In this section

In this section

In this section, the literature concerning occupational stress is reviewed
briefly. Based on it, hypotheses are formulated. The literature review
primarily focus on the effects of the four individual characteristics (age,
income, length of service and hierarchical level) on the five dimensions of
occupational stress (unhealthy relationship at work, ineffective leadership
style, difference in perceptions among staff, lack of control at work, job
pressure and lack of advancement opportunities) and four health effects of
stress (lack of confidence and concentration, lack of positivity, disturbed
mind and body aches and pains).

The demographic factors and their influence on the dimensions
of occupational stress have been studied by various researchers in the
past (Beena and Poduval, 1992; Akinnusi, 1994; Bhatia et al., 2008).
Santamaria (2000) found no significant correlation between nurses’
stress levels and demographic or professional background. However,
significant correlations were detected between nurses’ personality profiles
and stress levels. Further, Laal and Aliramaie (2010) revealed significant
differences between gender and job experience with negative response to
stress, viz., the males with low job experience of less than 5 years were
more annoyed due to stress. Singh and Sehgal (1995) identified that men
experienced greater role erosion than women and single career husbands
had higher wellbeing but working women displayed higher irritability,
anxiety and depression. In addition to this, some studies revealed that
female participants exhibited greater anxiety, work-related stress and psychosocial stressors as compared to men (Arnten et al., 2008; Sharma
et al., 2010).

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Researches by Marwat and Khan (2010) and Chandriah et al. (2003)
reported more stress levels in young age groups as compared to their
counterparts. Also, Sharma et al. (2012) revealed that the respondents of
age more than 30 years suffered from less role stress than the respondents
of age less or equal to 30 years. However, Bhatnagar and Bose (1985) did
not confirm that age gives a person the strength to cope with stressors or that
advancing age makes a person more nervous. Preuss and Schaeke (1998)
found no relationship between age, experience and level of perceived
strain. Goldenberg and Waddlle (1990) found that age of the respondent,
number of years of full-time teaching and tenure status were most often
significant factors relating to the level of stress. Further, Pandey (1997)
also identified the positive but non-significant relationship of age with all
the stressors except role ambiguity.

Another study by Stacciarini and Tro´ccoli (2004) identified the
relationship between job stress and demographic variables, viz., gender,
age, religion, marital status, institution, job grade, salary, graduate studies
and any concurrent job and found no significant differences in job stress
based on the aforesaid demographic data, though, gender contributed
significantly toward differences in psychological and physical ill health.
Though, Sharma et al. (2012) revealed high stress among high income
groups. In addition, Sharma et al. (2008) brought into light that role stress
is more with the banking employees who earn a monthly salary of more
than Rs. 20,000. The reason attributed in the study was that banks force
directly or indirectly their employees to work for long hours. This forceful
long working hours in the case of private sector banks was done in order
to economize the cost. Furthermore, the study identified that the majority
of the respondents falling in the category of below 40 years of age group
were more concerned about the present enjoyment of their hard-earned
money. The study also revealed that the employees with higher salary
were six times more susceptible to role stress as compared to those who
are earning relatively lesser salary.

According to Gillespie et al. (2001), stress level changes over time and
staff members experience fluctuating levels of stress throughout the year,
associated with periods of higher and then lower workload. Lai et al. (2000)
found that when gender, education, age, designation and work experience
in the organization are controlled, factors such as work pressures, uncertain
job prospects and professionalism contributed significantly to the overall experience of work stress of insurance agents. The study further identified
that ‘work demands’ were the major contributor in the organizational
stress and work experience (length of service) in the organization tends to
enhance job satisfaction, which ultimately reduce the experience of stress.
However, Janice (1996) found that teachers in UK experienced high level
of stress and stress experience was irrespective of the length of teaching
experience. Also, Laal and Aliramaie (2010) concluded that nursing staff
with 5-9 years of working experience coped effectively with stress than
those with less job experience.

Researches have also highlighted the relation between occupational
stress and various hierarchical levels in the organizations. In case of
academicians, Pestonjee and Azeem (2001) pointed out that lecturers have
reported higher level of role stress as compared to readers and professors.
In another study on university staff, Gillespie et al., (2001) found that the
academic staff reported moderate to very high levels of work stress while
general staff reported a low level of stress. Yet another study found that
lower level employees were exposed to more performance stress than
higher level employees (Biswas, 1998), while Coetzer and Rothmann
(2006) witnessed high occupational stress and physical and psychological
ill health for insurance sector managers and professionals than clerical
employees. Moreover, Gaertner and Ruhe (1981) found that junior staff
accountants experienced more stress than senior staff accountants due to
role under load, role ambiguity, lack of advancement opportunities and
lack of participation in decisions. Modekurti and Chattopadhyay (2008)
indicated that nurses are prone to higher organizational role stress than
people working in other professions considered in the study.


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