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Research Companion to Organizational Health Psychology

Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper

This timely Research Companion is essential reading to advance the understanding of healthy behaviours within working environments and to identify problems which can be the cause of illness. Containing both theoretical and empirical contributions written by distinguished academics working in Europe, North America and Australia, the book covers leading edge topics ranging from current theories of stress, stress management, and stress in specific occupational groups, such as doctors and teachers, to the relationship of stress with well-being. It provides systematic approaches towards practical actions and stress interventions in working environments and a solid theoretical framework for future research. It will be an essential companion to research on psychology and medicine as well as stress.
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Chapter 8: Stress, Alienation and Shared Leadership

Marc J. Schabracq


Marc J. Schabracq Introduction This chapter is about the possible role of good leadership in preventing and counteracting alienation and stress. First, the main antecedents of stress and alienation are described, namely everyday reality in organizations, and the concepts of stress and alienation are further examined as disturbances of that everyday reality. Then leadership is described as ‘realizing’ in both of its meanings (generating reality and reflecting about it) and leadership tasks are explicated. Having described what abilities and qualities good leaders must have, it is concluded that, in many cases, this may be too much for one person. So the concept of shared leadership is introduced and its advantages and disadvantages are discussed. Finally, a scenario for implementation of shared leadership is described. Everyday reality To most of us everyday reality is a predictable and comfortable place. Essentially this is a strange way to experience a world full of violence, disaster, illness and death. It suggests that everyday reality as we experience it is something else: not the grim chaos outside, but our set of habits to deal with that world. So our everyday reality consists of our habitual ways of doing things in our familiar niches, with their familiar steps and limited horizons, which are so familiar to us. We experience these routines, as well as our own feelings and sensations resulting from this repetition, as a familiar, seemingly continuous, background to our functioning. Such a self-made background we trust as a solid reality. This way of...

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