The Economic Crisis and Occupational Stress

The Economic Crisis and Occupational Stress

New Horizons in Management series

Ritsa Fotinatos-Ventouratos and Cary Cooper

The global economic crisis of 2008 caused the collapse of the world’s financial institutions, large-scale unemployment, the devaluing of housing stocks leading to mortgage defaults and left many countries in debt, unable to meet their financial obligations. The consequences of this in the workplace were substantial and for those who remained employed, longer working hours, heavier workloads, an insecure working environment and micro-management became manifest. Examining the impact of the recession on organizations and individuals at work, this book explores the long lasting effect the crisis will have on workplaces for the future. An insightful and thorough account of how the economic crisis has unfolded on an international scale is presented and the profound psychological impact that this recession has had on the workplace assessed.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Ritsa Fotinatos-Ventouratos and Cary Cooper

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour, organisation studies, economics and finance, economic psychology, health policy and economics, social policy and sociology, health policy and economics

Extract

In 2014 we have entered another traumatic time, following the worst global recession in nearly 100 years. The stress levels in the global workplace, and particularly in Europe, are at a very high and unsustainable level, as there are now fewer people in the average workplace, having heavier workloads, feeling job insecure and being more micro-managed than ever before. Many of us who are reading this book are familiar with the topic of stress at work and acknowledge that there is a plethora of literature available spanning decades of research and covering various issues of occupational stress. Whilst this abundance of literature has proved to be extremely beneficial in past years, it could be suggested that much of it has become outdated due to the rapid economic changes that are currently prevailing on an international scale. Adding to this overall weakness is the failure of the current literature to combine both economic problems and psychological issues under the same umbrella. Unfortunately this means that up until now the two scientific domains have tended to remain separate, with current economic problems being dealt with on the one hand, and psychological work stressors being dealt with on the other.