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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 27: New Technology, the Global Economy and Organizational Environments: Effects on Employee Stress, Health and Well-being

Janice Langan-Fox


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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