Organizational Stress Theory

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1. Stress is defined as a physiological and psychological response to demands from within or outside of the organisation (Greenberg, 2012). Call centre employees work in the service industry and experience emotional labour (Rod & Ashill, 2013). Emotional labour refers to how employees are forced to express emotions that they may not be feeling, while suppressing emotions that they do feel (Deery, Iverson & Walsh, 2010). This can lead to employees feeling they are being false and can result in emotional dissonance, stress and possibly burnout. Burnout “is a form of psychological strain resulting from persistent work stress typically characterized by emotional exhaustion, a tendency to depersonalize others and diminish perceptions of ability…show more content…
“Role stress and COR theories advocate that symptoms of burnout are a result of role stressors causing individuals to be incapable of coping with excessive demands on their resources or when they believe they do not have adequate resources to meet the demands of the job” (Rod & Ashill, 2013, p340). Emotional exhaustion is expressed as the depletion of resources thus threatening resources and resulting in stress (Rod & Ashill, 2013). Role overload, the inappropriate expectations and magnitude of responsibilities placed on employees, is evident in call centres in their call quotas and 12 to 14 working hour days (Greenberg, 2012). ‘Working time’ is seen as a threat to an employee’s resources, especially in call centres because they are asked to work on holidays, at peculiar hours (Greenberg, 2012). Microsoft offered free broadband connections to their staff so that they can telecommute in order to avoid role conflict due to missing time with their families and having to waste time traveling (Greenberg, 2012). Mind Tree offers mothers one year of leave for every 6 years of work and built day care centres (Greenberg, 2012). Microsoft offers job sharing, which allows two employees to share a full time position. This lowers job demands and work hours while decreasing threats to the individual’s resources. The Effort-Rewards Imbalance (ERI)…show more content…
Humans are resistant to change and that is the biggest challenge organisations will face when implementing programs. Globalisation has greatly changed the workplace, employees face the challenge of having to interact with customers from multiple nationalities and differing norms and customs (Pall & Buzzanell). This can be taxing on an individual’s resources, as the emotional labour of constantly having to adapt can be exhausting. Globalisation requires employees to travel and this can tax individual resources. The JDC, JDCS, COR and the ERI all assume universality, thereby assuming employees will respond in a similar way as predicted by their model, despite the varying contexts (Ashill et al., 2009). The JDC model is problematic in that it argues by giving the employee more control and autonomy that the individual will respond positively (Leka & Houdmont, 2010). Research indicates that not all employees react positively to being given autonomy and control over their job. The degree of control, indicative of the degree of responsibility, affects whether the individual will feel threatened or positively challenged (Dewe et al., 2012). A limitation of the JDCS model is the assumption that the social support given will always be constructive and positive but this is not always the case (Leka & Houdmont, 2010). The COR model may be difficult to implement in call centres because employee’s resources are constantly threatened through the emotional labour of their job. The ERI

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