Discuss Research Into the Workplace as a Source of Stress? (12 Marks)

Topics: Civil service, Social psychology, Bias Pages: 2 (514 words) Published: December 17, 2012
Discuss research into the workplace as a source of stress? (12 marks)

Workplace is considered to be one of the major sources of stress for many people and different levels of stress are different for everyone depending on their environment of work. One study carried out was by Johansson et al (1978) who investigated whether work stressors such as machine regulated pace of work and high levels of responsibility increases stress related physiological arousal and stress related illnesses. The study was carried out by using adrenaline and noradrenaline in urine. He found that the group of 14 finishers had higher levels of absenteeism and stress-related illnesses on work days than rest days compared with the 10 cleaners who were self-paced. The strength of this study is that it has practical applications (ecological validity) as many employers consider stress to be a very serious. This allows them to introduce stress management programmes for their employees to reduce the negative effects of workplace stress. However, a weakness of the study is the biased sample of 14 finishers and 10 cleaners; this sample is very limited and therefore makes it difficult to generalize it to the whole population. Also, as the study was conducted in Sweden, there may be cultural differences making the sample unrepresentative. Another disadvantage is that this study is a natural experiment therefore it is difficult to separate the effects of the specific sources of stress such as the lack of control, social isolation and work demand. Another research conducted was by Marmot et al (1997), who investigated the relationship between workplace stressors and health. Marmot used a very large sample of 7372 civil servants working in London to answer a questionnaire on workload, job control and amount of social support and to report any cardiovascular diseases. To make it more reliable he re-assessed the participants 5 years later. He found that those of higher grades from the civil service...
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