Occupational Stress

analytical Essay
2796 words
2796 words

Occupational Stress Opening Statement: This paper will examine some causes and some of the effects of stress on individuals in the work environment. Role overload will be discussed as a major agent of stress at both work and home. Role Underload, Role Conflict, Role Ambiguity will be discussed briefly for comparison. Examples of stress in the work place will be used to illustrate the broad ramifications of stress in the occupational setting. Examples of Electromyography (EMG) will be given as a means of biologically diagnosing occupational and personnal stress cases as opposed to occupational soft muscle tissue diseases. Finally, interventions such as stress management programs will also be explored, as well as the benefits such programs can deliver to an organization. What is Stress?: "Stress - The confusion created when one's mind overrides the body's basic desire to choke the hell out of someone who so desperately deserves it" (Author unknown). There are many biological, engineering and physiological definitions of stress but, the definition above is the most simplified and applicable in today's fast moving business world. More classical "engineering" definition cited by R. Kahn (1992) use during the 18th and 19th centuries described stress as "A force or pressure exerted upon a material object, or person". Stress as defined by Quick, Horn and Quick (1987) "is a naturally occurring experience essential to our growth, change development both at work and at home. Depending on the way stress is handled it may have a detrimental effect on our health and well-being or it may have a beneficial effect". In order to have stress there must be a stressor, or a physical or physiological stimulus to encourage the onset of stress response. A physical stressor in a manufacturing setting may be noise, heat, dust, mist, fumes, poor lighting etc (Evans, Cohen 1987). Psychological stressors could be items such as conflicting views with your manager or, seemingly unattainable deadlines. Problems at home may compound these issues when they are presented in an occupational situation. Stress may be caused by many different situations in the various environments that we are a part of each day. Some social stress factors may be measured by Life Crisis Units (LCU) (Holmes and Rahe, 1967). This scale is used to aid in evaluation of, but n... ... middle of paper ... ...ournal of Organizational Behavior Jan vol 12, 39-53 Golembiewski, Robert & Munzenrider Robert (1991) Burnout and Mental Health: A Pilot Study Organizational Development Journal, Sum Vol 9, 51-57 Heirch, Max (1989) Making Stress Management Relevant to worksite wellness Advances Spr Vol 6, 36-40 Hendrix William H; Steel Robert P & Schultz Sherryl A (1987) Job Stress and Life Stress Journal of Social Behavior & Personality Aug Vol 2, 291-302 Klintzman Susan; House James s; Israel Barbara A & Mero Richard P (1990) Work Stress, Non-work Stress & Health Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Jun Vol 13, 221-243 Murphy L R; Dubois David & Hurrel, Joseph (1986) Accident Reduction Through Stress Management Journal of Business and Psychology Fall Volume 1, 5-18 Newsweek Publication Business Section (1988) Newsweek April 25, 42-45 Penton Publication Workers' Comp Update (1992) Occupational Hazards, Oct, 173-178 Quick, Jonathan D; Hoin Rebecca S & Quick, James (1986) Health Consequences of Stress Journal of Organizational Behavior Management Fal-Win Vol 8, 19-36 Electronic Media National Council on Compensation Insurance, Inc. Available

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the paper will examine some causes and some of the effects of stress on individuals in the work environment.
  • Explains that stress is caused by physical or physiological stimuli, such as noise, heat, dust, mist, fumes, and unattainable deadlines. some social stress factors may be measured by life crisis units (lcu).
  • Analyzes how the person/environment fit model hypothesizes that certain individuals may be at a higher risk for work related stress than others.
  • Analyzes how a struggle for power may result in subordinates suffering by trying to satisfy both individuals. role underload is defined by kahn (1979-1992).
  • Lists ten occupations where role conflict could result in stress, and explains the impact on an organization by individuals suffering from occupationally related stressors.
  • Lists 10 common warning signs of stress taken from national institute on workers compensation and american institute of stress.
  • Explains that in over 400 cases investigated, 50% took place while employees were in an emotionally low state. the largest tangible dollar value that can be put on work related stress cases is workman compensation costs.
  • Argues that industry is spending billions in court costs, lost wages, and medical benefits on stress related issues.
  • Explains how the medical manager expanded the company's health and lifestyle improvement program by offering free health screenings, blood pressure checks, cholesterol checks and flexibility tests.
  • Concludes that stress is an unavoidable fact of life. if properly monitored and controlled through stress reduction techniques and a healthy lifestyle, we can reduce, but never eliminate stress from our lives.
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