Title: Cyclical workplace stress and employee pathology: a conceptual framework

Authors: Jeffrey Overall

Addresses: Nipissing University, 100 College Drive, Box 5002, North Bay, ON, P1B 8L7, Canada

Abstract: The critical theorists of the Frankfurt School contend that the mental pathology of society is a result of the competitive nature of advanced economies. In advanced economies, white collar employees encounter intensifying pressure to meet organisational objectives. As a result, they experience chronic workplace stress that causes an increase in emotional consumption that negatively impacts their work ethic and, eventually, health. This is leading to a reduction in productivity that is contributing to poor decision-making and a cycle of workplace stress. To this end, a cyclical model of workplace stress and employee pathology is developed using critical theory and organisational theory. Propositions are included to guide future research directions. Implications for practice are outlined.

Keywords: emotional consumption; productivity loss; workplace stress; poor decisions; decision making; critical theory; organisational theory; wellness; employee pathology; emotions; white collar employees.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2016.078075

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2016 Vol.7 No.2, pp.98 - 112

Received: 22 Jun 2015
Accepted: 27 Oct 2015

Published online: 28 Jul 2016 *

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