The aim of this study was to determine the level of existence of stress by employees in different management levels as well as to indicate the differences between the races in terms of their experiencing of stress. Work stress is a progressive universal phenomenon in organisations which holds negative implications for the individual in the organisation as well as the organization, when it manifests into redundant and unnecessary stress. Puth (1994:3) is of opinion that the employee is one of the organisation’s most valuable resources. An effective human resource is composed of knowledgeable, competent and motivated employees. Excessive and uncontrolled stress can affect employees in such a way that it can have a negative effect on the healthy and successful organisational functioning of both the employees and the organisation. Disadvantages can include reduced motivation, profit and work satisfaction, disharmony between employees and management and even loss of lives. Greenhouse&Callanan (1994:222) emphasize the fact that work stress won’t disappear, unless control is being taken to ensure that physical health and wellbeing are not negatively affective. A comprehensive literature study was undertaken to get clarity on the terms management and stress (especially the causes of stress, the consequences and effective stress management and –handling techniques). This study will give an indication of the stress levels being experienced on the different management levels (senior-, middle- and junior management), as well as the causes of stress from inside and outside the workplace. The research strategy used, was the survey method which consisted of a comprehensive questionnaire, namely the Experience of Work and Life Circumstances Questionnaire (WLQ). It is standardised for the South African context and measures the level of stress as well as the causes from inside and outside the workplace which contribute to stress experience. In the empirical study, the target population’s biographic composition was determined, which included their management level, age, marital status, highest educational qualification, language preference and period of service. The results and findings of the study were captured by using descriptive statistics and non-parametric methods. The aim of the non-parametric methods was to determine significant differences in the experiencing of stress between the different management levels and diverse races. Results were obtained on three dimensions of the experiencing of stress, namely: -- Experiencing of stress in management level -- Experiencing of stress in diverse races -- Experiencing of stress in management level and diverse races The most significant findings will shortly be discussed. -- Experiencing of stress in management level There was a significant connection in terms of the experiencing of stress between senior and middle management on the causes outside of work, as well as the expectations inside the work context regarding remuneration. A significant connection between middle and junior management was also observed in terms of causes outside of work. -- Experiencing of stress in diverse races There was a significant connection between black and white managers in terms of their experiencing of stress due to causes outside of work as well as expectations in the work context due to social factors. -- Experiencing of stress in management level and diverse races Only in middle management a significant connection was observed between management level and diverse races due to causes outside of work leading to stress. Given the findings, it is clear that black middle managers experienced higher levels of stress as their white colleagues due to causes outside the work context. Recommendations for future research were also made.
Dissertation (MCom (Human Resources Management))--University of Pretoria, 2006.