1. Please read “The Stress Case”, provided below and as a separate document on your assignment page. 2. Answer the following four questions: 1. What are the stressors and stress reactions that Bob is exhibiting? 2. How is Bob’s personality potentially influencing his stress levels? 3. Compare and contrast Bob’s old and new jobs. How was his old job low stress, compared to his new job? Please make sure to talk about the sources of organizational stress in your answer. 4. What suggestions do you have for Bob to improve his levels of stress? 3. Your completed assignment should be approximately 500 words. Use full sentences.
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Individual Assignment #4 – Instructions
1. Please read “The Stress Case”, provided below and as a separate document on your
assignment page.
2. Answer the following four questions:
1. What are the stressors and stress reactions that Bob is exhibiting?
2. How is Bob’s personality potentially influencing his stress levels?
3. Compare and contrast Bob’s old and new jobs. How was his old job low stress,
compared to his new job? Please make sure to talk about the sources of
organizational stress in your answer.
4. What suggestions do you have for Bob to improve his levels of stress?
3. Your completed assignment should be approximately 500 words. Use full sentences.
4. Format your assignment as follows:
• No title page; the first three lines should look as follows:
Individual Assignment #1
Student Name
A#



Use times new roman, size 12 point font and 1 inch margins all around, single
spaced
Submit as a word document (not PDF or pages or note format!)
You should retype each question before beginning your answer
Remember, this assignment is due March 10, 2019 at 11:59 PM via the dropbox on
Brightspace!
The Stress Case
Bob worked as a regional manager for an auto parts supply company. Up until two years ago he
had been part owner and operator of a group of three stores in metro Halifax. But his partners
decided to retire and sell the company to an international chain. Bob had just turned 45 and he
wasn’t ready to retire. His wife had stopped working a few years earlier; they have three
children in school. They hadn’t saved enough money to retire and his share of the sale wasn’t
going to make up for that. He accepted the company’s offer to stay on as the regional manger.
One of the other partners also stayed on as a consultant.
Bob had been almost his own boss in the old company. He could leave when he wanted and
work via his phone. He volunteered with his children’s sports teams and school. When a
problem occurred with his part of the business, he handled it over the phone or went to work late
at night/ early in the morning. His family life was somewhat difficult, but he could make it
work. Business travel under the old regime was taking a big customer to a NASCAR race or
hockey game.
If you have never owned a company, you would not be aware of some of the opportunities this
presents. Bob’s truck belonged to the firm as does his wife’s car. She had a title in the firm and
they cast some her activities as company related so she could expense them. She was paid
(income splitting). A family vacation would include a visit to a similar wholesaler in Florida or a
supplier in California, a conference in Vegas. These were then “business related expenses.” The
family cell phone plan was part of the corporate plan. During the “due diligence” phase of the
sale, Bob couldn’t expense his son’s hockey or his daughter’s basketball as a marketing cost.
His financial resources were limited to the relatively low salaries he and his wife were drawing.
After the sale, he could no longer expense various business-related costs as an owner. While the
funds from the sale were in escrow and Bob was waiting for his first paycheque, money was very
tight. After, money was still tight because Bob didn’t want to take funds from his retirement
account and any expenses had to be vetted by head office.
Bob had been an “OP” smoker. Once in a while over coffee or beer he’d smoke some “Other
Person’s” cigarettes. He didn’t buy his own. Once he started to work as the regional manager,
he found himself bumming a smoke from a customer on a regular basis. The week before the
national manager came to town for a visit, he bought a pack, then another. He was up to about a
half pack a day. He worried. When the boss came to town, he expected to be reamed out about
falling sales or lost orders.
The market is tough in the auto parts business. Most dealerships get parts from their own
distribution chains and only call on the parts companies when they can’t get something. Small
shops like to work with independent wholesalers. They didn’t like the fact that Bob’s company
had sold out. Some had switched over to his competition. He spent a lot of late nights in his
office writing reports explaining why sales were down.
One day, his former partner (the consultant) got in an argument with the VP Sales about the
direction the company was going. He was fired. Bob began to worry if he was next. He thought
it was possible that the national company had only hired him as a transition, to keep the local
customers happy while they got used to the new ownership. Was he out the door next?
His wife complained that he was never home. When he was home, he didn’t talk to her, he may
as well have been away. The kids were acting up. He frequently had to fly to Toronto or
Chicago for training or meetings. He had to learn about things like “workplace diversity” and
“leadership training” and for a guy from with a grade ten education, this was tough. It was like
swimming in jello. He thought it could be done but he had no idea how.
His volunteer work was suffering as well. The other parents got very mad at him when he forgot
to book the hall for the hockey team fundraiser. The event had to be cancelled at the last minute
because the room was booked by some other group. One of the parents called him a “$%#&*
idiot” in front of his wife and daughter. The smoking increased. He couldn’t sleep. His hair
was turning grey and some was falling out.
One Monday morning, Bob woke up and there was a numb tingling in his hands. He felt weak
and nauseous. At emergency they told him it wasn’t a heart attack, but he should see his doctor.
Adapted from Hartt, C.M. (2010).
STRESS
Stress
• Stress is a serious concern for
individuals, and has become a serious
concern for organizations
• Stress can lead to a decrease in
employee well-being, productivity
• Stress can cause absenteeism,
presenteeism, and increased turnover
• Not to mention negative physical and
mental health outcomes
A Model of Stress in Organizations
A Model of Stress in Organizations
• Stressors:
• Environmental events or conditions that
have the potential to induce stress
• Physiological examples: extreme heat,
extreme cold
• Psychological examples: isolation,
mean people, sudden deadline or
demand
A Model of Stress in Organizations
• Stress:
• A psychological reaction to the demands
inherent in a stressor that has the
potential to make a person feel tense or
anxious
• Stress is not intrinsically bad; moderate
levels of stress are normal, expected,
and useful for our survival and success
• Becomes a problem when it leads to
high anxiety and tension
A Model of Stress in Organizations
• Stress Reactions



