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Chapter Six

Chapter Six. Satisfaction And Stress. Chapter Overview. This chapter examines the following topics: Defining Satisfaction and Stress Satisfaction Stress Measuring Satisfaction and Stress Organizational Costs of Dissatisfaction and Stress

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Chapter Six

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  1. Chapter Six Satisfaction And Stress Thomson South-Western Wagner & Hollenbeck 5e

  2. Chapter Overview • This chapter examines the following topics: • Defining Satisfaction and Stress • Satisfaction • Stress • Measuring Satisfaction and Stress • Organizational Costs of Dissatisfaction and Stress • Performance at the Individual and Organizational Level • Health Care Costs • Absenteeism and Turnover • Low Organizational Commitment and Citizenship • Workplace Violence and Sabotage • Sources of Dissatisfaction and Stress • Physical and Social Environment • Personal Dispositions • Organizational Tasks • Organization Roles • Eliminating and Coping with Dissatisfaction and Stress • Identifying Symptoms of Dissatisfaction and Stress • Eliminating Dissatisfying and Stressful Conditions • Managing Symptoms of Dissatisfaction and Stress

  3. Introduction • Most organizations are not in the “job satisfaction business” and for that reason, sometimes mangers find it difficult to see the importance of understanding and enhancing employees’ attitudes and feelings about their work • These attitudes and feelings can have important effects on the organization • State Farm Insurance example • SAS Institute example • Creating a stable and satisfied workforce serves as an opportunity to gain competitive advantage over others in the industry

  4. Job satisfaction: a pleasurable feeling that results from the perception that one’s job fulfills or allows for the fulfillment of one’s important job values Edwin Locke reviewed the topic of job satisfaction Job satisfaction includes three key components: Values: what a person consciously or unconsciously desires to obtain Importance of values: people differ in the weights they give to the values they hold and these differences critically influence the degree of job satisfaction Perception: may not be an accurate reflection of objective reality Stress: an unpleasant emotional state that results when someone is uncertain of his or her capacity to resolve a perceived challenge to an important value Hans Selye proposed that the general adaptation syndrome can explain the relationship between stress and physical-physiological symptoms According to Selye, the body’s reaction to chronic stress occurs in three stages: Alarm stage Resistance stage Exhaustion stage If stress continues unabated, harmful burnout may occur Defining Satisfaction and Stress

  5. Measuring Satisfaction and Stress • Most attempts to measure worker satisfaction rely on self-reports • Established scales are an excellent starting point for organizations wishing to assess satisfaction levels of employees • A systematic, ongoing program of employee survey research should be a prominent component to any retention strategy for several reasons: • Monitor trends over time • Assess effects of changes in policy • Costs are low

  6. Organizational Costs of Dissatisfaction and Stress • Even if the human costs are coldly ignored, important financial reasons exist for monitoring and managing the satisfaction and stress levels of employees

  7. Performance at the Individual and Organizational Level • A recent comprehensive analysis of studies has revealed a significant, positive correlation between these two variables • The satisfaction-performance link is especially strong in the services industry • Southwest Airlines example • Evidence clearly indicates that the relationship between attitudes of individual workers and their performance actually translates to higher levels of organizational performance as measured by financial indicators

  8. Work-related stress hasgreat potential to effect a person’s health and well-being Spiraling medical fees and hospital room-and-board charges have increased the cost of patient insurance by three times as much as wage increases over the same period Medical insurance and claims costs currently constitute a full 10% of payroll for U.S. companies Employers are increasingly finding themselves liable for specific incidents of stress-related illnesses Dissatisfaction and stress are also the sources of indirect costs, most notably in the form of absenteeism and turnover Dissatisfaction is a major reason for absenteeism and also triggers organizational turnover Replacing lost workers is a costly undertaking Loss of investment Gain to competitors Health Care CostsAbsenteeism and Turnover

  9. Low Organizational Commitment and Citizenship • Dissatisfaction contributes to declining organizational commitment • Organizational commitment: degree to which people identify with the organization that employs them • Effects of organizational downsizing • Dissatisfaction negatively affects organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs) • OCBs are acts that promote the organization’s interests, but are not a part of any person’s documented job requirements • OCBs tend to make the organization run more smoothly, but dissatisfied employees rarely engage in them

