STRESS – Chp 4
•Explain stress. Explain and give examples of common stressors in the workplace.
•Describe outcomes of stress as related to the general adaptation syndrome and long-term exposure to stress.
•Describe various stressors and explain how these are linked to the workplace.
•Explain strategies that individuals and organisations can help to manage stress.
What is Stress?
“An adaptive response to a situation that is perceived as challenging or threatening to the person’s wellbeing.” (McShane et al., 2010: 139)
Perception that demands of the environment exceed the resources of the individual (e.g., Lazarus, 1999)
Negative stress or Distress arises from negative events
Positive stress or Eustress arises from positive events
Model of Stress
Work Stressors: Interpersonal Stressors
•Interpersonal stressors are a common source of workplace stress
•Interpersonal stressors include
–Poor team dynamics
Work Stressors: Role-related
Role-related stress arises from perceptions of demands and obligations of work roles
Arises from incongruity or incompatibility of expectations and role
Arises when role demands are unclear or unknown
Arises when roles compete for time, quantity, and quality of attention
Work Stressors: Task, Organisational, Environment
•Task-related stressors occur employees have little control over how and when they perform their tasks.
•Organisational stressors can result from significant events in the organisation.
•The physical work environment can be a source of stress.
Relationship of Work and Non-work Stressors
Work stressors can combine and interact with non-work factors
Spillover from home to work (or from work to home)
Role behaviour conflict
Individual Differences in Response to Stress
Not everyone reacts the same way to the same stressor.
People have different thresholds of resistance to stressor
People have different perceptions of the situation
Challenge: perceive have sufficient resources, ability, etc.,
Threat: perceive have insufficient resources, ability, etc.
People have different coping strategies
Consequences of Stress
General Adaptation Syndrome (Selye) – See Exhibit 4.5
Consequences of Stress
Chronic or long-term exposure to stress diminishes individual’s resistance, which can result in adverse consequences
Consequences of Stress: Job Burnout
Developing a Stress Management Plan
Stress Management: Remove the Stressor
•Removing the stressor is actually eliminating or preventing it from occurring.
•Organisations can help reduce stressors
–Develop culture of respect and empowerment
–Develop trustworthy conflict-resolution process
–Screen job applicants for past incidents related to harassment
–Conduct stress audits to investigate sources of stress
–Use multi-source (360-degree) feedback to identify stressful situations and harassing behaviours
–Use work-life balance
Stress Management: Withdraw from Stressor
Withdrawal from the stressor involves taking a break or removing the person from the stressful situation.
Remove employees from jobs not aligned with their competencies
Stress Management: Other
•Change stress perceptions
–Increase self-confidence and self-efficacy
–Learn how to change appraisals of stressful situations from threat to challenge
•Increase social support
–Emotional or informational
•Control stress consequences
–Relaxation, meditation, exercise
–Stress management training