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Stress as a correlate of job performance: a study of manufacturing organizations

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Stress as a correlate of job performance: a study of manufacturing organizations
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   Journal of Advances in Management Research Vol. 4 (II) 2007 (pp. 79-85) STRESS AS A CORRELATE OF JOB PERFORMANCE:A STUDY OF MANUFACTURING ORGANIZATIONS Garima Mathur  Lecturer, Prestige Institute of Management, Airport Road, Gwalior, M.P Ph: 0751-4076600 Silky Vigg  Lecturer, Jagannath Institute of Management, Sciences, Kalkaji, New Delhi. Ph: 09899207450 ** Simranjeet Sandhar  Lecturer, Prestige Institute of Management, Airport Road, Gwalior, M.P Ph: 0751-2384107, 9229223937  Prof. Umesh Holani  Dean and Chairman, Dept. of Management & Commerce, Jiwaji University, Gwalior Ph: 09425735596  ABSTRACT Presence of stress at work is almost inevitable in all the organizations. This study looks at the effect of stress on the performanceof the employees working in different manufacturing organizations. In this competitive world companies are facing challengesat every step. Now it has become difficult even to survive in the new economic era. With increased competition work load onthe employees has also increased. Most of the times employees and even the management are not clear about their roles in theorganization. These factors eventually results in increased stress level. Yet previous researches indicate that in spite of increasein stress level, employees exerts better performance. These studies also indicate that stress is necessary up to certain extent toincrease performance. This study has tried to find out the underlying factors responsible for stress as well as does stress affectsthe performance of the employees on the job. The result came out with factors such as organizational culture, role and responsibility that are responsible for stress and the regression test has been applied to check the affect of stress on job performance revealed that stress has an affect on job performance and that also a positive affect that is job performanceincreases with the increase in stress. RESEARCH NOTEINTRODUCTION Stress is the general term applied to the pressures peoplefeel in life. When pressure begins to build up, it can causeadverse strains on ones emotions, thought process andphysical condition. When stress becomes excessive,employees develop various symptoms of stress that canharm their performance and health and even threaten theirability to cope up with the environment.People who are under stress may become nervous anddevelop chronic worries. They are easily provoked toanger and unable to relax. They may be uncooperativeor become alcoholic or may start taking drugs. Althoughthese conditions occur from other causes, they arecommon symptoms of stress.There is emerging evidence that in some situation theorganization can be held legally liable for the emotionaland physical impact of job stress on employees. Poorworking conditions sustained conflicts with supervisors,traumatic events or internal harassment of employeessometimes result in anguish, neuroses or even suicide.  80  Journal of Advances in Management Research vol. 4(II) pp. 79-85, 2007  S TRESS   AS   A  C ORRELATE   OF  J OB  P ERFORMANCE RESEARCH NOTE Causes of Stress: Conditions that tend to cause stress arecalled stressors. Although even a single stressor maycause major stress, usually stressor combines to pressureon employees in a variety of ways until stress develops.The major sources of employees stress are evenly dividedbetween organizational factors and the non work environment. These dual cause shows that individualdifferences among employees may cause some to respondto these stressors with positive stress (which stimulatesthem) while others experience negative stress (whichdetracts from their efforts). As a result, there may be eitherconstructive or destructive consequences for both theorganization and the employee. These effects may beshort term and may diminish quickly, or may last a longtime. To control stress, then the organizations usuallybegin by exploring its job-related causes.  Job-Related Causes of Stress: Almost any jobcondition can cause stress, depending upon employeereaction to it. For e.g., one employee accepts a new work process, while other rejects it. There are, however anumber of job conditions that frequently cause stress foremployees.Work overload and time deadlines put employeesunder pressure and lead to stress. Often, some of thesepressures arise from supervision, and poor quality of supervision can cause stress.Role conflict and ambiguity are also related to stress.A further cause of stress lies in differences betweencompany values, as often reflected in the organization’sculture, and employee values. Some jobs provide morestress than others. Those which involve rotating shiftwork, machine-paced tasks, routine and repetitive work,or hazardous environments are associated with greaterstress. Workers who spend long hours daily infront of computer screens also report high stress levels.Evidence