Handbook of Research on Stress and Well-Being in the Public Sector
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Handbook of Research on Stress and Well-Being in the Public Sector

Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Silvia Pignata

This timely Handbook addresses the concepts of stress and well-being among workers in various public sector roles and occupations across the globe. Emphasizing the importance of well-being and stress prevention initiatives in ever-changing workplace environments, this Handbook highlights successful organizational initiatives and provides insight into best practice for promoting healthy employees and workplaces. Containing contributions from leading international experts in their respective fields, the contributors hope that this multi-disciplinary Handbook will help to enhance the health and well-being of public sector employees.
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Chapter 11: Well-being in academic employees – a benchmarking approach

Gail Kinman and Siobhan Wray

Abstract

Research from several countries indicates that university lecturers and researchers are particularly vulnerable to work-related stress from various sources. This chapter draws on the findings of research conducted by the authors in the UK over several years to highlight the value of a benchmarking approach in monitoring the well-being of academic employees. The literature on the stressors and strains experienced by academics is initially reviewed. The findings of three studies using a well-established framework to assess psychosocial hazards in the university sector in the UK are then presented and discussed. Except for job control, respondents reported lower well-being for each of the seven specified hazards than recommended, with evidence of deterioration over time in some areas. The implications of these findings and the value of supplementing the benchmarking approach with hazards reflecting the current working context are discussed. Priority areas for interventions to enhance well-being among academic employees are identified, and topics for future research proposed.

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