  10. In the last fifteen years, workplace violence has developed into a major organizational problem Workplace homicide is the fastest growing form of murder in the U.S. Workplace homicide is the leading cause of death for women in the workplace Most violence that involves organizational insiders is triggered by extreme levels of dissatisfaction and stress on the part of the attacker U.S. Postal Service example Dissatisfaction can also lead to organizational sabotage Organizational sabotage is violence directed at property rather than people Traditionally, this was seen as dealing with vandalism or theft, but is now increasingly directed at computer information systems Omega Engineering example Workplace Violence and Sabotage

  11. Sources of Dissatisfaction and Stress • Certain inherent features of organizations can cause dissatisfaction and stress • Physical environment • Social environment • Person • Task • Role

  12. Physical and Social Environment • A wealth of evidence shows that some physical features of the workplace can stimulate negative emotional reactions in workers • Extremes in temperature • Lighting requirements • Sick-building syndrome • In terms of the social environment, supervisors and coworkers serve as the two primary sources of satisfaction or frustration for the employee • Social support: the active provision of sympathy and caring • Buffering: presence of supportive people • The physical and social aspects of work converge to create the behavior setting • Social density: a measure of crowding • Privacy: freedom to work without observation

  13. Personal Dispositions • Stress and dissatisfaction reside within a person and many researchers have studied outcomes on individual differences • Negative affectivity: describes a dispositional dimension of subjective distress • People who are high in this tend to focus on the negative qualities of self and others • It can turn into depression • A second critical individual difference is the Type A behavior pattern versus Type B

  14. Organizational Tasks • Although we cannot entirely discount the influence of dispositional traits and nonwork experiences, nothing predicts a person’s level of workplace satisfaction or stress better than the nature of the work itself • Key factors that determine satisfaction and stress are task complexity, physical strain, and task meaningfulness

  15. Task Complexity, Physical Strain, and Task Meaningfulness • Research generally shows a positive relationship between task complexity and satisfaction • Boredom created by lack of task complexity can hinder performance on certain types of jobs • Physical strain and exertion is sometimes overlooked in the present age of technology • Advancing technology makes this universally considered an undesirable work characteristic • It is important for the worker to believe that the work is meaningful and has value • Empowerment

  16. Organization Roles • The person and the social environment converge in the form of an organization role • Three of the most heavily researched aspects of roles are: • Role ambiguity • Role conflict • Role scope

  17. Role Ambiguity, Role Conflict, and Role Scope • Role ambiguity comprises the uncertainty or lack of clarity surrounding expectations about a person’s role in the organization • Role conflict is the recognition of incompatible or contradictory demands that face the person who occupies a role • Intersender role conflict: two or more people convey mutually exclusive expectations • Intrasender conflict: one person holds two competing expectations • Interrole conflict: one person torn between the demands of two roles • Role scope refers to the absolute number of expectations that exist for the person occupying a role • Role overload: too many expectations or demands on the role occupant • Role underload: too few expectations or demands on the role occupant

  18. Eliminating and Coping With Dissatisfaction and Stress • Because the costs associated with employee dissatisfaction and stress can be high, identifying causing factors should be a major part of the job description of every manger • Interventions should target the source of the stress

  19. Identifying Symptoms of Dissatisfaction and Stress • In some cases, employees themselves report problems in these areas • Many employees are afraid to admit they cannot overcome some problem associated with their work • It is critical for managers to monitor the kinds of attitudes via a regular systematic employee survey program • Organizations conducting such a survey must be ready to take action on the results • Doctor’s Hospital example

  20. Eliminating Dissatisfying and Stressful Conditions • Some of the most effective means of reducing negative reactions to work focus on the task • Job enrichment includes techniques to add complexity and meaning to a person’s work • Role problems rank immediately behind job problems in terms of creating distress • Role analysis technique • Skills training is a means of trying to help the employee change a dissatisfying or stressful condition • Time management • A person’s ability to handle dissatisfying or stressful work experiences is enhanced when the worker has an opportunity at air problems or grievances • Participation in decision making (PDM)

  21. Managing Symptoms of Dissatisfaction and Stress • In some situations, interventions must be aimed at the symptoms of stress • Physical conditioning • Aerobic exercise • Relaxation techniques • Biofeedback techniques and training • Time away • Job rotation: moving workers from one job to another temporarily • If negative aspects cannot be changed by any other means, be honest with prospective jobholders • Realistic job previews

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