Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya
MA Program in Organizational Behavior & Development
“My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it” - Abraham Lincoln. From history and in the present, we have been taught to work but not necessarily to enjoy it. Job dissatisfaction, burnout, and depression are ordinary situations that happen more often than not. “I always give 100 percent at work: 10 percent on Monday, 23 on Tuesday, 40 on Wednesday, 22 on Thursday and 5 percent on Friday.” People learn to manage their jobs, get through the day, and eventually through the week. Most people in today’s economy are happy just to have a job, any job. Due to this, most people will stay at a job even when unsatisfied. But work-related factors like long hours, poor relationship with superiors, and lack of control over daily tasks, are factors that can get worse when the supervisors are pinching pennies, and can contribute to depression as well. The blues just do not come out of the blue. There is no one trigger for depression like mown grass can induce hay fever, like the old Southern saying goes. But one of the many triggers is stress in the work environment. Depression, as defined by the American Psychological Association, is feelings of sadness, emptiness, or irritability; starts gradually and builds, the person begins to have a loss of interest, lack of energy, overwhelming feeling by life, difficulty concentrating, and an increase in sleep and weight. Depression is the most common mental disorder, but it is treatable. The problem is that many people do not realize that they have become depressed. In the past, there has been no systematic research linking job dissatisfaction as a major source of depression. In this paper, we argue that employees who stay in jobs where they are unhappy and dissatisfied will become depressed. We begin by looking at depression through mental disorders. Research by Wang, Smailes, Sareen, Schmitz, Fick, and Patten (2012) states that mental disorders are common in the work force. With the quick-paced changes in the world economy, and in industrial re-organization over the past years, employees have been facing escalating pressure to be more competitive. And such changes are provoking job insecurities for employees, and demanding more intellectual skills and mental performance. These work environmental factors may bring about the onset of mental disorders. Mental health problems have a notable influence on efficiency, work loss, cutback, and job turnover. Preserving a productive workforce, and hiring and keeping the most productive employees is extremely important for organizations. Wang et al. (2012) researched a deep comprehension of the root-causes of mental health problems in organizations, and how it is essential to the evolution of effective prevention. The conditions in which people live and work have a crucial impact on health. Therefore, the demand-control model, effort-reward imbalance model, and work-family conflicts model, have been largely used in job-related health research. The demand-control model postulates that negative health outcomes, such as fatigue, depression, and other physical illnesses, are consequences from the circumstances in which one’s dominance over one’s work is low, and the psychological requirements inflicted by one’s work are high. The effort-reward imbalance model expresses that an absence “of reciprocity in terms of high costs and low gains elicits negative emotions in exposed people. Feelings of not being appreciated in an adequate way or of being treated unfairly and disappointments resulting from inappropriate rewards are paralleled by sustained strain reactions in the autonomic nervous system (Wang et al., 2012).” Work-family conflict happens when efforts to complete the requests of the employee role interfere with the ability to achieve the demands of the roles as a spouse, parent, or care provider. Consequently,...
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