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Who is responsible for managing stress: at work-organisations or employees themselves?

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Who is responsible for managing stress at work-organisations or employees themselves? The word 'stress' is defined as "a state of affairs involving demand on physical or mental energy". A condition or circumstance (not always adverse), which can disturb the normal physical and mental health of an individual. Stress is a combination of external stressors and our response or the physical and psychological strain we experience as a result (Selye1936). A number of researchers have however not followed Selye in seeing stress as a response but see stress as a function of an individual's appraisal of a situation (Tomaka 1997). This shows that certain individual may not classify certain situations as stressful , whereas other individuals may. It is very hard to clarify the main causes of stress as different individuals react differently to different stress conditions. Extreme stress situations for one individual may prove to be mild for another. In general terms the factors, which can cause or intensify stress, include major life events such as a divorce, death, midlife crisis, financial worries, persistent strain of caring for a chronically sick child, nagging health problems or managing a physically or mentally challenged family member can act as potential stressors. ...read more.


One can also argue against role decision causing stress, in that although certain individuals may feel worried and stressed due to the pressure involved in making a correct decision. Other individuals may feel the opposite and feel challenged due to their decision-making responsibility and thus motivated (this can be referred to Maslow's self-actualisation stage within his hierarchy of needs, where an individual is increasingly motivated due to his/her increased responsibility). This can also be referred back to Tomaka's individual's appraisal of a situation, showing that extreme stress situations for one individual may prove to be mild for another. Increased workload and working extremely long work hours and intense pressure to perform at peak levels all the time for the same pay, can leave individuals physically and emotionally drained. Excessive travel and too much time away from family also contribute to an employee's stressors. As stated previously the perception of a stressful situation depends on an individual and this can be referred to a study conducted by Friedman and Rosenman. Through detailed research they determined and classified people into A and B groups respectively. They identified people in groups A as being hostile, hardworking, competitive, and having high levels of mental and physical alertness. ...read more.


This is because an organisation cannot help to reduce stress levels within the workplace without firstly establishing whether or not an individual(s) are experiencing high levels of stress. One can argue that it is the responsibility of individuals to inform the organisation that they need help and support as they are experiencing increasing levels of stress, which is having an effect on their health. Only once this has been done can appropriate remedies be devised. An individual who suffers stress within the work place should be responsible for managing the stress related problems affecting him/her. However the stress may have been caused by excessive workload or work related problems. As a result the question arises as to who is responsible for managing stress an individual or an organization?. The simple answer is that it's combination of both parties that compliments each other thus causing stress. This is because stress within the workplace will always exist to some level due to the nature of the job or the individual himself as he/she tries to achieve their personal goals in life. (This can be referred to Vroom motivational theory where he states that people have different needs and personal goals, as some may want autonomy, whereas others may not. Gulfam Ahmed :02056256 ...read more.

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