost importance. Inherently it means the worker will continue to work in an unhealthy workplace. Stress and nutrition: The body’s internal reserves enable the individual to cope better with stress. change management. “…good nutrition and correct supplementation balance the physiology. It is a good place from where to start to make us more aware of our minds. Change then becomes an opportunity and to a danger. stress and exercise and employee assistance programs. should be employed by employer and employee alike to minimize stress namely. When dealing with other people. bodies. The following three activities.can experience disappointment when the situation or the behaviour of a person fails to live up to expectations. Courses normally presented in the work environment are for e. even for eustress and the need to survive. Stress management entails a vast range of activities and strategies. Correct nutrition reaches our spiritual essence. Confront and adapt to change: Is the healthy response that minimize stress. Organizations normally target a predominant person-centred approach to This reaction produces manage/control or cope with stress. emotions and souls and the control we have over our own health. stress and nutrition. The stress reaction is fuel intensive.” Shackleton already realized it in 1914. because the causes of stress are not even considered when planning a change dynamic. Avoiding change is to not acknowledge that we are fighting the change. Coping with change: Change is inevitable. which requires a considerable amount of energy. “…Shackleton took 47 . is essential to stressless. Avoid change: This is a form of passive resistance. both within the individual as well as in the organization.g.

Organizations today have on-site gyms. Programme evaluation as to programme effectiveness. believing physical and mental acumen were closely linked” (Morrell & Capparell. high cholesterol levels. Physical activity needs to be introduced gradually. Shackleton set an example in 1914 “…Shackleton insisted on healthy diet. Referral of employee or family member. but also for staff members who may suffer from diabetes. He believed that a varied diet was a key to good health and good spirits” (Morrell & Capparell. 2001:110). Consultation to employer about health benefits. but the challenge is to let staff members make use of it. The core technologies of an Employee The services provided by an EAP vary substantially from organisation to organisation. 2001:70). Encourage effective relations with providers. He encourages his crew to combine healthy eating habits with rigorous sport and some means of relaxation. Employee Assistance Programs: Assistance Programme (EAP) are: • • • • • • • Consultation to managers.g. exercise. The services provide depends on the needs of the employer as well as the needs of the 48 . for e. the men took long walks.g.the greatest care with food supplies. Stress and exercise: Regular exercise increases both an individual’s quality of life as well as life expectancy. and reasonable safety measures. Assessment of employee’s personal problems. With no gym facilities available as it is known today. as opposed to healthier snack and food alternatives available for staff members. case monitoring and follow-up. played soccer and hockey. A good investment may be the employment of a dietician to work out balanced menus in workplace restaurants. Encouraging staff to take walks for e. Vending machines in the offices. Intervention with employee re: performance issues. Employers pay particular attention to the distinction of food. to put up signs encouraging staff members to take the stairs rather than the lift. and raced the dogs. around the block during lunch hours. heart disease and those who are HIV & AIDS infected. the kiosks and the restaurants on the premises are typically filled with junk food. outreach to employees. This type of investment can be viewed from not only to the value of stress management.

employers and trade unions. employees. In chapter 4. stress and individual differences. the research survey design and methodology used in this research study will be elaborated upon. In line with the theme of this dissertation. stress and personality behaviour types were analysed in detail. The concept of workplace stress was also analysed in terms of potential sources of workplace stress. According to Harper (2006). bullying at work and workplace violence.11 CONCLUSION In this chapter. More specific. a literature review was conducted on the concept of ‘stress’.employees. EAP’s serve multiple clients namely. an EAP is core business tool. recognising stress. stress in higher education with particular reference to insecurity. workload and other job demands. support at work. work related stress. work-life balance and environmental stressors where analysed in detail. stress response. The chapter was concluded with views on the management of stress. the physiology of stress. 49 . 3. family members. balancing the needs of each to solve human asset problems.

it refers to the meaning. and The research methods: This allows the researcher to conduct the research in such a way. however a research design should attend specifically to two aspects. “…. “…the nature of the data and the problem of the research”.CHAPTER 4 RESEARCH SURVEY DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY 4. namely: The research approach: Is it a qualitative or quantitative paradigm. it is the what.1 INTRODUCTION According to White (2005:80). or both to be used in the study.1 QUALITATIVE RESEARCH Cooper & Schindler (1998:143) explain quality as “…the essential character or nature of something. rather than ‘explanation’. A qualitative approach is used in this research (adapted from Leedy and Ormrod (2001:102). De Vos (1998:241) describes qualitative research as “… the interpretation or construction of the lived experience of subjects”. 4. depends on. 50 . White (2005:81) expresses the view that.2. De Vos is further of the opinion that qualitative research is concerned with ‘understanding’. which methodology to use. 4. qualitative research is more concerned with understanding social phenomena from the perspectives of the participants”. for the following reasons: Stress occurs in the real world environment of TUT (to describe and explain). the definition or model or metaphor characterizing something”. The approach to be followed in this study is both qualitative and quantitative in nature.2 RESEARCH APPROACH According to Leedy (1993:103). that the researcher will find answers to the research questions. there is no single blue print for planning research.