also indicates that the source of stress differby organization level. Executive stress may arise fromthe pressure for short term financial results or the fear of a hostile takeover attempt. Middle manager mayexperience stress when their job security is threatenedby corporate cutbacks. Supervisory stress includes thepressure for quality and customer service, numerousmeetings and responsibility for the works of others.Workers are more likely to experience the stressors of low status, lack of perceived control, resource shortagesand the demand for a large volume of error-free work.A general and widely recognized cause of stress ischange of any type, because it requires adaptation byemployees. It tends to be especially stressful when it ismajor or unusual, such as a temporary layoff or transfer.A related source of stress that affects many employees isworry over their financial well-being. This can arise whencost-saving technology is introduced, contractnegotiations begin or the firm’s financial performancesuffers. Clearly, there are numerous and powerful forcesat work that can contribute to the feeling if stress.Another cause of stress is frustration. It is result of amotivation (drive) being blocked to prevent one fromreaching a desired goal. Objectives of the Study •To develop and standardize a measure to evaluatestress and job performance.•To find out the effect of stress on performance.•To find out the underlying factors of stress and jobperformance.•To open up new vistas of research.  Review of Literature (Beehr And Newman, 1978; Bhagat, 1983 And Jamal1984) Extensive studies have found a relationshipbetween stress and the dysfunctional outcomes such aspoor performance and labour turnover in an organization.(Bhagat and Allie 1989) postulated that a person’sresponse to stress. They argued that a person with a highersense of competence would experience a weakerrelationship between stress and various indicators of lifestrain. This study was conducted on managers andsupervisors exploring the moderating effect of the senseof competence.A detailed survey of Senior Managers using theOrganizational stress Index (Cooper ,Sloan and Williams,1988) showed that , while job satisfaction was good, therewere high rates of physical and emotional symptoms inthis group of staff.It is commonly believed that the experience of stressat work (i.e. role conflict and role ambiguity) results indecreased job performance. Based on (McGrath 1976)model we argue that the experience of high levels of onestressor may not be strong enough to tax one’s resources.Organizational stress, job satisfaction and jobperformance: where do go from here more recently;researches have begun to examine variables that mightmoderate the relationship between organizational stress   Journal of Advances in Management Research vol. 4(II) pp. 79-85, 2007  81 S TRESS   AS   A  C ORRELATE   OF  J OB  P ERFORMANCE and job satisfaction. Moderating influences: IndividualLevel of Analysis Numerous individual level variableshave examined as potential moderators of the relationshipbetween organizational stress and job satisfaction. Forexample, Bhagat and Allie (1989) examined themoderating effect of sense of competence on the stress-satisfaction relationship of 276 elementary schoolteachers. They found that when organizational stress washigh, individuals with a high sense of competencereported greater satisfaction with work and co-workersand reduced feelings of depersonalization, compared tothose with lower sense of competence. When experiencedstress was low, highly competent individual were lesssatisfied with co-workers than were individuals with alow sense of competence. One’s sense of competencealso moderated the effects of personal life stress onorganizational outcomes. Under conditions of high lifestress, highly competent individuals reported greatersatisfaction with work, co-workers and supervision, lessemotional exhaustion, and less feelings of depersonalization than did individual who perceivedthemselves to be less competent.In addition to sense of competence, the moderatingeffect of perceived control on the stress-satisfactionrelationship has been examined in the following studies.Tetrick and LaRocco (1987) employed a sample of 206physicians, dentists, and nurses from a naval hospital toinvestigate this issue. They examined the role of theability to understand why and how organizational eventshappen, to predict the frequency, timing and duration of such events, and to control important outcomes byinfluencing events and significant others in the work environment. They found that such perceived controlcould indeed moderate the stress –satisfactionrelationship. However, the ability to predict events didnot moderate the stress-satisfaction relationship.Conflicting results have been reported on the moderatingeffects of locus of control (Batlis, 1980; Cummins, 1989).Organ and Greene (1974) studied 94 senior scientistand engineers in a large electronic equipment firm. Theyfound that the negative correlation between roleambiguity and work satisfaction was significant forindividual with a high internal locus of control, but wasnot significant