Second World Congress On Stress, Melbourne, Australia, October 25-29, 1998


Professor Cary Cooper and Kate Sparks,

Manchester School of Management,


P.O. Box 88

Manchester M60 1QD,



Sparks K. and Cooper C.L.

Manchester School of Management

United Kingdom

This paper reviews findings from an international occupational stress survey of managers from 22 nations. Comparative analyses investigated cultural differences in sources of work pressure, job satisfaction, work locus of control, coping skills, and mental and physical health. These differences are interpreted against the background of economic development and change taking place in the nations concerned. Future research strategies and workplace interventions are suggested to enhance employee well-being in cultures at different stages of economic development


O'Driscoll M. and Dewe P.

University of Waikato and Massey University

New Zealand

A survey was conducted of 540 managerial personnel in a variety of New Zealand organizations, to ascertain levels of physical and psychological well-being, the sources of stress experienced by these personnel, locus of control and perceptions of control over the work environment, and job satisfaction. Relationships between these variables will be reviewed, and comparisons made with other countries surveyed as part of this international project. The potential moderating effects of locus of control and

perceptions of control on the stressor - strain relationship will be identified. Strategies which organizations might utilize to counteract the impact of psychological strain will also be discussed.


Dr. M. O'Driscoll

Department of Psychology,

University of Waikato,

Private Bag 3105,


New Zealand.


Lu L. and Tseng H.

Kaohsiung Medical College


This study tested an integrative work stress model using data from a heterogeneous sample of Taiwanese managers. Results indicated that these managers were under considerable work stress and were at risks of mental and physical ill-health. Internal control was related to higher job satisfaction, and was beneficial to mental health. However, it's interaction with work stress was detrimental to psychological well-being. A specific facet of the Type A behaviour pattern was also related to poorer physical health. These results were discussed with an emic emphasis, taking into account some of the distinctive characteristics of the Chinese culture.


Professor Luo Lu,

Graduate Institute of Behavioural Sciences,

Kaohsiung Medical College,

100 Shih-Chuan 1st Road,

Kaohsiung 807,




Siu O.L.

Lingnan College, Hong Kong

The purpose of this study was to investigate occupational stress in Hong Kong managers before (N = 280) and after (N = 192) the Handover in 1997 using the Occupational Stress Indicator -2 (OSI - 2). The samples were drawn from a broad cross-section of managers in Hong Kong by random sampling and purposive sampling methods. Self-administered questionnaire survey methods were used to collect quantitative data. The degree of similarity of the main variables in the two sets of data was high, as the correlation coefficients obtained were between 0.91 and 1.00. The results showed that the reliabilities and predictive validity of the OSI - 2 subscales were reasonably high in both samples. The logical relationships between job satisfaction, physical and mental well-being, and quitting intention that were found in the two samples have provided support to the findings obtained in Western countries. The results did not show any differences in the self-report measures of stressors and strains before and after the Handover. However, multiple regressional analyses revealed different predictors for health and strain effects in each case. Before the Handover, the predictors for job satisfaction were organizational climate and relationships; the predictors for mental well-being were organizational climate and personal responsibility, with workload, alone, predicting physical well-being; and the predictors for quitting intention were relationships and personal responsibility. After the Handover, there was no significant predictor for job satisfaction; the predictor for both physical and mental well-being was management role, and the predictor for quitting intention was recognition. The author concluded that there were no differences in the mean scores for stressors and strains of the two groups, but different sources of stress explained different outcomes before and after the Handover in 1997.


Ms O. L. Siu,

Department of Politics and Sociology,

Lingnan College,

Fu Tei, Tuen Mun,


Hong Kong,



Pagon, M

University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Sources and outcomes of occupational stress among managers are examined on a sample of 499 managers from private and public sector organizations in Slovenia. In addition to using several demographic variables, the study employs the Occupational Stress Indicator 2 (OSI 2). and the Work Locus of Control Scale.