Watkins (2006:7) is of the opinion that quantitave and qualitative methods overlap. Morgan (2000:21) states that quantitative research can be directly analysed.3 DATA COLLECTION A literature study and questionnaires will serve as the primary research method. A complete understanding of a topic often requires both techniques”. …recognizing the distinction between qualitative and quantitative research doesn’t mean that you must identify your research activities with one to the exclusion of the other. questionnaires. when he states that. The researcher is enabled to interact with what is being studied (to build theory). “.3.The respondents describe their daily experiences as it relates to stress (to explore and interpret). counted. expressed in numbers and treated as a number. “…the amount. experiments and structured interviews are all quantitative data collection techniques. Social surveys.2 QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH Cooper and Schindler (1998:34) explains quantity as.1 LITERATURE STUDY According to White (2005:7).2. which is supported by Babbie (2005:25). 4. Vockell (1995:192) describes quantitative research as the data collection processes. and assumes the meaning and refers to a measure of it. the how much. A quantitative research approach in this research (adapted from Leedy and Ormrod 2001:102) is used for the following reasons: To explain and predict To confirm and validate To test theory 4. research designs and statistical procedures. citing Fouché and De Vos (1998a:65) the main functions of a literature study are 51 . 4.

The disadvantage of a questionnaire is low return on mailed questionnaires. one need to have a good idea of what is known already. Can ensure anonymity. Avoidance of the assumption of prior knowledge. Existing questionnaires can be used.In order to design a study that will contribute to existing knowledge. Furthermore. Cooper and Schindler (1998:92) mentioned that a literature review might also explain the need for the proposed work. A questionnaire has several advantages: Relatively economical.2 QUESTIONNAIRE A questionnaire is a quantitative data collection method. Avoidance of leading questions and statements. a literature study enables the researcher to identify alternative theories in order to understand the problems as well as to identify central concepts. Design: The statements and questions within the survey should designed with the following principles in mind: Avoidance of double-barrelled questions and statements. Avoidance of double-negative questions and statements. The ultimate aim of a literature study is to see the problem in theoretical perspective. Cooper and Schindler (1998:353) mention three critical areas when a questionnaire is drafted: Question content: Is to ensure that the question is of proper scope and that the respondent will answer adequately. Question wording: To eliminate misleading assumptions. or modified. It provides better insight into the dimensions and complexity of the problem. 52 . 4. Avoidance of prestige bias. the wording and questions are stated in terms of a shared vocabulary. Contains questions for specific purposes.3.

Section D: Work-life balance.30 31 . as well as hands on situations within a real life working environment. The researcher provided each respondent with an overview of the dissertation objectives. to prevent a low return. confidentiality.40 41 .The purpose of the questionnaire is to determine if there is stress at the Faculty of Arts and what the causes of stress are. The questionnaire is divided in four sections: Section A: Demographic information. The researcher also emphasizes anonymity and SECTION A DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION Question A1 Indicate your gender Male 1 Female 2 Question A2 Indicate your age group Below 20 years 21 . are used as basis for compiling the questionnaire. Section B: Life events. The researcher personally distributed and collected the completed questionnaires. Section C: Identifying causes of stress at work.60 60+ Question A3 Indicate your marital status Divorced Married Never been married Widow Widower Separated 53 . Data collected from the literature study on stress.50 51 .

Question A4 How far do you stay from TUT? 0 – 2 km 2.1 – 10 km 10.1 – 5 km 5.1 + km Question A5 Indicate your appointment type. Academic Non-Academic SECTION B LIFE EVENTS PLEASE INDICATE WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING LIFE EVENTS YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED DURING THE LAST 12 MONTHS. Indicate by Life Event(s) Tick in this box Death of spouse Divorce Marital separation Jail term (you or close family member) Death of a close family member Personal injury or illness Marriage Fired from work Marital reconciliation Retirement Change in family member’s health Pregnancy Sex difficulties Addition to family Business readjustment Change in financial status Death of a close friend Change to different line of work Change in number of marital arguments Mortgage or loan over R500 000 Foreclosure of mortgage or loan Change in work responsibilities 54 .

6. speed tickets SECTION C IDENTIFYING STRESS AT WORK PLEASE COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING TABLE Satisfied Neutral Very satisfied Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied 1. How satisfied are you with the organization you work for compared with other companies you know? How satisfied are you with your job – the kind of job you do? How satisfied are you with your physical working conditions How satisfied are you with the extent to which people you work with cooperate well with one another. considering your duties and responsibilities? How satisfied are you with your pay. 5.Son or daughter leaving home Trouble with in-laws Outstanding personal achievement Spouse begins or stops work Starting or finishing school/university Change in living conditions Revision of personal habits Trouble with boss Change in work hours. How satisfied are you with your pay. 3. conditions Change in residence Change in schools Change in recreational habits Change in church activities Change in social activities Mortgage or loan under R500 000 Change in sleeping habits Change in number of family gatherings Change in eating habits Vacation Christmas season Minor violation of the law e. 4. 2.g. considering what other organizations pay for similar types of work? 55 .

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12. 13.