The behavioural, psychological and
physiological consequences of stress
Some are passive, such as increased heart
rate or blood pressure and reduced immune
function
Some are attempts to reduce the stress


Either by dealing directly with the stressor (ex.
Starting an assignment instead of putting it off
further)
Or trying to relieve the anxiety caused by the stress
(ex. Eating a comfort meal)
Personality & Stress
• How much you are impacted by stress
can be related to your personality
• Affects the extent to which potential
stressors are perceived as stressful
• Affects the type of stress reactions that
occur
Personality & Stress



People with an external locus of control (i.e. their
behaviour is controlled by luck, fate, or others) tend
to be more impacted by potential stressors
People with a Type A behaviour pattern (i.e. they are
more aggressive, ambitious, perfectionist and
competitive) tend to be more impacted by potential
stressors; especially physiologically
People with a negative affectivity (i.e. they view
oneself and others in a negative light) tend to be
more impacted by potential stressors and feel more
subjective stress
Stressors in Organizational Life




Role Overload: The requirement for too many tasks
to be performed in too short a time period or to work
too many hours
Heavy Responsibility: When one feels responsible
for people, success, and the future of the company
and others
Working Conditions: If working conditions are poor
or dangerous, this can cause stressors
Poor Job Design: When jobs are poorly designed to
ask too much of people or they are boring and
simple, this can cause stress
Stressors in Organizational Life

Boundary Roles: positions in which organizational
members are required to interact with members of
other organizations or with the public – this can be
very stressful for people and cause role conflict




Burnout: A syndrome of emotional exhaustion, cynicism,
and reduced self-efficacy
Tends to be experienced by those in boundary roles,
those who work many hours, experience role conflict or
role overload, etc.
Interpersonal conflict: bullying, abusive supervision,
cyberbullying or general conflict can cause stress
Work-family conflict: when work interferes with family
life or vice-versa, this can cause stress
Stressors in Organizational Life



Job insecurity and change: nobody really likes
change and we are all worried about losing our
jobs/paying our bills
Role Ambiguity: When we aren’t clear what we are
expected to do, this can be stressful, especially for
people who have a low tolerance for ambiguity
Sexual harassment: Can be highly stressful for
victims or bystanders, especially if they feel they
have little ability to change the situation
Exhibit 13.5, p. 481
• Ranks jobs from lowest to highest in
terms of:
• Physical health
• Psychological well-being
• Job Satisfaction
• What do you think the highest and
lowest jobs will be on this chart?
Reactions to Organizational Stress
Behavioural:






Problem solving
Seeking social support
Modifying performance
Withdrawal
Presenteesim
Use of addictive substances
Reactions to Organizational Stress
Psychological Reactions to Stress
• Defence Mechanisms





Rationalization
Projection
Displacement
Reaction Formation
Compensation
Reactions to Organizational Stress
Physiological Reactions to Stress





Cardiovascular irregularities & risks
Increased risk of illness and diseases
Increased pain and fatigue
Increased insomnia/trouble sleeping
Increased irritability
Strategies for Organizations to
Manage Stress
• Job Redesign: Improving the design of
jobs can help minimize or eliminate
stressors
• Family-friendly HR Policies: This can help
reduce work-family conflict
• Stress Management Programs: Such as
access to EAPs and training sessions
• Wellness Programs: Programs that
encourage balance and healthy habits
Why Should Organizations Care?
• The impacts of stress on employees
can cost organizations a lot of $$$
• Turnover, absenteeism, declines in
productivity, declines in creativity,
declines in innovation, motivation, etc.
can all have negative outcomes in
terms of potential profit loss
• Also we should try not to cause people
so much stress at work that they have
increased mortality rates…

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