Social stressors can develop between two or more employees of the same rank or

Social stressors can develop between two or more

This preview shows page 14 - 16 out of 24 pages.

words, a temperature below freezing doubles the cost of construction. Social stressors can develop between two or more employees of the same rank or of different ranks. Many types of social stress may be found in everyday work. These include conflicts with peers; conflicts with supervisors; discrimination; sexual harassment;
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CHAPTER 12 Section 12.3 Stress and Stress Management hazing; group cohesiveness/morale problems; and conflicts between groups. Managers can try to identify social stressors and reduce them when possible. A manager can intervene in a conflict and resolve the issue. A manager can also challenge those using offensive language related to gender or even levels of seniority to reduce the number of incidents. These problems contribute not only to stress levels in individual employees, but are also counterproductive to the organization in other ways (Quick & Quick, 1984). Job stressors come from the basic demands of the work. Some are related to the worker’s role (McClean, 1980), others to different forces. Each creates challenging circumstances for employees. Role conflict takes two forms. The first occurs when a task conflicts with the individual’s sense of right and wrong. The sec- ond takes place when two assigned tasks conflict with each other. Role ambiguity means the employee remains unsure about which tasks to complete or how to complete them. A matter as simple as having a new supervisor can generate role ambiguity as the worker seeks to satisfy the demands of a new boss. Role overload occurs when the amount of work expected of an employee exceeds what the person can handle. Layoffs and downsizing often generate role overload for those who remain with the organiza- tions (Kahn et al., 1964; Sutton & Rafaeli, 1987). Non-role-related job stressors include blocked career progression , otherwise known as a “dead-end job.” The perception, whether real or imagined, that getting promoted will be impossible creates a long- term stressor. The glass ceiling , which affects many female employees, represents blocked career progres- sion. Monotonous work can be stressful, especially to those seeking more meaningful employment. Rates of alcohol and substance abuse are often higher in boring work settings (Sutton & Rafaeli, 1987). Occupa- tion stress results from the type of work performed. Table 12.4 provides examples of low- and high-stress occupations (Frank, 2011; Zupek, 2011). Table 12.4: Low- and high-stress occupations High Stress Low Stress police officer civil engineer firefighter carpenter, mason financial aid counselor industrial machinery mechanic sales account manager operations research analyst restaurant assistant manager massage therapist nurse college professor Individual Temperament Two types of individuals may be predisposed to stress-related problems, due to their basic natures. Over- achievers and those with the Type A personality factor may experience problems due to the aggressive nature of their personality. Overachievers are highly competitive with others and themselves. Such indi-
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