The most important sources of stress in terms of the outcomes (i.e. job satisfaction, mental and physical well-being) are pressures originating from organizational climate, relationships, home/work balance and responsibility. Perceptions of the sources of stress are significantly influenced by the respondents' locus of control, both general and work-related. Type A does not influence these perceptions, with one exception, namely, the more impatient the subjects, the more inclined they are to perceive stress from work hassles. The level of perceived stress at work is unrelated to the extent of coping-by-control, but positively related to coping-by-support. While managers use control as a means of coping regardless of the level of perceived stress, they increase their reliance on support as a means of coping when they perceive higher levels of work-related stress. However, whilst the coping-by-control strategy positively influences all stress-related outcomes (i.e. it leads to higher job satisfaction and higher well-being), coping-by-support does not influence any of those outcomes. Locus of control also influences all stress-related outcomes. Managers with internal locus of control (both general and work-related) are more satisfied and report higher levels of mental and physical well-being. The two components of a Type A behavior pattern show different influences upon outcome measures. Whilst the impatience lowers contentment, peace of mind, physical calmness, and energy, the drive increase satisfaction with the job itself and resilience. The results also show the beneficial influence of physical exercising upon mental and physical well-being. The best strategy for managers to resist negative stress-related outcomes seems to be increasing their level of control and exercising regularly.


Dr M. Pagon,

College of Police and Security Studies,

University of Ljubljana,

Kotnikova 8,

1000 Ljubljana,



Karen Miller and Mike Greyling

University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Examining occupational stress from an international perspective provides an opportunity to start clarifying the impact of men and women's different socialization or cultural experiences on their experiences of occupational stress. Numerous theorists (e.g. Deux (1985), Greenglass (1995) and Wallstone (1987)) have argued that differences between men and women on a variety of variables are not attributable to biological differences but rather to the psychological, social and cultural features that have become associated with the biological categories of female and male. However, it appears that research in occupational stress, while acknowledging these issues, has rarely addressed the cultural features underlying men and women's experiences of stress. The current research does so by exploring and comparing male and female manager's experiences of stressors, coping and strains in countries with different national work cultures, different levels of women's inclusion in managerial positions and different levels of economic development. Specifically, the research answers the following questions: 1. Do male and female managers differ in the stress symptoms (strains) they report? 1a. Do managers from different countries differ in the stress symptoms (strains) they report?

1b. Is there an interaction between gender and country in the reporting of stress symptoms (strains)?

2. Do male and female managers differ in their experiences of the sources of stress (stressors) to which they are exposed? 2.1 Do managers from different countries differ in their experiences of the sources of stress (stressors) to which they are exposed? 2.2 Is there an interaction between gender and country in managers'experiences of the sources of stress to which they are exposed? 3. Do male and female managers differ in the way in which they cope with stress? 3.1 Do managers from different countries differ in the way in which they cope with stress? 3.2 Is there an interaction between gender and country in the way in which managers cope with stress?

The assumption underlying this research is that ,by including cross-cultural comparisons, the answers to these questions, taken as a whole, provide some insight into the cultural features that may underlie men and women's experiences of occupational stress.


Ms Karen Miller,

Department of Psychology,

University of the Witwatersrand,

Private Bag 3,

WITS 2050,

South Africa.


Shima, S.*, Arai, M.** and Hiro H.***

* Tokyo Keizai University, ** School of Medicine Juntendo University,

*** Health Center, NKK,


A set of questionnaires were administered to 2,017 employees (male 86% and female 14%, 18-59 yr.) from Tokyo. The questionnaires included Stress at Work Questionnaire (Cooper, et al. 1996), the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) (Goldberg, 1972), and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) (NIMH, 1972). Total scores on the GHQ revealed that 31.2% of the subjects were neurotic, and total scores on the CES-D showed that 4.8% of the subjects were depressed. Multiple regression analyses were conducted treating the total scores of GHQ and CES-D as dependent variables and the subscales of Stress at Work Questionnaire, age, gender, and living with or without spouse as independent variables. When GHQ was used as an indicator of the level of mental health, the following variables were selected with the coefficient of determination of 0.181; workload (beta, 0.237), hassles ( 0.195), support (-0.141), home/work balance (-0.128), organizational climate (0.124), managerial role (-0.118), spouse (0.099), control (-0.054), and age (-0.064). When CES-D was used as an indicator of the level of mental health, only three variables were selected with the coefficient of determination of 0.120; hassles (0.214), spouse (0.113), and control (-0.054). The authors concluded that whilst the undesirable effect of job stress on mental health was found in this study, analyses showed that factors related to the level of mental health heavily depended on which indicators of mental health were used.


Dr. Satoru Shima,

Tokyo Keizai Univeristy,




Ostrognay G. and Hart P.

