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CHAPTER – VI

INDIVIDUAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL STRESS MANAGEMENT


AND COPING MECHANISM
IN MNCs – AN ANALYSIS

This chapter highlights the stress management techniques of the organization by


using frequency distribution analysis. To suggest the implementation of coping
mechanism among the executives of sample multinational companies, the parametric
relationship is estimated through Karl Pearson’s co-efficiency of correlation.

INDIVIDUAL COPING STRATEGIES

High level stress affects the individual directly and through them, their families
and organizations are also affected. Therefore, efforts should be made to overcome the
negative consequences of high stress. Stress management is required when an individual
is unable to cope with the demanding environment. This inability generates anxiety and
produces defensive behavior and stress symptoms. Therefore, certain actions are required
for
developing adaptive behavior so as to overcome the consequences of stress. Such actions
may be taken at individual level as well as at organizational level.

Stress may cause within organizational context and outside. Therefore, coping
strategies may be adopted by individuals without reference to the organization.
Individual coping strategies tend to be more reactive in nature. That is, they tend to have
ways of coping with stress that has already occurred. Some individual strategies, such as
physical exercise, can be both reactive and proactive, but most are geared towards
helping the person who is already suffering from stress. Following are the major
individual coping strategies:
Physical exercise

Physical exercise is a good strategy to get body fit and to overcome stress.
Physical exercises of different types such as, walking, jogging, swimming; playing, etc.
are good methods of overcoming stress. The role of Yoga, a scientific technique of
physical exercise to keep body fit and to overcome stress.

Relaxation

Impact of stress can be overcome by relaxation. The relaxation can be simple one
or some specific techniques of relaxation such as biofeedback and meditation.

Work-home transition

Work-home transition is also like a relaxation technique. For instance, during the
last5 hour of work, the person can review the day’s activities; list the priorities of the
activities that need to be attended to the next day. Thus, he can finish his day’s work and
come back in relaxed manner.

Cognitive therapy

Because of increasing stress, special cognitive therapy techniques have been


developed by psychologists. In these techniques, lectures and interactive discussion
sessions are arranged to help participants.

Networking

Networking is the formation of close associations with trusted, empathetic co-


workers and colleagues who are good listeners and confident builders. Such persons
provide mental support to get the person through stressful situation.
The following analysis reveals several inferences drawn from the opinions of executives
to relieve themselves from of stress in the sample organizations

Table 6.1 Coping mechanism for individuals

Individual Yes % No % Total %


1 I listen to music 387 75.9 123 24.1 510 100
2 I attend club or social activities 266 52.2 244 47.8 510 100
3 I relax myself during the day 251 49.2 259 508 510 100
4 I do exercise 245 48 265 52 510 100
5 I meditate 270 52.9 240 47.1 510 100

The above frequency distribution table explains the stress management techniques
75.9% of executives listen to music, the most common strategy, to overcome stress.
That is why now-a-days one can hear soft music in almost every organization so that the
executives enjoy their work and feel energetic.

52.2% of executives attend club or social activities to overcome stress. Physical


exercise is a good strategy to get body fit and to overcome stress.

49.2% of executives relax during the day to overcome stress. The best strategy
to reduce stress is to relax. Just 10-15 minutes of relaxation will make the executives to
feel better the rest of the day.

Exercise is another good stress buster. 48% of executives do exercise to better


cope with stress. Physical exercises of different types such as walking, jogging,
swimming, playing, etc. are good methods of overcoming stress.

52.9% of executives meditate, which is one of the most effective techniques in


reducing and avoiding stress. Meditation enables one to control the thought process and
to take effective decisions. Regular practice of meditation helps our body to respond to
stress better.

Table 6.2 Coping mechanism for individuals

Yes % No % Total %
1 I try to laugh a lot during the day 274 53.7 236 46.3 510 100
2 I go for a walk 231 45.3 277 54.3 510 100
3 I take anti anxiety drugs 310 60.8 197 38.6 510 100
4 I keep a time planner 392 76.9 118 23.1 510 100
5 I try to prioritize my work 443 86.9 67 13.1 510 100

This table explains the practices such as laughing, walking, taking anti depression
drugs, prioritize work, time planner to overcome stress.

Laugh more or crack jokes in order to reduce stress. 53.7% of executives try to
laugh a lot to reduce stress. Laughter is a good de-stressor. A sense of humor allows an
individual to perceive and appreciate the imbalances of life and provides moments of
delight. It is a great stress buster.

45.3% of executives take a walk when they feel anxious about something.

60.8% of executives are taking anti depression drugs for stress reduction.

76.9% of executives follow time discipline. They create time for other things in
life. Effective time management ensures commitment to the schedule planner, to maintain
boundary between home and office and sticking to schedule.

86.9% of executives try to prioritize work. Multi tasking is the buzz word these
days. An individual requires special skills to perform multi task simultaneously. One
way to minimize stress while multi-tasking is to plan, prioritize and perform. Planning
involves preparing a list of activities that need to be performed.

