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Editorial Board A Refereed Monthly International Journal of Management
Prof. B. P. Sharma
(Editor in Chief)
Prof. Mahima Birla
(Group Editor)
Dr. Khushbu Agarwal
(Editor)
Ms. Asha Galundia
(Circulation Manager)

 Editorial Team

Dr. Devendra Shrimali
Dr. Dharmesh Motwani
Mr. Jinendra Vyas
 

Stress Audit of Employees working in Information Communication and Technology Industry

Dr. K.C.Goyal, Director,ASM’s Institute of International Business& Research Pune.

Abstract

Stress has become an indispensible part of the modern life style. Every human being today is suffering from stress, although its severity may vary. Working personnel, especially in software and information communication technology sector are suffering from this phenomenon all the more. The present study is conducted to assess the severity of stress being faced by the employees working in ICT sector. For carrying out the study five units based in Pune city have been selected. From each unit a sample of 10 employees and thus a sample of total 50 employees have been selected by using convenience sampling technique. The findings of the study are revealing one. All respondents are found aware of stress; most of them are suffering from negative tress, whereas only a few feel positive tress. Types of stress facing by employees found varying from hyper stress to hypo stress to acute stress to Eustress to Distress to Chronic stress.  Stressors vary from meeting targets to conflict with superiors, subordinates and staff to workload to role conflict. Coping mechanism adopted to deal with stress also vary from smoking to drinking to practicing Yoga and Meditation.  

Key Words: Stress, Hyper stress, Hypo stress, coping Mechanism.

In modern societies stress has become order of the day. Everybody, now-a days is suffering from stress. It has become an integral part of the modern life style. The term stress denotes different meaning for different people. Doctors talk in term of psychological mechanisms, engineers in terms of load bearings, psychologist in terms of behavioural change, management consultants in terms of organizational challenge, and common men in terms of almost anything under the sun from complexities of balancing the housing budget, to parents stressing, certain do’s and don’ts of their children and so and so forth. In the word of Hans Salye “ stress is the non-specifically induced changes within a biological system”. R. S. Schuleries opines that     “stress is a dynamic condition in which an individual is confronted with an opportunity, a demand, or a resource related to what the individual desires and for which the outcome is perceived to the both uncertain and important”.

Types of Stress:

 Different people face different types of stress, accordingly psychologist have categorized into five categories-

  1. Hypo-Stress: This type of stress is faced by the people who are bored.
  2. Hyper- Stress: It is opposite of hypo-stress and a type of negative stress.
  3. Distress: This also a form of negative type of stress.
  4. Eustress: This is a positive or healthy type of stress which stimulates creativity, physical performance, enthusiasm and energy level.
  5. Acute Stress: It is one of intense type of stress.

Chronic Stress: This is the worst type of stress that a person can experience and so difficult to treat.

Review of Literature:

The common sense view of stress is that it is a combination of external stressors and our response in the early and highly influential research of Selye (1936). Stress is as the result of an interaction between an individual‘s emotional, intellectual, social, and physical resources and the demands on him or her. Marshall & Cooper (1981) argue that stress‘ is a different phenomenon form pressure. Stress is something more than mere pressure. It carries strong overtones of the breakdown of normal human performance. In an earlier work, Cooper & Marshall, (1978), the same two authors concluded that stress is essentially individually defined and must be understood with reference to characteristics of both the individual and his environment, as it is the outcome of the two’.

Objectives of the study:

  1. To study the awareness of employees working in software and ICT industry about the stress.
  2. To study the effect of stress on work performance of employees.
  3. To study the main stressors causing stress to employees
  4. To study the coping with stress mechanism used by employees
  5. To study the steps taken by the management to cope with the stress.

Scope of the study:

Present study is confined to study  the stress being faced by employees working in software and Information communication technology industries at any level in the city of Pune.

For this purpose 05 units have been selected –

  1. Reliance Communication Ltd.
  2. Idea cellular ltd.
  3. Vodafone India Ltd.
  4. Bharti Airtel Ltd.
  5. Tata Docomo Ltd.

Research Methodology:

Type of research: The research is exploratory in nature in its initial stage followed by descriptive research.

Collection of Data:

Primary data: The present research is primarily based on collection of primary data. Primary data have been collected using the questionnaire method. Apart from this interviews were also conducted of the respondents.

Universe: All employees working in the industries selected to complete the study.

Sampling:

Sampling Unit:

Employee working in Software and Information Communication sector.

 Sampling Technique: convenience sampling

Sample size: 50 employees, 10 from each industry

Secondary data: secondary data were collected from books journals, magazines, periodicals, newspaper, published and unpublished theses, websites etc.

Period of Study: 3 months between 16th January 2016 to 15th April, 2016.

Research Hypotheses:

H01 Stress does not cause adverse impact on the performance of ICT employees.

H1.1 Stress causes adverse impact on the performance of ICT employees.

H2.0 Long and uncertain working hours is not the main source of stress among ICT employees.

H2.1 Long and uncertain working hours is the main source of stress among ICT employees

H3.0 ICT employees resort negative measures to cope with the stress

H3.1 ICT employees resort positive measures to cope with the stress

Discussion on results:

  1. Awareness about the stress:

All of the respondents were found aware about the phenomenon of stress.

  1. Number of respondents suffering from stress:

All the respondents acknowledged that they are suffering from stress by one reason or another.

  1. Effect of stress on the health of employees:

Again all the respondents acknowledged the stress have adversely affected their health.

  1. Effect of stress on the work performance of the employees:

38  respondents were found of the opinion that stress causes negative effect on their work performance, 06 respondents reported that it increased their performance, 05 employees acknowledged that stress has caused both negative as well as positive impact on their work performance and remaining 01 respondent failed to give his opinion on this query. Responses received from the respondents have been shown in tabular form to make them understandable at a glance.

 

Table.1: Effect of stress on the work performance of the employees:

 

SN

Effect on work performance

No. Respondents

Cumulative Frequency

Percentage

1.

Positive effect

06

06

12

 

2.

Negative effect

38

44

76

 

3.

Both positive& Negative

05

49

10

 

4.

Can’t say

01

50

02

 

4.

Total

50

50

100

 

  1. Types of stress faced by employees:

Different type of employees face different type of stress, therefore it was thought prudent to know the type of stress faced by them. The respondents were asked to reveal the type of stress faced by them. In the response of this query it was found that employees are suffering from more than one type of stress and therefore, they admitted in their response the multiple stress being faced by them. 11 respondents said that they are facing hypo-stress, 23 respondents expressed the opinion about Hyper stress, 23 respondents found suffering from distress, 12 respondents from Eustress, 14 respondents from Acute stress and 03 respondents acknowledged that they are suffering from Chronic stress.

The responses received from the respondents have been presented in Table: 2 to make them understandable easily-

Table- 2 Types of stress faced by employees

 

SN

Types of Stress

No. of Respondents

Cumulative  No.

Percentage

 

1.

Hypo- stress

11

11

13

2.

 

Hyper- stress

23

34

27

3.

 

Distress

23

57

27

4.

 

Eustress

12

69

14

 

5.

Acute Stress

14

83

16

6.

 

Chronic Stress

03

86

3

7.

 

Total

86

86

100

Source: As per responses received from respondents

         What in your opinion are the main causes creating stress in you?

Although there are innumerable reason giving rise to the stress in employees, but in personal conversation with employees researcher identified some prominent reasons responsible for creating stress among employees. Some of them are- over burdensomeness, meeting targets, long working hours, work-life imbalance, conflict with superiors/subordinates.

When respondents were asked to most prominent cause creating conflict in them, the respondents expresses different reasons.  5 respondents reported that over burdensomeness is main cause of the stress, 22 respondents were of the opinion that meeting targets is the main cause of stress, 11 respondents expressed that long working hours is the main cause of stress, 7 respondents acknowledged that work-life imbalance is the root cause of their stress, remaining 05 respondents said that conflict with seniors/ supervisors is the main cause of their stress.

Thus it quite evident that a vast majority of respondents were of the opinion that meeting targets is the main cause of their stress.

To make the things quite understandable the responses received from the respondents have been presented in tabular form and also represented through a diagram-

 

Table -3: Main reason responsible for causing stress

SN

 

Main cause of stress

No. of Respondents

Cumulative No.

Percentage

1.

 

Over burdensomeness

05

05

10

2.

 

Meeting targets

22

27

44

3.

 

Long working hours

11

38

22

4.

 

Work-life imbalance

07

45

14

5.

 

Conflict with superiors/subordinates

05

50

10

6.

 

Total

50

 

100

 

  1. Coping mechanisms:

It was important to know that how people cope with their stress. Different people use different techniques to cope with the stress like smoking, drinking, medication, counseling, Yoga, meditation etc. When employees working in software and ICT sector were asked about it employees acknowledged the more than one mechanism for coping with the stress.

34 employees were of the opinion they like to smoke to cope with the stress, 13 employees said that they like to drink when they feel stressed, 07 employees acknowledged under medication, 05 employees said that they take counseling from psychiatrist, 45 employees said they like to practice yoga to relieve their stress, 23 employees said they use meditation to cope with stress.

