1.1 Background of the Study
For some decades, the imperativeness of employee wellbeing has considerably become a topical arena of attraction to a number of scholars (Mxenge et al., 2014; Champoux, 2008). Organizations, are increasingly realizing that employees remain their most priceless asset for a lasting competitive advantage in a business era that is dynamic and intensely competitive. On the score providing an employment brand that encourages the retention of talented and committed workforce becomes inevitable. Shermerhorn & Wright (2008) note that the vulnerability of employees to stress arising from their daily jobs is mainly due to the dynamic nature of the business environment, Miller (2008) notes that stress is an emotional process in which stress from the work environment cause strain in individuals, referred to as burnout, that results into psychological, and organizational consequences. This implies that, burnout is a state of depression that can distort employee and organizational wellbeing, as well as performance.
Corporate survival has been the most interesting topics for organizations over the years. Organizations exist to survive in the midst of environmental factors that tend to encroach on business performance. Organizations attempt to maintain the existing state of affairs, but essentially the larger part of their efforts is tilted toward survival (Mindy, 1998). The competition in the industry is getting stronger and firms are adopting different strategies to be competitive in the industry. Surviving is the global struggle to meet with increasing demand on firms in the market place has seen many researchers and academicians having a resort to pay attention to the individual employees in the organization since innovation in product and services are brought about by these individuals.
However, in the review of past studies, despite the level of work that has been done, only few studies try to discuss some specific aspects of performance appraisal that can affect survival of organizations. This has necessitated more work to be done on the extent to which performance appraisal affects corporate survival especially in selected Gas companies in Port Harcourt. Given this knowledge breach, our point of departure from previous studies are to empirically establish the relationship between performance appraisal and corporate survival.
Managing stress emanating from the facets of the work environment of employees and their personal lives has become a centre of attraction to many scholars in organizational studies. This is so because, of the array of benefits derivable from such strategies According to Champoux (2008), the essence of stress management is to keep dysfunctional stressors at an optimal level, to avoid the occurrences of psychological, physiological, and organizational consequences associated with such stressor. The author went further to assert that, stressors cannot be completed eliminate, but could be maintained at a realistic level of both the individual and the organization: According to Joshi (2008). Not all the forms of stress are bad or should be reduced. This is hinged on the fact that certain stressors are said to be functional or good to be experienced by the employees. Hence, emphasis is on the management of the form of stress that is dysfunctional that can impair individual and organizational wellbeing.
Furthermore, stress management can also be described as a voluntary move by an organization to create an environment which reduces work-related pressures and enhances work relationships within the organization (Michael, 2008). Stress is currently an evolving phenomenon among the organizations and workers (Michie, 2002). This is owed to the increasing stress levels that affect workers experiences at the workplace. Workers experience and constantly feel stressed up and therefore, the need exist for adequate measures to be explored in this direction; or the effective management of the dysfunctional outcomes of such stress levels experienced by the workers (Fairbrother, & Warn, 2003). Stress at work is exponentially increasing, as a result of various external variables which include the likes of technological advancement and the fluctuations of a Nation’s economy;
Cordes & Dougherry (1993) suggest that people who perform jobs that are highly international or those who engage in the services of assisting others are susceptible to experiencing work—related burnout. Employees who suffer burnout are identified to be emotionally immersed in their work, with eroded levels of things that are not work: related (Champoux, 2008; Miller; 2008). This connotes that employees who experience burnout are emotionally impoverished, depersonalized and associated with low personal accomplishments (Maslach et al., 2001; Makashara et al., 2015).
According to Vinassa (2003), work stress and other psychosocial factors are recognized worldwide as a major challenge to workers‟ health and the health of organizations. Work stress has been proved to adversely impact on individuals‟ psychological and physical health, as well as organizations‟ effectiveness. Workers who are stressed are more likely to be unhealthy, poorly motivated, less productive and less safe to work with at work. Organizations whose workers are stressed are also less likely to be successful in a competitive market.
Stress management is usually explored to prevent destructive stressor not to attain undesirable levels when identified (Shermerhorn & Wright, 2008; Joshi, 2008). It is further indicated that areas that are stressors laden include role ambiguities, conflicts, and overload including factors that are personal-related. This implies that if the sources through which stressors originated are identified and managed, it is unlikely that employees will experience burnout often.
Champbux (2008) note that, the primary motive of stress management, is to maintain an optimal level of stressors for both the employee and the organization, appreciating that some stressors are unavoidable and functional (Mishere & Von Gliow, 2008; Ndawula, 2013), The author further advanced that, stress management encompasses two levels, of implementation, namely: the individual level and organizational level. While ‘the individual level involves stress reduction, stress resilience, and stress recuperation strategies, similar strategies could also be replicated at the organizational level, ‘According to Mschene & Von Gliow (2008), the essence of stress management is to remove the stressors that may inhibit wellbeing and performance of the employee from the stressful environment.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Managing stress in the workplace has fundamentally become inescapable as a result of the behavioural and dysfunctional consequences associated with it, as stress takes its toll in both the individual and the organization. Employees experience stressful situation at work from the effects of stressors that emanate from the work environment and other personal related factors. Some of the stressors in this regard are said to be functional, while others are dysfunctional, and can impede employees from having a good fit with the work environment for them to perform in achieving their personal goals and that of the organization. A volume of scholars suggest that, managing employee stress in the workplace involve individual and organizational level strategies that can minimize the manifestations and menace of dysfunctional stressors (Miller, 2008; Foshi, 2008). This means that, stressors are integral to the work environment, and those that are dysfunctional in nature can be maintained an optimal level through effective stress management.
