Table of Contents

The Psychology of the Recession on the Workplace

The Psychology of the Recession on the Workplace

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper

An economic recession can affect the aggregate well-being of a population. This highly regarded and timely book shows a significant increase in the mean levels of distress and dissatisfaction in the work place in recent years. In particular, increasing job demands, intrinsic job insecurity and increasingly inadequate salaries make substantial contributions to psychological distress, family conflict and related behaviors. The contributors reveal that the recession has fundamentally altered the way employees view their work and leaders. With employers and employees still facing a continued period of uncertainty, a severe impact on employment relations is a continuing reality.

Chapter 3: The impact of the recession and its aftermath on individual health and well-being

Esther Greenglass, Zdravko Marjanovic and Lisa Fiksenbaum

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour, strategic management

Extract

This chapter focuses on the psychological factors associated with reactions to the recent economic recession, which has been a major societal concern in many countries. In May 2009, 42 000 jobs were lost in Canada alone and its unemployment rate of 8.4 per cent was the highest it had been in 11 years (Usalcus, 2010). Similar statistics were found in the US: 15.3 million individuals were jobless by the end of 2009 (US Department of Labor, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010). The American economy lost 467 000 jobs in June, 2009, and the unemployment rate edged up to 10.0 per cent. In particular, US manufacturing jobs disappeared, reducing by 136 000, while construction jobs shrank by 79 000 and retail by another 21 000 jobs (Goodman, 2009). In Europe, since the fall of 2009, the European Union has been struggling with a crisis over the enormous debts faced by its weakest economies, such as Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain (New York Times, 2011). Increasingly it became apparent that the countries of the world were steeped in enormous amounts of debt which could not be repaid. The implications for their citizens were grave and meant that many social programs and services had to be terminated or cut-back. All of this led to high levels of anxiety, threat and uncertainty. How individuals cope with these feelings is the topic of this chapter.

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