How satisfied are you with your advancement to better jobs since you started to work with your organization? How satisfied are you with the extent to which your present job makes full use of your skills and abilities? How satisfied are you with the level of mental ability requirements of your present job (problem solving, judgement, technical knowledge, etc.)? How satisfied are you with the level of average time demands of your present job (hours worked, as opposed to mental ability demands)? Considering everything, how would you rate your overall feelings about your employment situation at the present time? How satisfied are you with the security of your employment? How satisfied are you with your administration tasks e.g. compiling of class lists, study guides, etc.

If you have your way, will you be working for TUT five years form now? Circle one: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Certainly Probably I’m not at all sure Probably not Certainly not I’ll be retired in five years.

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SECTION D

WORK-LIFE BALANCE Yes 1. 2. Do you take work home most nights? Do you frequently think about workproblems at home? 3. 4. Do you work long hours? Do work problems affect your sleeping habits? 5. Do your family and friends complain that you spend too little time with them? 6. Do you find it difficult to relax and forget work? 7. Do you find it difficult to say “no” to work requests? 8. 9. Do you find it difficult to delegate? Is your self-esteem based largely on your work? 10. 11. Do you have a hobby? Do you practise an active relaxation technique (yoga, meditation, imagery, etc.)? 12. Do you exercise for at least 20 minutes, three times a week? 13. 14. 15. Do you smoke? Do you take sleeping pills? Do you drink more than 8 cups of caffeinated drinks or alcohol each day? No

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4.3.3 THE TARGET POPULATION

Cooper & Schindler (1998:215) explain that the idea of sampling is that by selecting some of the elements in a population, one may draw conclusions about the entire population. The target population is then the unit of study, and the population is then the total collection of elements about which we wish to make some inferences.

The target population for this research includes all staff from the Faculty of Arts. The Faculty of Arts consists of 96 permanent staff members.

4.3.4 THE CHOICE OF SAMPLING METHOD

Emory and Cooper (1995:228) define two methods of survey sampling namely:

The conventional sample, whereby a limited number of elements smaller than the chosen population are chosen (typically randomly) in such a manner as to accurately represent (without bias) the total population. The census approach, where an attempt is made to survey every element within the population (Emory and Cooper, 1995:200). The census approach was chosen. Cooper & Schindler (1998:216) indicate that two conditions are appropriate for a census approach: When the population is small, it is feasible. When the elements are quite different from each other, it is necessary for a census approach.

4.4

MEASUREMENT SCALES

The survey used in the research is based on the well-known Lickert Scale. Bailey (1982:365) indicates that the essence of the Lickert scale is to increase the variation in the possible scores. The advantages in using the Lickert scale according to Emory and Cooper (1995:180 – 181) are: Quick and easy to construct. Each item meets an empirical test for discriminating ability.

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an aspect which makes it difficult to know how true or reliable the answers are. there was considerable animosity to the research and an unwillingness to complete the questionnaires. population and data analysis were elaborated upon and the limitations of the research listed. 59 . 4.The Lickert scale is probably more reliable than the Thurston scale. The reason for using the Lickert Scale in this research. which is supported by Emory and Cooper (1995. Staff fails to see any value in participating. 4. Chapter 5 will deal with the research findings and the analysis of the data. using both qualitative and quantitative research paradigms. The Lickert Scale is also treated as an interval scale. In certain instances.5 LIMITATIONS OF THE RESEARCH The research was adversely impacted upon by the following aspects: The research was limited to staff of the Faculty of Arts at TUT. is the fact that the scale can be used in both respondentcentred (how responses differ between people) and stimulus centred (how responses differ between various stimuli) studies. The data collection strategies.6 CONCLUSION This chapter outlines and addresses the rationale for a case study design. and it provides a greater volume of data than the Thurston differential scale. respondents felt obliged to give an opinion. Due to the fact that TUT is currently busy with the ‘match and place’ process. most appropriate to glean data in support of the research problem in question.180 – 181).

6.2 SECTION A DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION Question A1: Indicate your gender The results from the survey returned the following data. The rest of this chapter is devoted to the analysis of data and interpretation of results. which is graphically depicted below. In Paragraph 3.CHAPTER 5 ANALYSIS OF DATA AND INTERPRETATION OF RESULTS 5. Chapter 3 stress and individual differences were addressed. Research 60 . 5.1 INTRODUCTION In Chapter 5. Male 43% Female 57% Gender Male 43% Female 57% Male Female The purpose of this question was to determine the gender distribution of staff members in the Faculty of Arts at the Tshwane University of Technology. the focus is on the results culminated as a result from the research survey conducted within the ambit of Chapter 4.

