New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 11: Stress and Individual Differences: Implications for Stress Management
11 Stress and individual diﬀerences: implications for stress management Susan Cartwright and Lynne C. Whatmore Introduction Stress has been identiﬁed as a major factor in ill-health, particularly psychological health. Workplace surveys (Cartwright and Cooper, 1997; Worral and Cooper, 2001) consistently report that employees consider that stress at work is a signiﬁcant factor which aﬀects their health and well-being. As a consequence many organizations are implementing stress management interventions in order to reduce stress levels, help employees cope more eﬀectively with experienced stress and to reduce sickness absence costs. At the same time such activities are perceived to be eﬀective in demonstrating a sense of organizational care and concern and a desire to improve employee morale (Sigman, 1992). The potential sources of stress in the workplace are many and various and diﬀer between occupational groups and job status (Gibson et al., 1988; Cooper and Cartwright, 1994). However organizational change and reorganization have been increasingly cited as signiﬁcant, and potentially universal, factors responsible for high stress levels amongst employees (Callan, 1993; Saksvik, 1996). Tackling the environmental sources of stress, described as ‘primary level interventions’ (Murphy, 1988), is widely argued as the most eﬀective, yet less common, strategy for reducing workplace stress. The transactional model of stress (Cox and MacKay, 1976) emphasizes the subjective nature of stress as ‘an individual perceptual phenomenon rooted in psychological processes’. Consistent with the view that individual factors play a signiﬁcant role in the appraisal and experience of...
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