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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 4: Workaholism and psychosocial functioning: individual, family and workplace perspectives

Diana Malinowska, Monika Trzebińska, Aleksandra Tokarz and Bruce D. Kirkcaldy

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


The recession that struck almost all world economies in 2008 was significant by historical standards. It forced employers to reduce input costs and thus weakened the labour market considerably. Employers had to make people redundant, implement part-time working, reduce recruitment and the number of working hours, or decrease employee earnings (European Commission, 2009; UK Office for National Statistics, 2009). Not only were certain people forced to leave their jobs suddenly and unexpectedly, many others were required to deal with the consequences of the reduction in work force, such as working in an atmosphere of uncertainty, increased pressures and higher demands. Some employees started to explore other alternatives to working longer in order to recoup recent losses (OECD, 2010). Despite some signs of improvement, the market situation remains unstable and fragile, which is conducive to the increased use of overtime. Employers who are uncertain of the market situation and their financial future prefer to offer overtime to existing employees rather than hiring new people.

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