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 6: The consequences of occupational stress in times of a changing economic world

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


In the previous chapter, we outlined to the reader the various macro and micro occupational stressors that have emerged during this ongoing recessionary period, and furthermore these stressors have been discussed in relation to the Dynamics of work stress model presented in the previous chapter (Figure 5.1). Whilst certain countries are indeed showing the first signs of financial recovery from the worst economic crisis experienced since the Great Depression of the 1930s, it is also understood that the position of economic affairs needs to be assessed globally and not looked at in relation to one or two specific countries in isolation. This is necessary as the economic status of one country will certainly cause friction and turmoil in neighbouring countries, and such is the case that the effects of globalization and corresponding negative world affairs are seen to be interdependent, thereby affecting all employees in most societies at the current time. Furthermore the economic problems today are unlike previous world economic problems of the past and, more specifically, it should be acknowledged that the current world economic crisis is a crisis of ‘debt’ and not a crisis of ‘demand’.

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