An investigation into psychological stress detection and management in organisations operating in project and construction management

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

While psychologists remain divided whether ‘workplace stress’ is caused by workplace experiences or other factors, it’s
commonly accepted that, regardless of cause, people experiencing stress can demonstrate decreased workplace performance.
From a human performance and productivity perspective, from whence stress arises is somewhat irrelevant–the relevant fact is
that it’s far more important to have systems and procedures in place to contribute to avoidance of undue work environmentcaused
stress. It is also important to identify when an employee is exhibiting signs of stress than it is to focus only on remedial
measures for when stress effects have already taken their toll on a person. Many organisations engage external service providers
to deal with management of stress effects on people. It has not been clear how many organisations engaged in construction or
project management address workplace environment as a potential causal factor in stress as part of organisational risk
management. This paper focuses more on what leading construction and project management organisations are doing (and
according to benchmark practice, should be doing) to address the matter of stress impacts on employees from a three phase
perspective–environmental stressors, management training to identify early signs of stress, and managing employee stress when
it is clearly affecting performance. The paper also proposes an approach by which organisations in construction and project
management can become more effective in this three phase approach to stress management in the workplace, based on a pilot
study which is the basis of more in-depth research currently under way at Bond University.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)682-691
Number of pages10
JournalProcedia: Social and Behavioural Sciences
Volume119
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event27th IPMA (International Project Management Association), World Congress - Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Duration: 30 Sep 20133 Oct 2013

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psychological stress
Psychological Stress
Workplace
Organizations
management
workplace
Benchmarking
employee
Psychology
performance
stress management
project management
Research
psychologist
productivity

Cite this

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title = "An investigation into psychological stress detection and management in organisations operating in project and construction management",
abstract = "While psychologists remain divided whether ‘workplace stress’ is caused by workplace experiences or other factors, it’scommonly accepted that, regardless of cause, people experiencing stress can demonstrate decreased workplace performance.From a human performance and productivity perspective, from whence stress arises is somewhat irrelevant–the relevant fact isthat it’s far more important to have systems and procedures in place to contribute to avoidance of undue work environmentcausedstress. It is also important to identify when an employee is exhibiting signs of stress than it is to focus only on remedialmeasures for when stress effects have already taken their toll on a person. Many organisations engage external service providersto deal with management of stress effects on people. It has not been clear how many organisations engaged in construction orproject management address workplace environment as a potential causal factor in stress as part of organisational riskmanagement. This paper focuses more on what leading construction and project management organisations are doing (andaccording to benchmark practice, should be doing) to address the matter of stress impacts on employees from a three phaseperspective–environmental stressors, management training to identify early signs of stress, and managing employee stress whenit is clearly affecting performance. The paper also proposes an approach by which organisations in construction and projectmanagement can become more effective in this three phase approach to stress management in the workplace, based on a pilotstudy which is the basis of more in-depth research currently under way at Bond University.",
author = "Alan Patching and Rick Best",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.03.076",
language = "English",
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pages = "682--691",
journal = "Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences",
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AU - Patching, Alan

AU - Best, Rick

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N2 - While psychologists remain divided whether ‘workplace stress’ is caused by workplace experiences or other factors, it’scommonly accepted that, regardless of cause, people experiencing stress can demonstrate decreased workplace performance.From a human performance and productivity perspective, from whence stress arises is somewhat irrelevant–the relevant fact isthat it’s far more important to have systems and procedures in place to contribute to avoidance of undue work environmentcausedstress. It is also important to identify when an employee is exhibiting signs of stress than it is to focus only on remedialmeasures for when stress effects have already taken their toll on a person. Many organisations engage external service providersto deal with management of stress effects on people. It has not been clear how many organisations engaged in construction orproject management address workplace environment as a potential causal factor in stress as part of organisational riskmanagement. This paper focuses more on what leading construction and project management organisations are doing (andaccording to benchmark practice, should be doing) to address the matter of stress impacts on employees from a three phaseperspective–environmental stressors, management training to identify early signs of stress, and managing employee stress whenit is clearly affecting performance. The paper also proposes an approach by which organisations in construction and projectmanagement can become more effective in this three phase approach to stress management in the workplace, based on a pilotstudy which is the basis of more in-depth research currently under way at Bond University.

AB - While psychologists remain divided whether ‘workplace stress’ is caused by workplace experiences or other factors, it’scommonly accepted that, regardless of cause, people experiencing stress can demonstrate decreased workplace performance.From a human performance and productivity perspective, from whence stress arises is somewhat irrelevant–the relevant fact isthat it’s far more important to have systems and procedures in place to contribute to avoidance of undue work environmentcausedstress. It is also important to identify when an employee is exhibiting signs of stress than it is to focus only on remedialmeasures for when stress effects have already taken their toll on a person. Many organisations engage external service providersto deal with management of stress effects on people. It has not been clear how many organisations engaged in construction orproject management address workplace environment as a potential causal factor in stress as part of organisational riskmanagement. This paper focuses more on what leading construction and project management organisations are doing (andaccording to benchmark practice, should be doing) to address the matter of stress impacts on employees from a three phaseperspective–environmental stressors, management training to identify early signs of stress, and managing employee stress whenit is clearly affecting performance. The paper also proposes an approach by which organisations in construction and projectmanagement can become more effective in this three phase approach to stress management in the workplace, based on a pilotstudy which is the basis of more in-depth research currently under way at Bond University.

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