On the, other hand, opinion converge that extreme cases of stress caused by dysfunctional stressors, cause employee job burnout. Burnout is an extreme condition of emotionally depression, further characterized by exhaustion, loss of personality, and eroded personal achievements. Burnout syndrome has been found to be associated with certain individual and organizational level consequences such as impaired wellbeing, poor work life balance and performance (Ndawula, 2013). Other forms of pitfalls are dysfunctional turnover (Leiter & lvlaslach, 2009), employee job dissatisfaction (Aiken et al, 2002), and poor emotional stability and problem solving (Tnaet al., 2009).
On this premise of reasoning, most employees of oil firms are identified to be emotionally exhausted, depressed in the discharge of their official responsibilities, and found lacking in their personal accomplishments, thus typifying extreme cases of dysfunctional stressors on employee on job burnout. Consequently, the said employees in this service industry experience impaired wellbeing, poor work life balance, job dissatisfaction and eroded emotional stability. Given their scenario, it has become necessary to correlate stress management and employee job burnout in the Nigerian banking industry, with a view to ameliorating the situation. This is why a study of this nature has become pertinent.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objectives of this study is to examine the relationship between stress management and corporate survival in Agip oil company.
The Specific objectives are as follows:
1. To examine the relationship between job redesign and corporate survival.
2. To examine the relationship between job rotation and corporate survival.
3. To examine the relationship between reward system and corporate survival.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions are posed to guide this study as follows:
1. To what extent does job redesign enhance corporate survival?
2. To what extent does job rotation promote corporate survival?
3. To what extent does reward system influence corporate survival?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:
Ho1: There is no significant relationship between job redesign and corporate survival.
Ho2: There is no significant relationship between job rotation and corporate survival.
Ho3: There is no significant relationship between reward system and corporate survival.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The relevance of this study is justified by the following:
This study addresses the relationship between stress management and corporate survival of Agip Oil Company in Port Harcourt. The outcomes of this study will in no small measure contribute to the management of human resource in various organizations, regarding the relationship between the management of stress and employee job burnout.
The findings of this study, will equally serve as a reference material for subsequent research work that will be related to the variables investigated, more so regarding the techniques and methods utilized. Furthermore, the findings of this study will provide evidence for validity the outcomes of previous studies, both practicing managers, academics, students and organizational will immensely benefit from the outcomes of this investigation; even those outside the academic field inclusive.
The scope of this study is delimited under the following mainly: content scope, geographical scope, and unit of analysis:
Content Scope: This study investigates the relationship between stress management and employee job burnout stress management as the predictor variable have (a) Job redesign, (b) Job rotation, and (c) reward system , as dimensions. On the other hand, the criterion variables which are corporate survival have (a) increased sale, (b) increased capital size, and (c) innovation, as measures. The relationship between the predictor variable and the criterion variables is moderated by organizational culture.
Geographical Scope: The geographical scope of this study delimited to Agip Oil Company with regional offices/headquarters situated in Port Harcourt.
Unit of Analysis: This is a macro-level, investigation, as it investigates corporate survival, and how this can be addressed using stress management.
In carrying out study of this nature, it is natural that the researcher was constrained by certain limiting factors, but will not adulterate the required fact, desired of the study. First of such constraining factors encompass financial constraints. A study of this nature, will obviously involve a huge financial outlay that will also expose the researcher to a level of financial expenditure. Second, another factor that constrain the researcher is time-frame allowable for the study. Third, the uncompromising behaviour of some respondents in the data collection process, will also be limiting. Finally, another limiting factor in the circumstance is the difficulties involved in accessing materials for the study.
1.8 Definition of Terms
The following terms associated with this study are operationally defined below:
INCREASED CAPITAL Size: capital size is the total amount of stock, both common and preferred, that a public company has the authorization to issue. Capital size is the number of shares that can ever be outstanding or held by shareholders.
INCREASED SALES The amount by which the average sales volume of a company’s products or services has grown, typically from year to year. Sales Growth is the parameter which is used to measure the performance of the sales team to increase the revenue over a pre-determined period of time.
INNOVATION As the successful introduction of a better thing or method. It is the embodiment, combination, or synthesis of knowledge in original, relevant, valued new products, processes, or services.
JOB REDESIGN: An organizational mechanism utilized to reduce job overload experienced by employees with the aim of eliminating the stressors.
JOB ROTATION: This is an organizational technique utilized to move employees from one job to another with the aim of enabling such employees experience new skills and knowledge in task accomplishment.
REWARD SYSTEM: Reward system is defined as a structured method of evaluation and compensation employees based on their performance.
STRESS MANAGEMENT: This involves the entire techniques or methods that will be useful in the management of employee stress at work.
Stress: A condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize (Robbins, 2005).
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