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Organization can be a stressful place in which to work, thus stress management is becoming an important issue at work. It can be argued that the responsibility for stress management lies with both the organization and the individuals who are, or could be affected by stress. Explain why organization are stressful place and discuss who should have the responsibility for stress management and why.
Organization is social structure. That is to say an organization is a group of people intentionally organized to accomplish an overall, common goal or set or goal. The range of a business organization can formed from 2 people to 10 or thousands. (http://www.managementhelp.org/org_thry/org_defn.htm) Nevertheless, under the name of team spirit and culture, a great management can encourage people to believe that the organization, the team or the company is an entity. The fact is that organization is affected by external environment and internal environment. It is never exactly the same phenomenon from one moment to next. Organization is composed of individuals, each of whose physical, emotional, can fluctuate from hour to hour. Therefore, organization can be a stressful place; stress management is an important part at work. (G A Cole, Organizational Behavior P.2-9) In the following essay I would like to explain why organizations are stressful place and discuss who should have the responsibility for stress management and why.
Since the complex nature of organization, it is not surprise that the people who work in an organization are face to a range of conflicting pressures, some of them will lead to individual stress. As I mention in the introduction, an organization is composed with individuals, the fluctuation of their physical and emotional, each of whose action and reaction will affect the whole organization phenomenon and stressful occur. Marshall & Cooper (1981) emphasize that ‘stress’ is a different phenomenon from ‘pressure’; stress is something more than pressure. It’s breakdown normal human performance. There are many factors that make an organization become a stressful place. We divided into six sources 1, organizational factors, 2, external environment, 3, job characteristics, 4, work relationship, 5, domestic situation and personal factors. (Marshall & Cooper , 1981 p.4)
Organizational factors, we mainly focus on organizational structure, especially where the pattern of jobs. Secondly, communication system when it does not facilitate communication with others. Thirdly, Organization culture, management style and career development especially where the individual find that it is difficult to achieve or cooperate with his superiors management style or their effort are unrecognized e.
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The change of external environment is other potential source of stress which we examine from the world wide changing. Economic situation is the most obvious factor to show a company financial situation which also means how profitable a company or organization is, especially where the company is in decline. Competitive situation of the organization will lead employee feeling a big pressure in their position, especially an uncertain market position may lead withdrawal or bankrupt. Technology change may lead to reduction in jobs and skill requirement. Finally, government political change may affect organizations like state owned businesses, military equipment or import product. (G A Cole, Organizational Behavior P.212-218)
Job characteristics and work relationship are the operational factors of stress in an organization. Job characteristic is a very important issue to keep an organization running effectively, insufficient to meet the demand of the job or the expectation of the superior is the failure of the degree of autonomy. Role conflict is when task poorly designed or managed to the role allocation will lead to confusion with related role or doesn’t meet the superior expectation. It is a typical factor which happened in an organization. For an agency company or sales marketing company contractual terms is a fatal factor that lead to a stressful phenomenon, especially where the contract provide for rewards on a high-performance basis e.g. meeting targets, production quotas. On the other hand it maybe a vicious competition in an organization because of overtones the contention. (G A Cole, Organizational Behavior P.216)
Work relationship is a fundamental operation factor in a workplace. There are four roles in a workplace which may potentially affected by stress, superior, colleagues, own staff, supplier and other outside people. Superior is known as the head quarter of an organization, they are the decision maker which means they don’t involve any operation process. Therefore they only face stress where individuals fail to achieve a good working relationship work their superior. Colleagues can work effectively and happily towards each other, but “ an inability to get on reasonable terms with fellow team-member or colleagues from other section can be source of considerable unhappiness; women, in particular, may suffer from male patronage or sexual harassment.” (Davidson & Cooper,1983)4. There are many people appointed that it is stressful to deal with their own staff e.g. it is hardly to distribute workload or salary in a family business. Supplier, customer and other outside people, they can be a source of stress especially when dealing customer compliant.
In the home life, everybody are work for their family, lover or themselves, thus they possibility faced the responsible of family illness, care of elder parents, unhappy marriage even debt problem are the domestic situation that can overflow into the workplace and affect an individual’s performance and attitude. Secondly, an individual with a rich social life may find a clash with his social life, especially if their working in a unsocial hours.
(G A Cole, Organizational Behavior P.217)
Personal factors are a key factor of an individual perception but it affected to phenomenon of the colleagues the most. People who are adaptable individuals are more flexile to stress than those who are inflexible. Motivation is another element where a person is concentrate to commit his/her work they are more likely to cope with stressful situation. (G A Cole, Organizational Behavior P.217)
Essentially, the strategies individuals are about the psychology of the person. For example, it involves examining cause and effect or thinking about what has changed in their life recently. (Butler and Hope 1995). Encourage them try to accept their situation also to take a positive point of view. Moreover, cognitive avoidance, tell individual to denying the problem, for example, forgetting it exists. Secondly, problem-focused strategies, it encourage individual to tackle the problems which caused their stress. Thirdly, emotions focus, like try to avoid paying attention to them. (Principles of organizational behaviour, 4th ed, P. 78-81)Organization strategies are taking an essential role of an organization to handling stress. It is because when an organization’s employees suffer from stress, are likely forms as lower productivity and missed targets; increased accident and error rates; increased number of internal conflicts; excessive staff turnover. Thus, stress affect a individuals worker in a small demand, but it will lead to a big affection as if it happened on every worker. There are some stress avoidance by organization, we will focus on job characteristics e.g. Design jobs and work to permit use of skill and discretion. Work relationship, e.g. superior can develop participative management styles, only exercise authority when appropriate, encourage a cooperative spirit with workmates. Organization structure, e.g. hierarchy of jobs can make a wide use of skill, discretion and authority; attitudes towards employees are positive; carry out employees are regarded as the organization’s best asset to meeting the want.(G A Cole, Organizational Behavior P.221-224)
To conclude, organization can be a stressful place due to the complex nature of organization. Stressful management is an essential management skill to deal with different problem which occur between workers to superior, individual to organization. Stress of an organization occur from external environment like economic, technology and political, also from internal environment of an organization like organization structure, communication system, work relationship etc. More recently, managers have had to cope with a much more uncertain environment. We can see that the responsibility for stress management should be taken by individual and organization; they are carrying different circumstances of their own position. A good stress management is depends on the cooperation of the individual and organization, that‘s how an organization composed.
G A Cole(1995) Organizational Behaviour Theory and Practice, Thomson
Robin,F & Peter, R (2005) Principles of Organizational Behaviour,
Martin,J(1992) Culture in organization :three perspectives .Oxford : Oxford University express.