Occupational Stress

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Before going on to compare and contrast the "Demand-Control-Support" and "Effort-Reward-Imbalance" models of occupational stress, let us briefly define occupational stress and understand its sources and consequences. Despite lack of consensus on the exact definition of occupational stress, and the fact that 'occupational stress', 'job stress' and 'work stress' is often used interchangeably, it is generally believed that occupational stress is "associated with aversive or unpleasant emotional states that people experience as a consequence of their work.


In economically advanced societies, work and occupation take on a central position in adult life. Occupation defines the most important criterion for social stratification in advanced societies. Occupational settings produce the most pervasive continuous demands during one's lifetime, and they absorb the largest amount of time in adult life (Albrecht et al 2003). Contemporary definitions of stress favour a transactional perspective; this emphasises that stress is located neither in the person, nor in the environment, but in the relationship between the two (Cooper et al, quoted in Clarke & Cooper 2004:5)
Selye(1981, quoted in Grant et al 1995) said that work is an essential need for everyone. The question is not whether we should or should no work, but what kind of work suits us best. Consequently, external and internal sources of stress and their subsequent strain has a cause and effect relationship, and are experienced and suffered by employees and workers in their societies. ...
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