Chapter 19

Stress Management

STRESS

 A dynamic condition in which an individual is confronted with an opportunity, constraint, or demand related to what he or she desires and for which the outcome is perceived to be both uncertain and important. Psychologically, people perceive a situation and interpret it as challenging or threatening This cognitive appraisal leads to a set of physiological responses, such as higher blood pressure, sweaty hands, and faster heartbeats.

1. Opportunity When it offers potential gain. 2. Constraints Forces that prevent individuals from doing what they desire. 3. Demands The loss of something desired.
Challenge Stress or stress associated with challenges in the work environment operates quite differently from Hindrance Stress or stress that keeps you from reaching your goals.

 Two conditions are necessary for potential stress to become actual stress.  Only when there is doubt or uncertainty regarding whether the opportunity will be seized, the constraint removed, or the loss avoided that there is stress.  Importance is also critical. If the outcomes are unimportant to the individual—there is no stress.

Role Stress: Role-Space Conflicts
 Any conflicts within the self, the role & other roles the individual occupies are referred to as role-space conflicts or stress. These conflicts may be the following:  Self role distance  Intra-role conflict  Role stagnation  Inter-role distance

Role Stress: Role-set conflicts
 A role-set has been conceived of as a system of relationship between the role and other related roles in a system. The conflicts that arise as a result of incompatibility among these expectations of the significant other roles and the individual himself are referred to as role-set conflicts. These conflicts are as follows:  Role ambiguity  Role expectation conflict  Role overload  Role erosion  Resource inadequacy  Personal inadequacy  Role isolation

POTENTIAL SOURCES OF STRESS
 Environmental Factors
 Economic uncertainties of the business cycle  Political uncertainties of political systems  Technological uncertainties of technical innovations  Terrorism in threats to physical safety and security

 Organizational Factors
     

Task demands related to the job Role demands of functioning in an organization Interpersonal demands created by other employees Organizational structure (rules and regulations) Organizational leadership (managerial style) Organization’s life stage (growth, stability, or decline)

 Individual Factors

 Family and personal relationships  Economic problems from exceeding earning capacity  Personality problems arising for basic disposition

 Individual Differences

 Perceptual variations of how reality will affect the individual’s future.  Greater job experience moderates stress effects.  Social support buffers job stress.  Internal locus of control lowers perceived job stress.  Strong feelings of self-efficacy reduce reactions to job stress.

CONSEQUENCES OF STRESS
 Physiological Symptoms  Most of the early concern with stress was directed at physiological symptoms due to the fact that specialists in the health and medical sciences researched the topic. Physiological symptoms have the least direct relevance to students of OB. Psychological Symptoms  Job-related stress can cause job-related dissatisfaction. Multiple and conflicting demands—lack of clarity as to the incumbent’s duties, authority, and responsibilities—increase stress and dissatisfaction. The less control people have over the pace of their work, the greater the stress and dissatisfaction. Behavioral Symptoms  It include changes in productivity, absence, and turnover, as well as changes in eating habits, increased smoking or consumption of alcohol, rapid speech, fidgeting, and sleep disorders.

INVERTED-U RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STRESS AND JOB PERFORMANCE
High

Low

Performance

Low

Stress

High

  

People are stressed from overwork, job insecurity, information overload, and the increasing pace of life. These events leads to DISTRESS – the degree of physiological, psychological and behavior deviation from healthy functioning. There is also a positive side of stress, called EUSTRESS, that refers to the health, positive, constructive outcomes of stressful events and the stress response. The logic underlying the inverted U is that low to moderate levels of stress stimulate the body and increase its ability to react. Individuals then often perform their tasks better, more intensely, or more rapidly. But too much stress places unattainable demands or constraints on a person, which result in lower performance. Even moderate levels of stress can have a negative influence on performance over the long term as the continued intensity of the stress wears down the individual and saps his/her energy resources.

MANAGING STRESS

Individual Approaches  Implementing time management  Increasing physical exercise  Relaxation training  Expanding social support network

Organizational Approaches  Improved personnel selection and job placement  Training  Use of realistic goal setting  Redesigning of jobs  Increased employee involvement  Improved organizational communication  Offering employee sabbaticals  Establishment of corporate wellness programs

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful