A Review of Open Literature and Recent DoD-Funded Research on Stress in Organizations,
OFFICE OF NAVAL RESEARCH ARLINGTON VA
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One hundred and forty articles from refereed journals, in abstract form, were reviewed. The results of this review are outlined under the headings sources of organizational stress, outcomes of organizational stress, moderating variables, and miscellaneous other studies. Recent Department of Defense DOD-funded efforts in this area are surveyed. The study of stress in the work place appears to have gone through a development much like that of the field of industrial psychology in general, starting with an interest in blue-collar level employees, and moving toward attention to higher and higher levels of management and to organizational issues. The earliest work was concerned with specific objective stressors, of the kind likely to be factors in the work day of the blue-collar worker e.g., noise, temperature extremes, lighting inadequacies, and of course work-load. These factors were considered potential degraders of work-task performance. As Selyes conception of physiological stress caught on, there was growing research interest in physiological measures as independent variables. The physiological outcomes tied in with a concern for health and well-being rather than with performance and productivity, and task performance as an output variable moved somewhat into the background.