Sources of Stress on Managers at Work

  • Cary L. Cooper
Part of the Psychology for Professional Groups book series


The complexity of industrial organizational life is increasingly a source of stress for managers. Brummet, Pyle and Flamholtz (1968) suggest that managers are suffering extreme physiological symptoms from stress at work, such as disabling ulcers or coronary heart disease (CHD), which force them to retire prematurely from active work before they have had an opportunity to complete their potential organizational life. These and other stress-related effects (e.g. tension, poor adjustment, etc.) also feed into the family, becoming potential sources of disturbance and thus pervading the whole quality of managerial life. The mental and physical health effects of job stress are not only disruptive influences on the individual managers, but also a ‘real’ cost to the organization, on whom many individuals depend: a cost which is rarely, if ever, seriously considered either in human or financial terms by organizations, but one which they incur in their day-to-day operations. In order to do something positive about sources of stress on managers at work, it is important to be able to identify them. The success of any effort to minimize stress and maximize job satisfaction will depend on accurate diagnosis, for different stresses will require different action.


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Annotated reading

  1. Buck, V.E. (1972) Working Under Pressure. London: Staples. This is an early book in the stress field, which highlights a seminal study in the area. It explores the nature of boss-subordinate relationships, but is limited by the method of data analysis and the theoretical frame work it adopts.Google Scholar
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  4. Marshall, J. and Cooper, C.L. (1979) Executives Under Pressure. London: Macmillan. This book examines the qualilty of managerial life. It focusses on the problems of managerial redundancy, early retirement, job mobility, training and the home-work interface.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© The British Psychological Society 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cary L. Cooper

There are no affiliations available

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