University of Melbourne,


What are the environmental and personal determinants of managerial stress? Drawing on the dynamic equilibrium theory of stress, it was hypothesised that stable personality characteristics, particularly neuroticism, would be the strongest predictor of indices of occupational well-being (e.g., psychological distress and strain) and bottom-line outcomes, such as the propensity to submit a workers' compensation claim for stress. Data were obtained from a sample of 200 managers who worked from private sector organisations in Australia. A series of structural equation analyses showed that although environmental conditions (e.g., organisational climate and organisational stressors) contributed to occupational well-being and bottom-line outcomes, the Big Five personality characteristics also made a substantial contribution. These results demonstrate that both environmental and personal characteristics must be taken into account when developing programs to reduce managerial stress.


Ms Gabrielle Ostrognay

Department of Psychology,

University of Melbourne,


Victoria 3052,



Poelmans, S., Chinchilla, N. & Cardona, P.

IESE, Universidad de Navarra,


Stress management is a relatively new topic in Spain. The purpose of this study is to chart the existing Spanish literature on stress, and to report some preliminary research results on management stress and stress management in Spain. The study is based on a literature study, a quantitative study (n=150 managers, using the CISMS-questionnaire) and a qualitative study (in-depth interviews with 15 managers and their spouse). In the first part we present the results of a study on management stress. The results are based on Spanish data, collected for the Collaborative International Study on Management Stress (CISMS), using the same standardised questionnaire. Topics that are being researched are biographical information, working history, health habits, work satisfaction, health status, health related behavior and interpretation, sources of mental pressure in the job, coping behavior, control over the work environment, and personal values.In the second part we compare our results with another Spanish sample that has been collected in Galicia, Spain. In the third part we present some data on organisational commitment, the work and family interface, and organisational initiatives in stress management. We compare these with data obtained in earlier studies (Cardona, 1997; Compernolle & Poelmans, 1996) and try to relate them with variables obtained from the Spanish CISMS study.


Dr. Steven Poelmans,


Universidad de Navarra,




Bernin, P, Theorell, T and Sandberg, C.G.

National Institute for Psychosocial Factors and Health, Stockholm,


The leadership and social status of managers have been under constant attack in Swedish mass media during recent years. Salaries and other benefits have been debated extensively. This illustrates the significance of scientific studies of managers and their function. Such a background would normally facilitate the recruitment of participants in a scientific study. On the other hand, a public debate of this kind may make managers reluctant to reveal their functioning to the outside world.

The goal was to obtain a sample of managers on the three top levels representing different segments of Swedish management. Large multinational companies were approached. It soon became obvious that it was exceedingly difficult to get into direct contact with the top management. Gatekeepers were successfully preventing such contact. And when lower levels of management were contacted, decisions regarding company participation were slow and vague. The best way to arrive at a decision was to proceed in a determined way to direct contact with top management. Still the negotiations could take as long as four months.

The sample of companies that finally made a positive decision to participate represents a cross-section of service activities: one bank company, one bus driving company, one company within "Sweden Energy", one telephone producing company, and some smaller companies. Altogether 290 subjects have been asked to participate in these companies.

The study results will be presented in feedback to the different companies. The Swedish study will include components other than the international "stress and at work" questionnaire. First of all, the participants will be asked to fill out work environment questionnaires that have been used extensively in epidemiological studies. This will enable us to relate the findings to those in the Swedish working force in general. Secondly, a blood sample will be taken in the morning. Endocrinological analyses (cortisol, testosterone, prolactin) of these samples will enable us to relate the study group physiologically to other working groups.


Ms P. Bernin,

National Institute for Psychosocial Factors and Health,

Box 230,





Widerszal-Bazyl, M.

Central Institute for Labour Protection,

Warsaw, Poland.

The aim of the undertaken analyses was to trace the relations between the forms of ownership of enterprises (private, state) and managerial stress. Among the studied group of 269 managers of various levels, 3 main categories of ownership were selected: state, private and an in-between form. It was expected that the form of ownership would influence the stress sources and outcomes (as it is measured by OSI-2), dominant behaviour pattern (in relation to the type A behaviour pattern concept), the values (in relation to the Hofstede concept). In post-communist countries, including Poland, the question about the role of ownership has a special sense. This means not only the comparison of different forms of ownership equally rooted in social reality but means also the comparison of „new" private organisations (established mainly after the political system change in 1989) with „old" state organisations. The achieved results indicate among others that:


Dr. Maria Widerszal-Bazyl,

Central Institute for Labour Protection,

ul. Czerniakowska 16,

00-701 Warsaw,