 

Responses received from the respondents have been presented in tabular form and represented through a pie chat-

 

Table: Stress Coping mechanisms

SN

 

Coping Mechanism

No. of Respondents

Cumulative No.

Percentage

1.

 

Smoking

34

34

27

2.

 

Drinking

13

47

10

 

3.

Medication

07

54

6

 

4.

Counseling

 

05

59

4

 

5.

Yoga

45

104

35

 

6.

Meditation

23

127

18

 

Total

 

127

 

100

 

Data given in the above table reveal that yoga is most preferred coping mechanism for cope with stress in software and ICT industries with finding a favor of 35 percent of the total number of respondents followed by smoking (27 percent)   and meditation with 18 percent respondents

  1. Measures taken by management:

Since employees stress adversely affects the performance of the employees on the work, researcher was interested to know whether management is vigilant to this fact and takes necessary steps to mitigate the stress of employees.

 When respondents were asked about it, all of them unanimously acknowledged that yes management is very much cautious to this fact and it take some steps to mitigate the stress of employees right from organizing yoga session to meditation to counseling to lectures on stress management to arranging discourse of renowned spiritual Gurus.

Responses received from the respondents have been presented in Table-4 given below-

Table-4:  Steps taken by management to mitigate employees stress

SN

 

Steps taken

No of respondents

Cumulative No.

Percentage

1.

 

Yoga sessions

31

31

44

2.

 

Meditation

13

44

19

3.

 

counseling

09

53

13

4.

 

Lectures

07

60

10

5.

 

Discourse

10

70

14

6.

 

Total

70

 

100

Hypotheses Testing:

H1:

H01 Stress does not cause adverse impact on the performance of ICT employees.

H1.1 Stress causes adverse impact on the performance of ICT employees.

                                                       Kruskal WallisTest

 

Total Stress Level

Chi-Square

df

Asymp. Sig.

8.573

                         2

            0.014

a . Kruskal WallisTest

b . Grouping Variable : Performance

Interpretation:

In the output presented above the significance level was 0.014. This is less than the alpha level of 0.05, so these results suggest that there is a difference in stress levels across the different groups.

H2:

H2.0 Long and uncertain working hours is not the main source of stress among ICT employees based on sex.

H2.1 Long and uncertain working hours is the main source of stress among ICT employees based on sex

 

 

Independent-Samples T-Test

 

 

 

 

 

 

F

Sig.

t

Sig.

(2-tailed)

Total Stress

Equal           variances

assumed

 

Equal variances

            not assumed

3.506

0.062

1.622

 

 

 

 

 

1.661

0.105

 

 

 

 

 

0.098

 

 

Interpretation:

An independent-samples t-test was conducted to compare the stress level scores for males and females employees in ICT firms. Research finds a significant difference in scores for males and females as p value in more than 0.05.

H3:

H3.0 ICT employees resort negative measures to cope with the stress

H3.1 ICT employees resort positive measures to cope with the stress

Mann -Whitney U

Test Statistics a

 

Total self esteem

Mann -Whitney U

Wilcoxon W

Z

Asymp. Sig.

(2-tailed)

21594.000

53472.000

-1.227

.220

 

 

Interpretation:

The p is not less than or equal to .05, so the result is not significant. There is no statistically significant EVIDENCE that ICT employees resort negative measures to cope with the stress.

 

Conclusion and Recommendations:

In modern organizations in general and ICT organizations in particular stress has become a common phenomenon. Study conducted revealed that all the respondents included in the study acknowledged awareness about stress, suffering from stress and negative impact of stress on their health. About 3/4th respondents were found of the opinion that stress is negatively impacting their work performance, 44 percent respondents opined that meeting targets is the biggest source of stress for them and more than a half of the respondents prefer to use traditional Indian therapies like yoga and meditation for coping with stress. Management was also found use of these techniques for mitigating employees stress.

 As stress is negatively impacting health and work performance of the employees it will be in the interest of both employees as well as management to reduce the work pressure of the employees and introduction of flexi work hours system so that employees working in ICT companies can maintain work life balance. It is also advised to enrich the job of employees working in such companies.

 

References:

  1. David Fontana “Managing Stress” Excel Books, First Indian Edition, New Delhi 1996
  2. Hans Selye “Stress without Distress” Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1974
  3. Kahn, Wolfe, Quinn, Snoekand and Rosenthal “Organizational Stress: Studies in Role conflict and Ambiguity” John Wiley 1964
  4. Niosh “Stress at Work” National Institute of Occupational safety and Health, Cincinatti.
  5. Behr T.A. & Newman J.E. “Job Stress, Employees Health and organizational effectiveness : A Facet Analysis, Model and Literature Review, Personnel Psychology, Winter 1978
 
 

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