Week 4, Monday Lecture Outline
- I. A general model of stress
- II. Consequences of stress
- III. Case study: U.S. Postal Service
- IV. Organization-based stress management
- people have important goals
- vis satisfaction of basic needs, ala Maslow
- stress is a response to perceived threats to these goals
- stress becomes debilitating when these threats overwhelm personal
- people in war zones
- emergency room staff
- job demands
- role demands
- load demands
- higher likelihood of many illnesses, from the common cold to heart
- reduction, even at low levels
- downsizing = 47,000 jobs cut by 1995 (of 800,000)
- automation = $5.5 billion invested by 1995
- tasks = manual labor
- militaristic = 200 volumes of regulations and rules
- close supervision = monitoring to 1/100th of minutes
- combative unions = legally forbidden to strike
- management = inflexible
- nine attacks by disgruntled employees resulting in over 30 deaths since 1983
- assault at Royal Oak, MI = product of stressful harassment?
- ambitious boss OR sadistic taskmaster
- troubled worker OR psychopath
- stress not solely responsible, but may be a factor
- Response to USPS situation:
- what should management do?
- what should workers do?
- what should the postmaster general do?
- Frame your response in terms of:
- changes in organizational structure and function
- changes in the nature of specific jobs
- cease microscopic supervision
- increase task variety and discretion
- Postmaster general:
- recognize that culture is a culprit and take symbolic action
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Revised - November 4, 1996