As mentioned above, to further understand the article and the issues within it, it is useful to explore it through focus of stress at work. Cartwright and Cooper (1997, page 4) discuss the more modern concept of stress as “a person’s response to a disturbance” whereas Perrewe and Crandall (1995, page 5) say that “a transaction between the person and the environment is stressful only when it is evaluated by the person as a harm, threat or challenge to that persons well-being”. Intrinsic to job
Role in organization
Relationships at work
-blood pressure up
-High staff turnover
-Industrial relations problems
-Poor quality work
Figure 1 – Dynamics of work stress – Cartwright and Copper The model below portrays the different sources of stress an individual may acquire and the effects that these can have both on the individual and the organization they are a part of.
In relation to the Lidl case-study the factors that are intrinsic to the job include that of working conditions that arise from surveillance, such as close monitoring and restrictions (appendix 1).
Nebeker and Tatum (1993) carried out experiments to investigate the effects of computer monitoring on productivity, work quality, satisfaction and stress. They found that there were no significant negative effects of computer monitoring on the individuals. This would suggest that the surveillance that occurred in Lidl would not be part of the intrinsic factors to cause stress to the employees, if there was any. However a criticism of their study was that it was in an experimental setting and it can be argued that it is the intention behind the surveillance and the consequence of it in the workplace (that was absent in the experiments) that has negative effects on employees. Although stress may not occur from the surveillance itself, it can from the issues that arise from it such as inspection of employee’s coats and handbags when leaving the store (appendix 1.1). In a real work setting the over-stimulation from managerial work can cause stress to the employee where as within manual work, it is the factors of under-stimulation such as boring, repetitive work and lack of control or autonomy that are the source of stress (Bosma et al; cited by Wilson 2004). This interlinks with the section of Organizational Structure in figure 1 “Just being a part of an organization can present threats to a person’s sense of freedom and autonomy” (Cartwright and Cooper, 1997, page 20) which is...