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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/1867
- Occupational stress in universities: staff perceptions of the causes, consequences and moderators of stress
- Gillespie, Nichole; Walsh, M.; Winefield, Anthony H.; Dua, Jagdish; Stough, Con
- In recent years, the Australian university sector has undergone large-scale organizational change, including restructuring, downsizing and government funding cuts. At the same time, research from across the globe reports an alarming increase in the occupational stress experienced by university staff. We report on the first phase of a longitudinal investigation of occupational stress. A total of 22 focus groups were conducted with a representative sample of 178 academic and general staff from 15 Australian universities. The groups focused on understanding staff 's experience of occupational stress, and perceptions of the sources, consequences and moderators of stress. Both general and academic staff reported a dramatic increase in stress during the previous 5 years. As a group, academic staff reported higher levels of stress than general staff. Five major sources of stress were identified including: insufficient funding and resources; work overload; poor management practice; job insecurity; and insufficient recognition and reward. The majority of groups reported that job-related stress was having a deleterious impact on their professional work and personal welfare. Aspects of the work environment (support from co-workers and management, recognition and achievement, high morale, flexible working conditions), and personal coping strategies (stress management techniques, work/ non-work balance, tight role boundaries and lowering standards), were reported to help staff cope with stress. The findings provide a timely insight into the experience of stress within universities.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. School of Biophysical Science and Electrical Engineering
- Work and stress, Vol. 15, no. 1 (Jan. 2001), pp. pp. 53-72
- Publication year
- Taylor & Francis Ltd.
- pp. 53-72
- Publisher URL
- Work and stress
- Publisher URL