Question A2: Indicate your age group The results from the survey returned the following data.) each stage of life has its own particular vulnerabilities and sets of coping mechanisms.60 18% 60+ 8% Age 60 > 8% < 30 10% 31 . the need to achieve and prove oneself is as a rule very strong.indicates that the two sexes experience stress differently and that they reflect differently on stressful situations.50 51 . Cartwright & Cooper (1997:64) identified four age-related career stages. establishment (mid twenties – 40s). People are typically concerned with securing themselves in their careers and in ‘climbing the corporate ladder’.50 27% According to McClean (1985:58.60 60 > 51 . namely exploration (age 15-24).40 37% < 30 31 . The faculty consists of 48% men and 52% women as reflected in Table 2. which is graphically depicted below. The majority of staff members are in the age category 31 – 40 years (37%).60 18% 41 . maintenance stage (mid 40s – until retirement) and decline (65+).40 37% 41 .1. Chapter 2. 61 . It is also the age bracket when many individuals are coping with the financial and emotional demands of raising a family and establishing themselves in society in general. In this age category.50 27% 51 . < 30 10% 31 .40 41 .

According to Hanson (1986:81&107). an adequate network of friends and support from within your family. the typical workaholic tend to relegate family and friends to form the back seat of their lives. change in living conditions. which may bring a host of other stressors as listed by Holmes & Rahe cited by Hanson (1987:61).Question A3: Indicate your marital status The results from the survey returned the following data. 62 . change in the number of arguments with the spouse. for example. will reduce the stresses of daily life. the factor of no work life balance may rather add more stress at home than support from home. Yet. Divorced Married Never been married Widow Widower Separated 13% 54% 33% 0% 0% 0% Marital Status Separated 0% Never Married 33% Widow Widower 0% 0% Divorced 13% Married 54% Divorced Married Never Married Widow Widower Separated The survey results returned that 54 % of the respondents were married. which is graphically depicted below. trouble with boss etc. Although a support system at home is according to Hanson (1987:107) a very useful and important stress management technique.

1 + km “Traveling is the ruin of all happiness”.1 .2 km 2. cited by Cartwright and Cooper (1997:103).5 km 8% 13% 10.1 .1 .1 – 10 km 10. As discussed in Paragraph 3. Chapter 3.2 km 2. which is graphically depicted below.5 km 5.1 – 5 km 5. which is graphically depicted below. Academic 75% Non-Academic 25% 63 .6. The majority of the respondents (49%).9. such as early morning traffic and traffic jams on the roads can create stress. Question A5: Indicate your appointment type. The results from the survey returned the following data. according to Fanny Burney 1833 – 1898.Question A4: How far do you travel to TUT? The results from the survey returned the following data.10 km 10.1 .10 km 30% 0 . and are then exposed to traffic and traffic related stressors. stay more than 10km from the workplace.1. macro-environmental stressors.1 km + 8% 13% 30% 49% Km form TUT 0 .1 + km 49% 5. 0 – 2 km 2.

Furthermore. 5. but the causes of stress differ.3 SECTION B LIFE EVENTS The presence of stress is universal. the occurrences of several important changes at one particular point in time may contribute to increased individual vulnerability to illness. While many of the life’s problems are minor. Lorenzi. Chapter 2. situation and environment.9.2. affect individuals differently. stress can be fatal. Chapter 3.1.5. or in extreme cases. namely ‘academic staff’ and ‘non-academic’ staff. In Paragraph 3. work-life balance was addressed and Ivancevich. and as a result.9. Skinner and Crosby (1997:66) indicated that family and personal stress is a widespread source of stress in every workplace. stress always manifest as levels that is different for each person.Academic In Paragraph 3. Table 2.Appointment Type Non Academic 25% Academic Academic 75% Non . and it is indicated that Higher Education institutions has two distinct social structures. reflects that the distribution in the Faculty of Arts is 79% academic and 21% non-academic.3. support at work is addressed.1. In 64 . An interesting aspect of the Homes-Rahe Scale is that 10 of the top 15 stressors on the scale are not work-related. Chapter 3. and delivery of products and services. The Homes-Rahe Scale (Hanson. The Homes-Rahe Scale (depicted below) was used to determine the stressors within the target group. 1987:61) is used as a guideline for stress measurement. However the two structures map each other closely in terms of strategic objectives.

PLEASE INDICATE WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING LIFE EVENTS YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED DURING THE LAST 12 MONTHS Indicate by Tick this box in Life Event For office use (Value) Results % Death of spouse Divorce Marital separation Jail term (you or close family member) Death of a close family member Personal injury or illness Marriage Fired from work Marital reconciliation Retirement Change in family member’s health Pregnancy Sex difficulties Addition to family Business readjustment Change in financial status Death of a close friend Change to different line of work Change in number of marital arguments Mortgage or loan over R500 000 Foreclosure of mortgage or loan Change in work responsibilities Son or daughter leaving home 100 73 65 63 63 53 50 47 45 45 44 40 39 39 39 38 37 36 35 31 30 29 29 0% 2% 2% 0% 20% 20% 0% 0% 5% 0% 17% 7% 7% 15% 10% 35% 23% 10% 10% 28% 0% 46% 7% 65 .addition the scale was enhanced to reflect (as percentage) the respondents who were subjected to the various stressors.

g. conditions Change in residence Change in schools Change in recreational habits Change in church activities Change in social activities Mortgage or loan under R500 000 Change in sleeping habits Change in number of family gatherings Change in eating habits Vacation Christmas season Minor violation of the law e.1.6. Chapter 3. speed tickets 29 28 26 26 25 24 23 20 20 20 19 19 18 17 16 15 15 13 12 11 7% 25% 5% 12% 17% 20% 17% 30% 12% 0% 12% 5% 7% 23% 38% 23% 33% 30% 35% 28% Health Risk 301 > 18% 151 .Trouble with in-laws Outstanding personal achievement Spouse begins or stops work Starting or finishing school/university Change in living conditions Revision of personal habits Trouble with boss Change in work hours.9.300 28% < 150 54% < 150 151 . the concept of adapting to certain stressors were discussed.300 301 > In Paragraph 3. It is however not about adapting but. rather the limits and the costs one 66 .

