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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 28: The Effects of Effort–Reward Imbalance at Work on Health

Johannes Siegrist, Bianca Falck and Ljiljana Joksimovic


28 The effects of effort–reward imbalance at work on health Johannes Siegrist, Bianca Falck and Ljiljana Joksimovic Introduction The importance of work for health goes beyond traditional occupational diseases. Given the far-reaching changes in the nature of work in advanced societies, health-adverse psychosocial work environments are becoming more prevalent. These psychosocial work environments are characterized by work pressure, frequent interruptions, information overload and a low level of task control or autonomy. Irregular working hours, shift work and exposure to noise may aggravate adversity, as is the case with threats of job instability and redundancy, forced mobility and the prospects of involuntary retirement. As will be discussed, these psychosocial work factors affect people’s health and well-being, and this needs to be considered under the purview of occupational health. Why is work so important for human well-being? How does work contribute to the burden of stress and its adverse effects on health? In all advanced societies work and occupation in adult life are accorded primacy for the following reasons. First, having a job is often a prerequisite for continuous income and, thus, for independence from traditional support systems (family, community welfare and so on). Moreover level of income determines a wide range of life’ opportunities. Secondly, training for a job and achieving an appropriate occupational status are important parts of socialization. It is through education, job training and status acquisition that personal growth and development are realized, a core social identity outside the family is acquired, and...

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