BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Job stress has become a phenomenon experienced by many employees around the globe. The reasons for this can be attributed to the increasing spate of globalization, the dynamic and competitive business environment, amongst other factors. Since the consistent performance of any organization depends on the overall wellbeing of its employees, the subject of Job stress requires urgent investigation. Selye (1936) introduced the concept of stress and defined it as pressure, tension or force, which an individual is subjected to. Stress refers to the exertion of pressure and the attendant reactions to demands (McEwen 2007). It is the stimulating state of the mind and body, a physiological and psychological reaction to demands (Bamba 2016). Like many countries around the world, the Nigerian business environment is characterized by stress. The socioeconomic structure of the external environment and the demands of the Job, makes it pertinent for employees to possess effective coping strategies, without which performance could be hampered (Oyewunmi et al. 2015). Many studies have indicated that Job stress is a significant factor that may affect organizational performance (Kahn, Byosiere 2011; McEwen 2007). According to Jenning’s (2007) it states that job stress is a controversial issue that affects organizational and job performances. It is also argued that Job stress could influence employees’ attitudes (Weiss 2012; Taiwo 2010; Wagner, Harter 2006), lead to absenteeism (Robbins, Judge 2008), intention to leave, dissatisfaction, low productivity and high labour turnover (Kaufman et al. 2013). Danna and Griffin (2014) also state that stressful working conditions are associated with increased absenteeism, tiredness and intention of employees to quit their job. There are many factors which can trigger stress in the Job. One of such factors is role conflict (Weiss 2012). Role conflict is a stressor that occurs as a result of multiple roles (Butler, Constantine 2005). Heavy workload (Spector 2008) and uncertainty (Pinder 2008) are also factors which could adversely impact on employees’ performance. Studies by Liu, Yang, Nauta (2013) reveal that injustice and unfairness affects individual and corporate performance. Other mitigating sources of Job stress includes lack of recognition or engagement; long work hours (Aluko 2007), inadequate training (Greenberg, Baron 2009; Salau, et al. 2014), poor time management (Cooper, Payne 2008); poor relationship with supervisors and colleagues (Hicks, Caroline 2007; Oakland, S., Oakland, J. 2011); inequality (Fadil et al. 2005; Siegel et al. 2007); job insecurity (Monat, Lazarus 2011). It is necessary that organizations provide interventions against these factors so as to ensure job satisfaction and increased productivity. Job satisfaction or lack of it is fundamental to the intention of employees to stay or quit a job. It is also a pointer to poor employee performance and low job commitment (Robbins, Judge 2008). Potentially, increased level of job stress could translate to decreased job satisfaction. This is because employees are more likely to be committed, creative and productive at work when they are reasonably satisfied with their jobs (Chandraiah et al. 2009). Currently, banking institutions in Nigeria is characterized by massive expansion and high rate of customers’. The likely effects of this include; increased workload for members of the workforce, increased pressure, a sense of powerlessness conflicting demands, organizational change, and a high degree of uncertainty (Cooper, Payne 2008). Within the internal environment of the Job, physical conditions can also trigger stress (Fried 2008). For instance, excessive noise within the Job can cause physical and behavioural problems. Severe vibration can have similar effects. Hot, humid conditions and constant presence of hazardous substances or other hazards can also trigger stress (Aldana et al. 2014). Job stress may encourage truancy which may later result in high turnover (Cooper, Payne 2008). It is important that organizations in Nigeria’s higher education sector, whether public or private, understand that high levels of Job stress can become harmful for individual employees and the organization as a whole. Hence, to enhance corporate image and achieve competitive advantage, stress management and coping strategies become imperative (Monat, Lazarus 2011; Adeniji, Osibanjo 2012; Liu et al. 2013; Manjunath, Rajesh 2012). This implies that, organizations must have the capability to identify the symptoms of stress and must intensify efforts to reduce stress in the Job. This can be achieved through effective management and organization of work, as well as, healthy corporate culture (Vieet 2011; Weiss 2012). This will increase performance and maximize the possibility of achieving overall strategic objectives.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Current organizations operate in the dynamic and ever changing environment (Cooper, Sloan and Williams, 1999). Since modern organizations exist in rapidly changing environment, employees are faced with a lot of physical and mental hazards on their job which may cause them stress. Working in banks has its own nature, where workers are facing various types of work stress. Michailidis’s research on bank “related stress” has provided evidence that employees' educational levels affect the degree of stress they experience in various ways (Michailidis M, 2005). Bank employees cannot afford the time to relax and "wind down" when they are faced with work variety, discrimination, favouritism, delegation and conflicting tasks. Job stress is an increasing problem for employees in banking institutions. Workplace stress can lead to increased health/medical costs, higher rates of absenteeism and turnover, more accidents, and worse performance. Wong and Law, (2011) argue that almost all job stress research and theories were developed and empirically tested in Western industrialized countries. However, the problem of job related stress should also be particularly relevant for countries that are undergoing enormous economic and social changes. The stress factors as a group can affect the performance of employees and the level of work in these banks, which it will have greater impact on other institutions. The social dimension of stress has a very significant role on the knowledge produced in this research. Having less stress will simply lead to have happier people, less stressed, more participation in any work being given, create better atmosphere to their organization.
1.3. AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine the effect of job stress on the performance of organization. Other general objectives of the study are:
1. To examine the level of job stress on employees.
2. To examine the types of job stress in an organization.
3. To examine the effect of job stress on organizational performance.
4. To examine the effect of job stress on employees health related issue.
5. To examine the relationship between Job stress and organizational performance.
6. To examine the possible ways of managing stress in an organization.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the level of job stress on employees?
2. What are the types of job stress in an organization?
3. What are the effects of job stress on organizational performance?
4. What are the effects of job stress on employee’s health related issue?
5. What is the relationship between Job stress and organizational performance?
6. What are the possible ways of managing stress in an organization?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study can be significant particularly for two sets of stake holders namely the employers who after knowing the occupational stress inducers (OSI), can adopt appropriate strategies to reduce the occupational stress thereby enhancing the employees‟ job performance; and the employees who after being aware can take appropriate steps to reduce their own stress saving themselves from variety of health issues and also help management to implement the stress management strategies. The study is deemed important and relevant to the field of organizational and human resource management as it is to increase employee‘s passion and deliverables in performing their work for the firm‘s performance. Furthermore, this study is also an important part for the researcher‘s master degree accomplishment and knowledge generation. This paper can be used as useful citation source for many other researches or practitioners who are interested in studying the impact of job stress on organizational performance.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on the effect of job stress on the performance of organizations, case study of Ecobank Umuahia, Abia state.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Job stress: This refers to a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances. Stress is an unwanted reaction people have to severe pressures or other types of demands placed upon them
Organizational performance: It comprises the actual output or results of an organization as measured against its intended outputs (or goals and objectives). Specialists in many fields are concerned with organizational performance including strategic planners, operations, finance, legal, and organizational development.
Banking institution: (also referred to as a universal or commercial bank) can range from a large financial institution with a highly visible brand name and an international presence to a small organization with a local presence.
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