9.5% Of the respondents 50% were dissatisfied to work for TUT. How satisfied are you with the organization you work for compared with other companies you know Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very dissatisfied 50% 22. Question C1 Very Satisfied 1.5 % were satisfied and 27.5% 27. The results from the survey returned the following data. no matter how healthy the person thinks he/she is. defined by Cartwright & Cooper (1997:50) as “… a set of expectations held by and individual employee that specifies what the individual and the organization expect to give and receive in the working relationship”. Of the respondents 28% have a 50% chance and 18% have an 80% chance of a serious change in their health within the next year.8. workplace stresses. 5. Paragraph 3. in Chapter 3.1.1.4 SECTION C IDENTIFYING STRESS AT WORK In Paragraph 3. has changed. potential sources of workplace stress. they lack adequate opportunities to participate in 67 . Other factors that may have an influence are that people loose their sense of belonging. The nature of this change in health is highly individual based. 22. One such factor being the ‘psychological contract’. Various factors can add to dissatisfaction. and Paragraph 3.8. stressors in Higher Education were addressed. and will probably involve the person’s weakest link. 54% have a 30% chance of a serious change in their health within the next year. Of the respondents.pays to adapt to these stressors.5% were neutral.

Question C2 Very Satisfied 2. people primarily respond on how they are feeling about themselves on the ‘inside’ (Pienaar.5% did not respond to the question.5% 20% 12. It does not matter what the organization is doing on the ‘outside’.5% were satisfied with the job they do. It can affect the mood and overall mental state of staff members.5% were neutral. noise etc.5% dissatisfied. Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied 40% 12.6. Chapter 3. and 2. How satisfied are Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied you with your job – the kind of job you do? 67. 20% neutral and 12. 68 .5% Of the respondents 67.5% 45% physical conditions light.9. It may also be the manifestation of a deeper problem namely ‘selfdeception’. How satisfied are you with your working (heat. In Paragraph 3. Question C3 Very Satisfied 3. regarding the working conditions.decision making.1. and they are not included in office communications and consultations. 2007:22). the researcher explained that the design or physical settings and surroundings of the workplace may be another source of stress.) Of the respondents 45% were dissatisfied. 40% were satisfied and 12.

human Of the respondents.5% 21. resources. Question C5 Very Satisfied 5. Chapter 3.5% 62.5% were satisfied with the cooperation they get from colleagues.9. namely ‘academic staff and ‘non-academic’ staff. etc. However. How satisfied are you with your pay.g. e. How satisfied are you with the extent to which people you work with cooperate well another. the two structures map each other closely in terms of strategic objectives.1. In Paragraph 3.5% 69 . and delivery of products and services.3. considering duties responsibilities? your and Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied 20% 17. Hans Selyle the father of stress observed that “…good relationships between members of a group are a key factor in individual and organizational health” (Cartwright & Cooper. support at work is addressed. and it is highlighted that Higher Education institutions has two distinct social structures.Question C4 Very Satisfied 4. administration.5% 24% (Including staff in other dept. with one Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied 54. only 54. 1997:18).

Question C6 Very Satisfied 6. Financial stress may also apply to two extremes – people who are working hard and making a good wage. but lack perspective and discipline in managing their money. 70 .Of the respondents. considering what Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied 10% 20% 70% other organizations pay for similar types of work? Of the respondents. However.5% were neutral and 20% were satisfied. It contains a duality similar to that present in our own nature. it is a life events stress. loving and cruel”. but have a definite influence on the workplace. 70% were dissatisfied with the salaries they get comparing to what other companies pay. 17. It is spiritual and material. How satisfied are you with your pay. 62. Very few people realize the emotions that money creates. Price (2000:6) indicates that “…money possesses an energy and life of its own. 20% neutral and 10% were dissatisfied. This result also closely map to the results gleaned from question C5. Dissatisfaction with the pay a staff member get may create financial stress. financial stress is not a workplace stress. creative and destructive.5% were dissatisfied with the salaries what they get.

Question C7: Very Satisfied 7.5% were neutral and 15% were satisfied. It arises when a person does not have a clear picture of work objectives. is in contrast to reality.5% better jobs since you started to work with your organiation? Of the respondents.5% were dissatisfied with the advancement to better jobs since they start working at TUT. 71 .5% 57. 27. Career development conditions create stress reactions especially when there is a disparity between the individual’s perceptions of where he or she should be in a work organization. 57. Question C8: Very Satisfied 8. and the scope and responsibilities of his or her job. 60% were satisfied with the extent to which their present job makes use of their skills and abilities.5% 22. How satisfied are you with your to Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied advancement 15% 27.5% were dissatisfied.5% were neutral and 22. 17.5% present job makes full use of your skills and abilities? Of the respondents. How satisfied are you with the extent to which your Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied 60% 17.

