Lay representations of workplace stress: what do people really mean when they say they are stressed?

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10547/294139
Title:
Lay representations of workplace stress: what do people really mean when they say they are stressed?
Authors:
Jones, Fiona; Kinman, Gail ( 0000-0002-0130-1708 )
Abstract:
An individual's beliefs in relation to stress are likely to affect their perceptions, and hence their work-related actions (such as absenteeism). In this paper, lay representations of work stress were investigated utilising semi-structured interviews with 45 individuals from a range of occupations. The meaning of occupational stress, its antecedents and outcomes, and ways by which it may be managed were examined. Dominant factors were established through the use of thematic content analysis. Similarities and differences were found between lay and professional discourses on work stress. Results indicate that lay representations of occupational stress are multi-faceted. Little consensus was found in how participants interpreted the concept: a diverse range of personal, environmental, and societal factors was highlighted. A different (and arguably more complex) range of definitions of job stress and the manner in which it impacts on individuals was revealed than has been reported in previous studies. The causes of stress at work were perceived as being predominantly organisational, but the impact of stress on the employee was more salient than organisational outcomes. Paradoxically, secondary and tertiary stress management techniques were thought to be more effective than interventions designed to prevent stress at work. Interviewees with line management responsibility were more likely to emphasise individual responsibility for managing stress, most others maintained that the individual and the organisation are equally responsible. The potential value of examining lay representations of job stress to the discipline of Occupational Health Psychology is discussed and suggestions for future research are made.
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of Bedfordshire, Luton, UK; School of Psychology, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
Citation:
Kinman, G., & Jones, F. (2005) 'Lay representations of workplace stress: What do people really mean when they say they are stressed?' Work & Stress, 19(2), 101-120.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Journal:
Work and stress
Issue Date:
2005
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10547/294139
DOI:
10.1080/02678370500144831
Additional Links:
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02678370500144831#.UcAzwue-o0E
Type:
Article
Language:
en
ISSN:
0267-8373
Appears in Collections:
Research Centre for Applied Psychology

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorJones, Fionaen_GB
dc.contributor.authorKinman, Gailen_GB
dc.date.accessioned2013-06-18T08:40:20Z-
dc.date.available2013-06-18T08:40:20Z-
dc.date.issued2005-
dc.identifier.citationKinman, G., & Jones, F. (2005) 'Lay representations of workplace stress: What do people really mean when they say they are stressed?' Work & Stress, 19(2), 101-120.en_GB
dc.identifier.issn0267-8373-
dc.identifier.doi10.1080/02678370500144831-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10547/294139-
dc.description.abstractAn individual's beliefs in relation to stress are likely to affect their perceptions, and hence their work-related actions (such as absenteeism). In this paper, lay representations of work stress were investigated utilising semi-structured interviews with 45 individuals from a range of occupations. The meaning of occupational stress, its antecedents and outcomes, and ways by which it may be managed were examined. Dominant factors were established through the use of thematic content analysis. Similarities and differences were found between lay and professional discourses on work stress. Results indicate that lay representations of occupational stress are multi-faceted. Little consensus was found in how participants interpreted the concept: a diverse range of personal, environmental, and societal factors was highlighted. A different (and arguably more complex) range of definitions of job stress and the manner in which it impacts on individuals was revealed than has been reported in previous studies. The causes of stress at work were perceived as being predominantly organisational, but the impact of stress on the employee was more salient than organisational outcomes. Paradoxically, secondary and tertiary stress management techniques were thought to be more effective than interventions designed to prevent stress at work. Interviewees with line management responsibility were more likely to emphasise individual responsibility for managing stress, most others maintained that the individual and the organisation are equally responsible. The potential value of examining lay representations of job stress to the discipline of Occupational Health Psychology is discussed and suggestions for future research are made.en_GB
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherTaylor and Francisen_GB
dc.relation.urlhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02678370500144831#.UcAzwue-o0E-
dc.subjectcontent analysisen_GB
dc.subjectlay representationsen_GB
dc.subjectstress managementen_GB
dc.subjectstress outcomeen_GB
dc.subjectwork stressen_GB
dc.titleLay representations of workplace stress: what do people really mean when they say they are stressed?en
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentDepartment of Psychology, University of Bedfordshire, Luton, UKen_GB
dc.contributor.departmentSchool of Psychology, University of Leeds, Leeds, UKen_GB
dc.identifier.journalWork and stressen_GB
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