A Study on gh Stress Among Employees Working in BPOs With Special Reference to Coimbatore

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  TheIUP Journal of Management Research, Vol. VIII, No. 11, 200928   © 2009 The Icfai University Press. All Rights Reserved. A Study on Stress AmongEmployees Working in BPOs withSpecial Reference to Coimbatore Introduction The Indian IT industry has been steering the growth of the Indian economy inthe past one decade unlike any other industry by generating jobs, pushing upexports, increasing FDI, creating wealth, thereby bolstering the forex reservesand also other umpteen visible and invisible ways. This sterling performance of the IT industry was largely on account of its human resources. It is a people-centric industry, where human resources are great strategic advantage to ITcompanies. The tremendous growth of the IT industry is propelled by the easyavailability of competent English knowing professionals with computing knowledgeat a relatively low cost due to massive unemployment in the country. Literature Review Stress is the reaction that people take due to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them. It arises when they worry that they cannot cope. Stressis a demand made upon the adaptive capacities of the mind and body. According toSelye (1996), stress is a scientific concept which has suffered the mixed blessingof being too well-known and too little understood. According to  The Oxford Dictionary  (2003), stress is strain, especially worry and nervous tension. According to Pollock(1998), stress is something which is not naturally occurring but is a manufacturedconcept which has now become a social fact. Strenberg (2000) opines a person's *Associate Professor, Department of Management, Karpagam University, Coimbatore641021, India. E-mail: N Kathirvel* Since the BPO industry is dependent on knowledge workers, they may beconsidered as the ‘raw material’ of the industry. Hence, any dilution in the quality of the workforce will result in many operational hitches in the industry. Whilethere are several problems that affect the workforce in the BPO industry, stresshas emerged as the most significant problem, causing the employees tounderperform and thereby leading to productivity loss. This study takes a closelook at the stress related issues facing the employees working in various BPOcompanies and analyzes the factors responsible for the same.  29A Study on Stress Among Employees Workingin BPOs with Special Reference to Coimbatore response to the presence of something in the environment that causes him to feelchallenged in some way called stress. Mclann and Pearlman (1999) have foundthat stress of IT professionals can result in revictimization of individuals who oftenhave limited environments in which telling their story is safe and acceptable. Cordesand Doherty (1998) found that healthcare workers who have frequent intense oremotionally changed interactions with others are more prone to burnout. It isfound that most popular approaches for reducing stress in the workplace wereeducational and consultation programs for each individual worker. Statement of the Problem Call center (BPO) is one of the most useful scientific developments in the modernworld. Many professionals are working in this field. This field needs moreconcentration, sharpness and intelligence. The work load may be more in this fieldcompared to other fields, because more mental energy is needed to work as itdeals with manipulating and processing of data.Recently many suicides have occurred in this field. The stress they face duringthe working hours may cause problems in their family and work. Compared tomen, women are vulnerable to emotions and feeling. The lengthy working hours,stereotyped work and fatigue they face may lead tonegative consequences.Theemployees have to use mind relentlessly. The long working hours, nature of job,level of income,family circumstances and such other variables create problemsfor people in BPOs. Hence, the researcher attempts to probe into the manifestationof problems faced by the respondents working in BPOs. Objectives The following are the objectives of this study: ã To study the socio-demographic factors of the respondents; ã To study the relationship between educational qualification and monthlyincome of the respondents in BPOs; ã To study the relationship between marital status and level of stress amongthe respondents working in BPOs; and ã To contribute valuable suggestions to improve the conditions of therespondents working in BPOs. Methodology The research design chosen is descriptive as the study reveals the existing facts.Descriptive research is the study which describes the characteristics of a particularindividual, or a group. This study is about selected variables of stress. It is also notconcerned with specific predictions, with narration of facts and characteristics relatingto an individual, a group or a situation.  TheIUP Journal of Management Research, Vol. VIII, No. 11, 200930 This study is based on the BPOs in Coimbatore city. The research concentratedon ten BPOs comprising 500 people and the researcher collected 100 samples.The researcher used convenience sampling for the study. The questionnaire wascirculated among the respondents of BPOs of 10 various companies.The researcher prepared a questionnaire using Job Stress Scale for datacollection for this study. The questionnaire, which included questions on personalprofile, problems faced by the BPO employees, employment, stress and jobsatisfaction. Primary data were collected through the questionnaire directly fromthe respondents and the secondary data were collected from books, journalsand the Internet. Results and Analysis The researcher used a questionnaire for collecting the data, which were transferredto simple table. Then data were tabulated and analyzed. The researcher used simpletables for the analysis, chi-square test, ANOVA and correlation.From Table 1, it is evident that majority (70%) of the respondents were in 20-25 age category and the remaining 30% of the respondents were in the26-30age group. Table 2 presents that both Hindus and Christians share an equalpercentage, i.e., 48%, and Muslims share only 4%. Table 1: Age of the Respondents S. No.AgeFrequencyPercentage 1.20-2570702.26-303030 Total100100 Table 2: Religion of the Respondents S. No.ReligionFrequencyPercentage 1.Christian48482.Hindu48483.Muslim44 Total100100 From Table 3 it is clear that more than half (52%) of the respondents weremarried and the remaining 48% of the respondents were unmarried. Table 3: Marital Status of the Respondents S. No.Marital StatusFrequencyPercentage 1.Married48482.Unmarried5252 Total100100  31A Study on Stress Among Employees Workingin BPOs with Special Reference to Coimbatore From Table 4 it is clear that most (62%) of the respondents belong nuclearfamily and the remaining 38% of the respondents belong to joint family. Table 4: Type of Family of the Respondents S. No.Type of FamilyFrequencyPercentage 1.Nuclear62622.Joint3838 Total100100 Table 5: Educational Qualification of the Respondents S. No.Educational QualificationFrequencyPercentage 1.Postgraduation14142.Pre-Degree12123.Undergraduation7474 Total100100 Table 6: Designation of the Respondents S. No.DesignationFrequencyPercentage 1.Data Entry Job58582.Computer Operator30303.Networking664.Transaction Processing66 Total100100 From Table 5 it is clear that majority (74%) of the respondents wereundergraduates while 14% of the respondents were postgraduates and theremaining 12% of the respondents completed pre-degree.Table 6 shows that more than half (58%) of the respondents were data entry operatorswhile 30% of the respondents were computer operators whereas 6% of the respondentswere working in networking department and the remaining 6% of the respondentswere working in transactionprocessing. Table 7 shows that most (68%) of the respondents had monthly income belowRs. 5,000 while 24% of the respondents had Rs. 5,001-10,000, 6% of therespondents had Rs. 10,001-15000 and the remaining 2% of the respondents hadabove Rs. 15,001. of monthly income.Table 8 confirms that 24% of the respondents rarely took occasional break fromtheir job while 20% of the respondents agreed, 20% of the respondents disagreed,22% strongly agreed and the rest 14% of the respondents strongly disagreed.Table 9 states that 36% of the respondents strongly disagreed that they donot have authority to do their job, 36% of the respondents strongly disagreed,
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