Question C10: Very Satisfied 10. 20% dissatisfied and 5% of the respondents did not respond to this question.)? Of the respondents. as opposed to mental ability demands)? Of the respondents. How satisfied are you with the level of average time Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied 30% 45% 20% demands of your present job (hours worked. judgement. Proper time management reduces stress. Time is a limited resource that can be used to good or bad effect.5% were satisfied with the level of mental ability requirements of their present job. while 45% were neutral.5% were dissatisfied. How satisfied are you with the level of mental ability Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied 67. 72 .5% requirements of your present job (problem solving. 30% were neutral and 2. technical knowledge.5% 30% 2. etc.Question C9: Very Satisfied 9. 30% were satisfied. 67.

9. 5% of the respondents are insecure regarding their employment.1. 73 . the researcher discussed insecurity and research has shown that insecurity is one of the largest sources of stress for staff members at tertiary institutions. 17.Question C11: Very Satisfied 11. How satisfied are you security with of the your Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied 17. Considering everything.5% 15% 62. In Paragraph 3. Dissatisfaction with their employment situation are linked to question C1.1.5% feel secure and 5% of the respondents did not answer this question.5 % were experiencing insecurity.5% employment? Of the respondents. Chapter 3. how Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied would you rate your overall about employment situation at the feelings your 25% 30% 45% present time? Of the respondents. 45% were dissatisfied with their employment situation. 15% were neutral. 30% were neutral and 25% were satisfied. and question C12 where 62. Question C12: Very Satisfied 12. 62. where 50% of the respondents were dissatisfied to work for the TUT.

11. Of the respondents 42.5% administration tasks e. etc. 9. while 4. and that they feel they must start searching for other jobs. but it might also be an indication of the insecurity the staff members experience. Question C14: If you have your way. Of the respondents 32. 7. Certainly Probably I’m not at all sure Probably not Certainly not I’ll be retired in five years. Of the respondents 35% were not sure. compiling of class lists. How satisfied are you with your Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied 33% 20% 42. The reasons why the staff members will not work for TUT within five years from now may be different. 74 . five years from now.5% were dissatisfied with administration tasks. 33% were satisfied with the administration tasks. 10% will certainly and 5% will probably still work for TUT.5% of the respondents did not answer this question. while 20% were neutral.5% will certainly not. 10. 22.5% did not answer this question.Question C13: Very Satisfied 13. 8.g. study guides. will you be working for your present organization five years form now? Circle one: 1.

75% do work long hours on the campus and 25% do not.5.5. 92. studies have shown that working long hours do take a toll on employee health and also that working beyond 40 and 50 hours a week. 57. Work-life balance not only affects the individual. but it also effects the organization. However it may sometimes be necessary for staff member’s especially academic staff members to take work home. and also to do preparation at home where there are less disturbances. results in time spent that is increasingly unproductive. Results from the work. 75 . because of students coming in and out of their offices for extra help.5% do take work home most of the nights. Question D3: Do you voluntarily work long hours? Of the respondents. Chapter 3. Question D2: Do you frequently think about work-problems at home? Of the respondents.5% confirmed that they do think frequently about workproblems at home. returned the following. Question D1: Do you take work home most nights? Of the respondents.life balance questions.9. According to McClean (1985:81) the pressure of having too much work to do would seem to be fairly obvious stressors.5 SECTION D WORK-LIFE BALANCE Work-life balance was addressed in Paragraph 3. According to Cartwright & Cooper (1997:15).1.

This. where the majority of the respondents do either take work home or work long hours on the campus. correlates with the results in Questions D1. This may be the result of the merger. This answer can be as a result of Questions D1 and D3. Typical behaviors are: saying yes to any job they are asked to do. working longer hours and piling their work stations with papers and files etc. D3 & D5. 62. 85% find it difficult to say ‘no’ to work requests. it may have no useful purpose whatsoever.5% do find it difficult to relax and forget about work. Question D8: Do you find it difficult to delegate? Of the respondents. Question D6: Do you find it difficult to relax and forget work? Of the respondents.5% are not affected by work problems. 45% do find it difficult to delegate. 76 . Question D5: Do your family and friends complain that you spend too little time with them? Family and friends of 52. Efficient sleep is of tremendous importance in terms of improving a person’s resistance to stress. During a merger. They often act to promote a desirable image of themselves that may impress those whom they think have and influence in the decision making process. To socialize with family and friends are a powerful stress management technique.5% of the respondents complain that too little time is spent with them. many individuals feel that they and their jobs are on ‘trial’ and so become obsessed with personal survival. The negative of this dispensation is that it is stressful to the individual and furthermore in the long term. Question D7: Do you find it difficult to say “no” to work requests? Of the respondents.Question D4: Do work problems affect your sleeping habits? Of the respondents sleeping habits of 52.