for individual with a high external locusof control. Their findings suggest that role ambiguity isaversive primarily to internal because it frustrates theirattempts to secure job related information.In contrast, Keenan and McBain (1979), using asample of 90 middle manager, reported that both internalsand externals found high level ambiguity dissatisfying.They offered no explanation for the differences in theirfindings with those of (Organ and Greene 1974). It islikely that observed differences in their findings betweenthe two studies could be due to uniqueness in samplesand in operational measures of job satisfaction. AlthoughOrgan and Greene used five items from Stodgill’s Jobexpectation questionnaire, Keenen and McBain used atwo item measure of satisfaction. Further insights in tomoderating effect of control may be gained by examiningresearch on the relationship between job characteristicsand satisfaction. Two meta-analysis ( Fried & Ferris,1987; Loher. Noe, Moeller & Fitzgerald, 1985) providesupport for the relationship between job characteristicsidentified by (Hackman and Oldham 1975) and jobsatisfaction. Moreover, research stemming from(Karasek’s , 1979) job strain model suggests that controlmay moderate some of the relationships described by theJob Characteristics Model. Karasek’s model suggests thatstress does not result from a single element of the work environment, but is instead the joint effects of work demands and the range of decision-making opportunitiesthat are available to an individual. Using data fromnational surveys in the U.S. and Sweden, Karasek foundthat jobs characterized as “active” (i.e., high in decisionlatitude with high job demands), are associated withhigher degrees of satisfaction and reduced depression.In contrast, “passive” jobs (i.e., low decision latitude and job demands), are associated with higher degrees of depression and dissatisfaction. However, most researchon Karasek’s model has failed to find the expectedmoderating effect of control, suggesting that otherpossible moderators of the stress/satisfaction relationshipshould be examined (e.g., Astrand, Hanson, & Isacsson,1989; Melamed, Kushnir, & Meir, 1991; Newton &Keenan, 1990; Payne & Fletcher, 1983; Pieper, La Croix,& Karesek, 1989) .In examining this line of research, we find thatinconsistent findings focusing on stress-satisfactionrelationships are possibly due to the distinctoperationizations of the organizational stress construct.Johnson and Stinson (1975) found that the need forindependence moderates the relationship between inter-sender role conflict and satisfaction, but it does not actas a moderator of the relationship between task ambiguityand satisfaction.Keenan and McBain (1979) report that although TypeA personality and tolerance for ambiguity moderates therelationship between role ambiguity and job satisfaction,  82  Journal of Advances in Management Research vol. 4(II) pp. 79-85, 2007  S TRESS   AS   A  C ORRELATE   OF  J OB  P ERFORMANCE they fail to moderate the relationships between roleoverload, role conflict, and job satisfaction. Therefore,as noted earlier, how organizational stress isoperationalized, (e.g,. role ambiguity, role overload, roleconflict), affects the likelihood of finding moderatinginfluences.In addition to differences in measurements andsamples, the effects of joint moderators may alsoinfluence such findings.Johnson and Stinson (1975) examined the moderatingeffects of need for achievement on the stress-satisfactionrelationship of 90 military and civil service personnel.Need for achievement moderated the relationshipbetween inter-sender role conflict, task ambiguity, andsatisfaction. High need for achievement individuals wassignificantly more dissatisfied under conditions of stressthan were individuals with lower need for achievement.In contrast, Abdel-Halim (1980) found that need forachievement had the opposite moderating effect. Underconditions characterized by high role ambiguity,individuals with high need for achievement were moresatisfied than those with low need for achievement.Abdel-Halim suggests that these contradictory findingsmay be due to the nature of the tasks performed by thesubjects in the two studies. The military personnel in theJohnson and Stinson study may have had less autonomythan the managers in his study. Support for a jointmoderating effect of personality and job characteristics,as found in the Abdel-Halim study, suggests that aninteractionist’s perspective should be employed toexamine the stress-satisfaction relationship. Thesociological study of stress.( J Health Soc Behaviour,1989) This paper presents a critical overview of currentconcepts and analytic practices in stress research andconsiders how they can be changed to make the researchmore consistent with core sociological interests.  Research Methodology Basically primary method of data collection was adoptedin this study. 