Gender and the Dysfunctional Workplace

Gender and the Dysfunctional Workplace

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Suzy Fox and Terri R. Lituchy

Dysfunction in the workplace, like a bully culture, affects women and men differently. This book represents a broad spectrum of disciplines including law, management, communications, human resource management and industrial/organizational psychology and offers integrative, cross-disciplinary inquiries into the many roles gender plays in organizational dysfunction. The authors provoke new questions and new streams of research, with the ultimate goal of contributing to healthier workplaces for men and women alike.

Chapter 11: Occupational Mental Health: A Study of Nurses in Argentina

Terri R. Lituchy, Louise Tourigny, Vishwanath V. Baba, Silvia Inés Monserrat and Xiaoyun Wang

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, gender and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour


Terri R. Lituchy, Louise Tourigny, Vishwanath V. Baba, Silvia Inés Monserrat and Xiaoyun Wang The focus of this chapter is on women and dysfunctional aspects of the workplace. The broad question we want to address is to what extent the multiple roles that women perform contribute to dysfunctions in the workplace and how. Women often play multiple roles straddling work and family (Aziz and Cunningham, 2008). Extant research suggests that the more roles one assumes in life and work, the more stress one experiences, the more depressed one gets, leading one to eventual burnout. All of the latter are manifest dysfunctionalities of organizational life that contribute to poor mental health. The unique value of this work is to bring a nuanced understanding of the mental health of women by exploring some of the sources of the role overload, the mechanisms by which women cope with the overload, and the cognitive and behavioral adjustments they make in managing both the overload and the resulting dysfunctions. Gender roles have been hugely influential in guiding work and social behavior (Deaux, 1984). Recent theories of dysfunctional work behavior suggest that gender is one of the factors that influence cognitive processes by which one evaluates and makes attributions to the way one’s life unfolds, experiences guilt, shame, anger, and frustration as a result of those attributions, and suffers their dysfunctional consequences including poor mental health (Martinko et al., 2002). Yet, there have been empirical challenges to the role gender plays in bringing about those...

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