5% indicated that they do not take sleeping pills.5% indicating that they do not exercise for at least 20 minutes.)? Of the respondents. three times a week? Of the respondents. meditation. Question D13: Do you smoke? Of the respondents 72. This figure however is questionable. Question D11: Do you practice an active relaxation technique (yoga. Question D15: Do you drink more than 8 cups of caffeinated drinks or alcohol each day? Of the respondents 90% indicated that they do not drink more than 8 cups of caffeinated drinks or alcohol each day. three times a week.5% indicated that they do have a hobby.10. imagery.5% indicated that they do not smoke. Question D14: Do you take sleeping pills? Of the respondents 82. 60%. Relaxation techniques may be unfamiliar to most of the staff members. The researcher in Paragraph 3. exercise counters the negative effects of stress by allowing the body to react to the “fight and flight” alarm as discussed in Paragraph 3. 77 . do not practice an active relaxation technique. etc. Chapter 3. 40% self-esteem is based on their work. Question D10: Do you have a hobby? Of the respondents 67. which controls stress responses such as: respiration. 62.3.Question D9: Is your self-esteem based largely on your work? Of the respondents. Question D12: Do you exercise for at least 20 minutes. According to Brewer (1995:55). Chapter 3 discussed exercises as a stress management technique. Relaxation stimulates the body’s parasympathetic nervous system. heart rate and digestion.

1. Chapter 3 potential sources of workplace stress are discussed and nine categories were identified. 78 .4. The survey returned that 4 of the 9 categories are prevalent: workload. career development. Chapter 1.5. The results of section D of the questionnaire indicate that there is no work-life balance. The results indicate that the stress levels are very high in the Faculty of Arts at the Tshwane University of Technology. status and pay which include job security and the fourth one home work interference. Life events are also a major source of stress for the staff members. The survey also returned that the physical working conditions create stress.8. and also no positive evidence of stress management.6 CONCLUSION In Paragraph 3. working hours. which map to the high percentage of chronic conditions for which principal members younger than 65 are most commonly registered at the Tshwane University of Technology. as discussed in Paragraph 1. Furthermore. the survey returned that 46% of the staff members have a 50% or more chance of a serious change in their health within the next year.

To test theory.2 THE RESEARCH DESIGN AND DATA COLLECTION DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY The research approach in this study is both qualitative and quantitative in nature.1 INTRODUCTION In this concluding chapter. Research findings will be mapped to the research content and specific recommendations will be made to mitigate the research problem as stated in Paragraph 1.CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION 6. A quantitative approach was used for the following reasons: To explain and predict. To confirm and validate. The researcher was enabled to interact with what is being studied. The key research objectives will be addressed. research question and investigative questions will be re-stated and elaborated upon. The research design and methodology. 79 .4. 6. The respondents describe their daily experiences as it relates to stress. A qualitative approach was used for the following reasons: Stress occurs in the real world environment of TUT. The primary research method was a literature study of stress and of stress in the workplace. a general reflective overview of the study is provided.1 of Chapter 1. the research problem. A questionnaire was distributed to permanent staff members of the Faculty of Arts of TUT.

salaries. Furthermore. no promotion opportunities and work-life balance. insecurity.4 THE RESEARCH QUESTION RE-VISITED The research question formulated in Paragraph 1. and as a result. Stress at work: Are created by the organization and pertain to.5 THE INVESTIGATIVE QUESTIONS RE-VISITED The investigative questions which were researched in support of the research question are analyzed below.1 of Chapter 1 reads as follows: “Unacceptable high levels of stress in the Faculty of Arts at TUT. adversely impacting on employee well being”. the conclusion can be drawn that the staff members at TUT positively experience stress. but the causes of stress differ. classified and ultimately mitigated. The types of stress can be divided in three categories: Life events: The presence of stress is universal.5 of Chapter 1 reads as follows: “Can the type of stress experienced by staff members at the Faculty of Arts be identified. 6.6. affect individuals differently.4. Investigative Question 1: “Can it be determine whether the staff members at the Faculty of Arts experience stress and furthermore which type of stress are most common”? From the questionnaire analysis in Chapter 5.3 THE RESEARCH PROBLEM RE-VISITED The research problem formulated in Paragraph 1. the physical working conditions. 6. The research problem in this dissertation. From the questionnaire analysis reflected in Chapter 5 the following stressors are prevalent: Life events: 46% of the respondents have a 50% chance of a serious change in their health within the next year. stress always manifest 80 .7 of this Chapter are implemented at the TUT. in the opinion of this author can be mitigated successfully should the recommendations which are elaborated upon in Paragraph 6.

