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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 18: Stress and Unemployment: A Comparative Review of Female and Male Managers

Sandra L. Fielden and Marilyn J. Davidson


Sandra L. Fielden and Marilyn J. Davidson Introduction In the past, middle and senior managers have tended to emerge unscathed from economic recession, and those who did lose their jobs received substantial payoffs and long notice periods. Until the late 1980s the number of unemployed managers was relatively low, but job loss through economic pressures and structural changes is increasingly affecting this occupational group, especially middle managers. The 1990s saw record levels of organizational ‘downsizing’ which had a major impact on managers, who have borne the brunt of the cutbacks (Capell, 1992). Much of the work performed by middle management has been eroded by information technology and the drive for efficiency, which has placed many managers under enormous pressure to handle ever-increasing workloads (Malo, 1993). Increasing numbers of managers have been discarded as surplus to requirement because they are unable to perform at the required levels; those who have few or no formal qualifications are particularly susceptible to redundancy (White, 1991). The number of unemployed managers registered with the Department of Education and Employment (DEE) in August 2002 exceeded 65 000. Over 38 000 men and over 26 000 women had previously held managerial positions, most of whom (72 per cent) were seeking jobs at a similar occupation level (National Statistics, 2002). The DEE have identified two important variables which affect the levels of unemployment experienced by managers: location and age. The latest figures available showed that the highest levels of managerial unemployment were...

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