Framing stress and associated behaviours at work: an ethnography study in the United Kingdom
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AbstractAim: The purpose is to understand more precisely the culture and interpersonal behaviours associated with stress. Methods: The research was conducted using a qualitative approach through an ethnographic methodology in relation to three companies. The greater part of the data collection period was structured into observations that ranged between 2 and 4 hours per day, 1 to 3 days per week, for a period of 6 months. A total of 10 sites were explored; and on each site, the observations involved activities by 5 to 20 people. Findings: The results showed the pivotal importance of interpersonal relationships in coping with the uncertainty of working conditions, the coordination of team-work, and managing responsibilities and power interactions. It was found that the impact of stress is multifaceted, affecting the physical status, interpersonal relationships, work performance, and emotional wellbeing of construction workers. The workers who were studied emphasised five sources of support that help moderate work-related stress: additional tools such as communication systems and software, a facilitated access to professional help (e.g. psychological services), organisational changes in leadership, provision of resources for the wellbeing of personnel (e.g. job training) and better teamwork. Practical implications: The study underlines the importance of dedicated services for stress management and specific training-related abilities devoted to reinforcing positive person-organization dynamics. In particular, the abilities should relate to managing the impact of stress in terms of physique, interpersonal relationships, work performance, and emotional well-being. Originality/value: This is one of the first studies to adopt a psychological perspective for understanding construction scenarios and phenomena and was conducted by a qualified psychologist.
CitationHampton, P., Chinyio, E. and Riva, S. (2019), Framing stress and associated behaviours at work: An ethnography study in the United Kingdom, Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 26(11), pp. 2566-2580. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-10-2018-0432
PublisherEmerald Publishing Group
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
SponsorsEU Horizon 2020/ Marie Curie. INSTINCT Project (EU Individual Fellowship)
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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States