Impact of Occupational Hassles and Supervisory Style on Perceived Occupational Stress
Lobban, Raymond K.
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The study of occupational stress and its effect on health has been the subject of increasing research and public awareness in the last twenty years. Research has identified a number of significant factors related to a variety of outcomes, but much of the variation in individual responses has not yet been explained. This study expands the understanding of the role of supervisory characteristics and daily occupational hassles with job satisfaction. The Abitibi-Price Supervision and Stress (APSS) research included 187 employees from 7 branch locations and 3 job types in a cross-sectional study of the relationships between supervisory style, occupational hassles, previously studied chronic occupational stressors (job demand, decision latitude, role conflict, role ambiguity) and job satisfaction. Measures of individual differences and objective organizational and job characteristics were included in the analysis. Individual differences in affect intensity and job experience were related to the appraisal of occupational hassles as threatening. In addition, the APSS research found a close link between organizational financial performance and the stress process. The APSS study provided significant evidence of a relationship between supervisory style and perceived chronic stressors and job satisfaction. Some evidence was found for a relationship between objective measures of supervisory style and the perceived stressors, but the stronger relationship indicated for perceived measures of style supports a role for cognitive perception and appraisal in the stress process. Increased supervisory delegation was related to decreased chronic stressors and increased job satisfaction. Increased supervisory direction corresponded to increases in the job demand stressors, but was not related to the level of role stressors. Direction was highly related to job satisfaction, with the highest job satisfaction apparent in the middle of the direction range. The measure of supervisor-employee relationship was strongly related to all stressors and satisfaction, with decreased stressors and increased satisfaction related to increased quality of relationship. Measures of perceived supervisory style explained more of the variation in job satisfaction than did the previously studied chronic stressors. The role of daily occupational hassles in the stress process was supported, with an identified relationship to job satisfaction, but not to the other chronic stressors.
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