110 higher and middle level employees of four manufacturing organizations were contacted inGwalior region to obtain responses of questionnaire. Thedata is collected from employees through two separatequestionnaires. First one is pertaining to stress andsecond part is pertaining to job performance. The firstquestionnaire consisted of 20 items and second of 10items, which were to be responded to five-point scale.Item to total correlation has been applied to check theconsistency of the questionnaire. Cronbach’s Alpha hasbeen used to check the reliability. Underlying factors forthe stress and job performance have been analyzed byusing factor analysis. Regression analysis was used tofind out the effect of stress (independent variable) on the job performance (dependent variable). RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Consistency of the questionnaire  The responses received from the respondents throughthe questionnaire have been analyzed. Then thecorrelation of all the items was calculated. Theinsignificant variables were dropped out. Therefore, thevariables such as ambitiousness, believe in competitionand recognition of achievements were dropped out fromthe list of items because these were not significant.  Reliability Reliability has been calculated by using SPSS software.The results of reliability through Cronbach’s alpha havebeen shown in Table I. The reliability value more than0.7 is considered to be good and it can be seen that, thereliability value is at par with the standard. So thequestionnaire is considered to be highly reliable. Table I: Reliability of the questionnaire Cronbach’s AlphaNo. of Items0.70130  Factor Analysis Factor Analysis for stress and job performance has beenapplied separately and the following factors areunderlined pertaining to stress. (See Table II).  Factors of stress First factor Organizational Climate contributes highesttowards stress which includes sub factors likeComfortability with organizational policies with factorloading as (.800), Comfortability with peers with factorloading as (.707), Organizational Structure and Workingof the organization with factor loading as (.523). Roleconflict was considered as second most importantcontributing factor for stress which includes sub factoras Management during change and ambiguous future with   Journal of Advances in Management Research vol. 4(II) pp. 79-85, 2007  83 S TRESS   AS   A  C ORRELATE   OF  J OB  P ERFORMANCE factor loading as ( . 734), Ability to switch off from work pressure with factor loading as (.726), Ability to standback and manage emotional problems with factor loadingas (.680) and Ability to satisfy personal and professionalrole with factor loading as (.544). Responsibility hascome out as the last factor responsible for stress. Thisfactor includes only one sub factor i.e. Desire to completework with the factor loading as (.798).  Factors of job performance The table pertaining to job performance includes thefactors such as job satisfaction, sincerity, respectorientation and working environment with theirrespective variables have significant effect onperformance of employees. (see table III)First factor job satisfaction includes satisfaction withquality of work with factor loading (.800), performancestandards (.707) and self dependency regarding work (.523).second factor sincerity includes sincerity towardswork (.897) and sincerity towards organization (.759).third factor respect orientation includes respect fromsubordinates (.853) and respect towards superiors(.822).fourth factor work environment includesprofessional relationship with superior subordinates andpeers (.790), knowledge about work (.528) and regularityon job (.526).Job satisfaction, role ambiguity Keenan and McBain(1979)  report that although Type A personality andtolerance for ambiguity moderates the relationshipbetween role ambiguity and job satisfaction, they fail tomoderate the relationships between role overload, roleconflict, and job satisfaction., work load andresponsibility with their respective variables havesignificant effect on the stress experienced by employeesof manufacturing organizations of Gwalior region.  Regression Analysis The regression is calculated to know the effect of stresson job performance of employees (refer table IV).Here,stress is independent variable and job performance isdependent variable. Therefore regression equation willbe: Table II: Factors related to Stress FactorsVariablesLoadingsOrganizational Climate1. Comfortability with organizational policies.8002. Comfortability with peers.7073. Organizational Structure and Working of the organization.523 Role Conflict1. Management during change and ambiguous future.7342. Ability to switch off from work pressure.7263. Ability to stand back and manage emotional problems.6804. Ability to satisfy personal and professional role..544Responsibility1. Desire to complete work..798 Table III: Factors related to Job Performance FactorsVariablesLoadingsJob Satisfaction1. Satisfaction with Quality of Work..7782. Performance Standards..7683. Self dependency regarding work..720 Sincerity1. Towards work..8972. Towards organization..759Respect Orientation1. Respect from subordinates..8532. Respect towards superiors..822 Work Environment1. Professional relationship with superior subordinates and peers..7902. Knowledge about work..5283. Regularity on job..526
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