Sources of Stress

Stressors act as determinants of tension. Stressors are those conducts, state of affairs, or happenings that put extra demands on an individual. The list of possible stressors is manifold. Various sources of stress are as follows:

Sources of Stress - Individual, Group, Organisational, Extra-organisational Stressors


Individual Stressors

Individual stressors result from the thoughts of an individual about the surrounding in which he lives. The environment is not always frightening, but the individual observes the situation as frightening and responds accordingly. Problems like role conflict, role ambiguity, and non-specific fears like the fear of the future and failure can make an individual stressed. 

Different individual sources of stress are as follows:

1) Personality Type: 

The personality traits in organisational behaviour of an individual are internal sources of stress. The personality of people can be divided into the following categories:

i) Type A Personality: The people possessing Type A personality are prone to suffer stress due to the inbuilt traits of their personality. Type A people are characterised by a sense of irritability and eagerness, fighting spirit, forceful attainment attitude, killer instinct, tendencies of performing various tack simultaneously, concealing true emotions, and a sense of perfection but lack self-confidence. 


ii) Type B Personality: The people possessing Type B personalities have a little susceptibility to internal stressors due to their basic traits. Type B personality people are carefree; less ambitious, have an approachable attitude; treat everything easily, possess a lot of mannerisms; have no ill feelings and aggression towards others and have no obligation towards the time limit.


2) Role Conflict: 

Many variables play a significant role in determining the behaviour of an employee in a given task Some of these variables arise from employees while some from the organisation. There are combinations of needs and anticipation that an employee puts upon himself while some are put by others. This leads to a group of forces which are called role pressures. Thus, role conflict occurs when two or more role pressures contradict each other.


3) Role Ambiguity: 

Lack of transparency about one’s performance, job objectives, and the extent of the responsibilities of one’s job are termed role ambiguity. Every human being experiences some amount of role ambiguity. The first posting, promotion or transfer, a new head at the workplace, first responsibility as supervisor, a new organisation, change in an organisational arrangement, etc, create role ambiguity for a short period, Impact of these ambiguities is neither positive nor unbearable. 


4) Work Overload: 

When an individual communicates with his surroundings, an overburden of work may occur. The amount of work to be done is overloaded or not depending on the perception of employees. This is because what is excessive for a person need not be overloaded for the other one.


5) Responsibility: 

Responsibilities also make a person stressed as it puts a burden on an individual. For example, we often come across people who after moving into a management or similar position, willingly return to their previous job assignment due to disinterest in the new job or not being able to cope with the obligations of a new job. Thus, various types of job responsibilities work differently and act as stressors.


6) Career Development Stressors: 

Career development stressors are those stressors that affect an individual’s thinking about his career growth. Career variables become stressors when people have wrong notions about them and observe them as bothering, apprehensive, or annoying.


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