Work-related to Stress and Stress
Chapter 7
Thuan Lam
Frederick Widjaja
What is stress ?
Stress is the body’s natural response to intense
situation that is perceived as challenging or
threatening to a person’s well-being.
- Distress – Bad stress (is most focused)
- Eustress – Good stress
General Adaption Syndrome
- Alarm Reaction: The alarm reaction stage occurs when a
threat or challenge activates the physiological stress responses.
- Resistance: The person’s ability to cope with the
environmental demand rises above the normal state during the
resistance stage.
- Exhaustion: People have a limited resistance capacity, and if
the source of stress persists, they will eventually move into the
exhaustion stage
Stressors: The Causes of Stress
Stressors, the causes of stress, include any environmental conditions
that place a physical or emotional demand on a person
Work-related stressors
Interpersonal stressors
Role-related stressors
Task control stressors
Organizational/physical environment stressors
Interpersonal Stressors
(The most pervasive in the workplace)
Workplace Violence
Who’s experienced stress?
- Non-directly experienced or observed violence
if they work in jobs that expose them to a higher
incidence of violence
Psychological and Sexual Harassment
Psychological harassment includes:
-Repeated and hostile or unwanted conduct
- Verbal comment, actions, or gestures that
affect an employee’s dignity or psychological or
physical integrity and that result in a harmful
work environment for the employee.
Sexual harassment includes:
- Unwanted sexual relations (called quid pro quo)
- Experiences sexual conduct from others (called
hostile work environment)
Role-Related Stressors
Role conflict refers to the degree of incongruity or incompatibility of expectations
associated with a person’s role
Role ambiguity refers to the lack of clarity and predictability of the outcomes of a
person’s behavior.
Work Overload – working more hours and more intensely during those hours than
they can reasonably handle.
Task Control Stressors
The degree to which low task control is a stressor increases with the burden of
responsibility the employee must carry
Organizational and Physical Environment Stressors
-Downsizing is stressful for those who
lose their jobs
- Layoff survivors also experience stress
because of the reduced job security,
chaos of change, additional workloads,
and guilt of having a job as others lose
Work-Nonwork Stressors
(stressors from work spill over into nonwork and vice versa)
Time-Based Conflict: refers to the challenge of balancing the time demanded by work
with family and other nonwork activities
Strain-Based Conflict: occurs when stress from one domain spills over to the other.
Role Behavior Conflict: occurs when people are expected to act quite differently at
work than in nonwork roles.
Stress and Occupations
Hospital manager
U.S. president
Physician (GP)
Prison officer
Auto mechanic
School principal
Individual Differences in Stress
(People have different stress experiences when exposed to the same stressor.)
1. They have different threshold levels of resistance to the stressor.
2. People use different coping strategies, some of which are more effective than others
3. People have different beliefs about the threat and their ability to withstand stress.
Resilience and Stress
The capacity of individuals to cope successfully in the face of significant change,
adversity, or risk
Workaholism and Stress
Classic workaholic – work addict is highly involved in work, feels
compelled or driven to work because of inner pressures, and has a
low enjoyment of work
Enthusiastic workaholics have high levels of all three components
– high work involvement, drive to succeed, and work enjoyment.
Work enthusiasts have high work involvement and work
enjoyment, but low drive to succeed.
Consequences of Distress
(physiological, psychological, and behavioral)
Physiological Consequences: the stress response shuts down
the immune system, which makes use more vulnerable to viral
and bacterial infection.
Psychological Consequences: job dissatisfaction, moodiness, depression, lower
organizational commitment
+ JOB BURNOUT: the process of emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and
reduced feelings of personal accomplishment resulting from prolonged exposure to
Interpersonal and role-related stressors
Emotional exhaustion
Reduced efficacy
psychological, and
Psychological Consequences (cont’d)
Emotional exhaustion (compassion fatigue): is characterized by a lack of
energy, tiredness, and a feeling that one’s emotional resources are depleted.
Cynicism (depersonalization): an indifferent attitude toward work and the
treatment of others as object rather than people
Reduced professional efficacy (reduced personal accomplishment): feelings of
diminished confidence in one’s ability to perform the job well.
Behavioral Consequences
Moderate levels of stress focus our attention and concentrate resources
where they are most needed. But when stress  distress:
- Job performance falls
- Memory becomes impaired
- Workplace accidents are more frequent
- Decision are less effective.
Absenteeism is a form of flight – temporarily withdrawing from the stressful
situation so that we can reenergize.
WORKPLACE AGGRESSION represents THE FIGHT (instead of flight) reaction to stress.
Remove the Stressor
Withdraw from the Stressor
Work-Life Balance Initiatives
-Flexible work time
- Job sharing
- Telecommuting
- Personal leave
- Child care support
Temporary Withdrawal Strategies
-Nap rooms, chill-out rooms (sofas, TV, games)
- Personal days off, vacation (longer)
Remove the
Receive Social Support
-Valued and Worthy
-Help interpret, comprehend, and
remove stressors
-Help to buffer the stress experience
Control the Consequences of Stress
- Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)
Change Stress Perception
Self-leadership practices

Work-related to Stress and Stress Management