New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 27: New Technology, the Global Economy and Organizational Environments: Effects on Employee Stress, Health and Well-being
27 New technology, the global economy and organizational environments: eﬀects on employee stress, health and well-being Janice Langan-Fox The global economy and restructuring Demands from the economy, market competition and the political arena have led to restructuring and change in the workplace. New strategies have been introduced by organizations to gain a competitive edge, including ‘downsizing’, restructuring, new production and work processes, multi-skilling and subcontracting. Many of these new practices have been inﬂuenced not only by global market forces, but by changing technology and organizational philosophies. However organizational strategies have resulted in eﬀects on productivity and workers’ physical and mental health. Often leaner production has intensiﬁed the work pace and demands, and organizations have failed to take into account the human factors involved with the introduction of change and which can have negative eﬀects that outweigh potential productivity increments (Landsbergis et al., 1999). In this new economic environment, globalization has meant that individual economies are more exposed to events taking place in other countries. Negative reactions to change, especially reactions to imposed change, include stress in the form of anxiety and depression, resulting in decreased job satisfaction, reduced job performance, voluntary resignations and absenteeism (Collins, 1998). Key issues and questions Several key issues arise from the current organizational environment in considering the work–health relationship. First, there is the inﬂuence of the global economy which has brought about dramatic changes in employment participation trends. Second, huge technological advances have accompanied organizational restructures (Langan-Fox, 2001)...
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