situation and environment. Furthermore. TUT can address small incremental improvements that can help to manage stress. stress can be fatal. Investigative Question 2 Can practical stress management techniques be implemented to address stress as experienced by staff members of the Faculty of Arts at TUT? Stress management techniques can be implemented. insecurity. presenting courses in financial management and personal finances. calling for the employer to make the necessary adjustments. because stress without context is more stressful and unchecked stress. for example the 81 . Presenting stress management techniques and programs often seems that for every step forward there are two taken backward.as levels that differ from person. however stress management programs need to be addressed from a holistic perspective. While many of the life’s problems are minor. Poor personal financial planning behaviours are also a breeding ground for stress. they do not address the stressors in the workplace that creates the stress. salaries. it may seem that people do take responsibility for their own wellbeing. Gone are the days when the workplace operates as a family and companies looked after the individual. While employers present stress management courses for staff members. Work-life balance: From the questionnaires it was evident that there is no worklife balance among the respondents. can be unendurable. which returned that such courses does not solve the problem for the majority. but most of the time it is a reactive action and not a pro-active action. Today employees have to take responsibility for the own wellbeing. However. the occurrences of several important changes at one particular point in time may contribute to increased individual vulnerability to illness. Workplace stress: Was created by the physical working environment. From the questionnaires it was evident that the physical work environment is not satisfactory. Stress management need to start with the individual. Furthermore. Proper money and financial coaching was however more effective. an aspect the researcher experienced during her employment as an Employee Assistance Practitioner. individuals need to find an answer for the reasons why they are making personal sacrifices and how long it will last. and no promotion. or in extreme cases.

Give employees the opportunity to participate in the design of their own work situation. salaries. and the physical work environment. Both the individual as well as the employer need to co-operate with one another in order to manage it. for the benefit of both parties. Introduce flexi-time to accommodate different employees.g. work organization and job content in such a way that the individual is not subjected to physical strain of mental stress which may lead to illness or accidents.6 KEY RESEARCH FINDINGS The key research findings of this research are the following: The staff members of the Faculty of Arts. the following: Primary Prevention: The organization as well as each employee need to be made aware that the organisation recognises the current high stress levels and should where possible institute remedial action to lower the stress levels. Review the workloads to map with each individual’s physical and mental capabilities. Reduce bureaucratic processes and red-tape. by changing the way the job is done. 6. at the Tshwane University of Technology do experience high levels of stress.restaurants and kiosks on the campuses only sell junk food. 6. Stress management programs need to be measured properly. in order to determine if there is a drop in the stress levels. insecurity. Design the technologies. Improve the ergonomics to comply with the standards as prescribed by the Department of Labour. 82 . Changing the demands of work e.7 RECOMMENDATIONS The recommendations which are to serve as an approach to mitigate the research problem and serve as a directive to TUT. and no healthy food is available. Stress is a reality that both the individual as well as the employer experience. The main stressors are life events.

Increase the amount and quality of support staff members receive.g. To identify the causes of stress as experienced by the staff members of the Faculty of Arts at TUT. time management. reward and recognition systems. understanding and their skills to deal with it is as effective as possible. so that their attitude. knowledge. and encourage co-operation and teamwork. assertiveness. allow interaction among employees. 6. 83 . Secondary Prevention Reduce stress through worker education and training in stress management. Develop a more friendly and supportive organization culture. To identify practical stress management techniques that could mitigate the primary research problem. Monitor staff satisfaction and health on a regular basis. Tertiary Prevention Reduce the impact of stress by developing more sensitive and responsive management systems. Determine if there are better ways in which outstanding performance can be recognised and rewarded? Providing balanced menus in the workplace restaurant and cafeterias.Review the adequacy of current pay. promotion. Train managers in dealing with work stress. Implement wellness days. Develop programs and processes to reduce job insecurity and/ or assist staff to cope with job insecurity. Make sure staff knows whom to talk to about their problems.8 KEY RESEARCH OBJECTIVES AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESEARCH The key research objectives with this research study are: To determine whether the staff members of the Faculty of Arts at TUT experience stress. e. relaxation etc.

which assists each staff member suffering from undue stress.9 PERSONAL REFLECTION During the duration of this study as well as work-related situations. supervisors and managers realize what stress is. Most of the institutions have a reactive approach by implementing counselling services. well-measured stress management program or model can be implemented in the targeted institution. The institutions also do not create working environments were staff members. Should the recommendations made in this dissertation be acceptable. 6. There is great pressure on people to remain operational in spite of work pressure. Further research can be done to formulate a proper stress management model. it would facilitate a relatively stress free working environment in a much needed stress environment. High stress levels and the effect it have on individuals as well as organizations. how to recognize it. The significance of this research stems from the fact that: This research is the first research executed on stress. The significance of this research is therefore embedded within the context that if a practical. is a world wide concern. and how to manage it. 84 .The objectives of this research are met within the ambit of the literature study as well as in the results of the questionnaires. it can have a broader application for similar higher tertiary education institutions in South Africa. the author came to the conclusion that Higher Education Institutions in South Africa did not spend enough time on creating policies and programs for assisting staff members to deal with stress. The challenge would be to formulate a model that will benefit also the person who do not want to take responsibility for his own health. and also will not attend stress management programs. in the TUT after the merger.

10 CONCLUSION Higher Education is an important link in the progress of a country. . Therefore. it is of the utmost importance that Higher Education Institutions operates with a healthy workforce. It is a dynamic environment. which can set as an example for student who will enter the workforce. constantly exposed to change in order to meet the demands of the country and the world outside.6. 85 .

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