Table 6.3 Coping mechanism for individuals

Yes % No % Total %
1 I take planned breaks from work 441 85.5 69 13.5 510 100
2 I delegate responsibility 443 84.9 77 15.1 510 100
3 I spend some time with my pet 402 78.8 108 21.2 510 100
4 I eat a balanced diet 374 73.3 136 26.7 510 100
5 I try to sleep 7-8 hours a day at 403 79.0 107 21 510 100
least 3-4 days a week
6 I have the habit of writing stress 420 82.4 90 17.6 510 100
diary
7 I listen to views of others and 434 85.1 76 149 510 100
provide effective feedback

This table indicates the practices such as planned breaks from work, delegation,
spend time with pet, balanced diet, sound sleep, writing stress diary listening to views of
others to reduce stress.

86.5% of executives take planned breaks from work to overcome stress. It


emphasizes that due to work pressure in the competitive world, executives spare time for
leisure purpose with which they can overcome their stress problem.

84.9% of executives delegate responsibilities to overcome stress. Some


individuals prefer doing all the work themselves. This adds to their stress. They should
learn to delegate routine work to others.

78.8% of executives spend some time with pet to reduce stress.


73.3% of executives eat a balanced diet. Just as a balanced diet is necessary for
the physical well being of an individual, a balanced life is necessary for the mental /
emotional and psychological well being of executives. A good balanced diet plays a vital
role in reducing stress.

79% of executives try to sleep 7-8 hours at least 3-4 days a week. A stressed
person may feel sleepy throughout the day and awake during nights. On an average
everyone needs at least 7-8 hours of sleep per day. After a good nights’ sleep, a person
feels fresh.

82.4% of executives have the habit of writing stress dairy as a stress reduction
technique.

85.1% of executives listen to views of others to provide effective and timely


feedback. Executives make a conscious effort to remain open to other ideas.

ORGANIZATIONAL COPING STRATEGIES

Organizational coping strategies are more of proactive nature, that is, they attempt
at removing existing or potential stressors and prevent the onset of stress of individual job
holders. There are many organizational stressors. Therefore, the organizational coping
strategies revolve round these factors which produce or help producing stresses.
Following are organizational coping techniques and efforts.

Supportive organizational climate

Many of the organizational stressors emerge because of faulty organizational


processes and practices. To a very great extent, these can be controlled by creating
supportive organizational climate.
Job enrichment

A major source of stress is the monotonous and disinteresting jobs being


performed by executives in the organization. Jobs can be enriched through more rational
designing of jobs.

Organizational role clarity

People experience stress when they are not clear about what they are expected to
do in the organization. This may happen because either there is ambiguity in the role or
there is role conflict. Role analysis technique helps both managers and executives to
analyse what the job entails and what the expectations are. Breaking down the job to its
various components clarifies the role of the job incumbent for the entire system. This
helps to eliminate imposing unrealistic expectations on the individual. Role ambiguity,
role conflict, and role overload can be minimized, consequently leading to reduced stress.

Career planning and counseling

Career planning and counseling helps the executives to obtain professional advice
regarding career paths that would help them to achieve personal goals. A variety of
career counseling programmes can be adopted: (i) devices designed to aid the individuals
in self-assessment and increased self-understanding; (ii) devices designed to
communicate opportunities available to individuals; (iii) career counseling through
interview by managers, counseling professionals and personnel and educational
specialists; (iv) workshops and educational activities designed to assist the individuals in
goal setting and establishing action plan for change; (v) educational and experimental
programmes to prepare individuals with skills and knowledge for new activities and new
careers; (vi) programmes for enhancing the individuals opportunities to make job and
career changes. Various career planning and counseling programmes for individuals go a
long way in providing them satisfaction and reducing the stress.
Stress control workshops

Organizations can organize periodical workshops for control and reduction of


stress. Such workshops may help individuals to learn the dynamics of stress and methods
of overcoming its ill effects.

Employee assistance programme

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a specifically, designed programme to


solve the personal problems of executives. These problems may be due to job stress or of
other types like legal, marital, financial or health-related. Since these problems
ultimately affect employee performance, to help executives deal with these personal
problems, more and more organizations are implementing employee assistance
programmes.

Table 6.4 Stress Management Techniques - Organizational coping strategies

Yes % No % Total %
1 Facilities like rest room, etc 399 78.2 111 21.8 510 100
2 Regular breaks at short intervals 389 76.3 121 23.7 510 100
3 Cafeteria facility 401 78.6 109 21.4 510 100
4 Regular health checkup 443 86.9 67 13.1 510 100
5 Transport facilities 446 87.5 64 12.5 510 100

This table highlights the organization techniques of stress management.

78.2% of executives need facilities like rest room for relaxation.

76.3% of executives relax by taking regular breaks at short intervals. Take a


conscious break, stop working and relax for three to five minutes.
78.6% of executives prefer cafeteria facility to relax, where executives feel free to
talk openly about their problems and get rid of stress.

86.9% of executives prefer regular health checkup. A personal health promotion


programme can be conducted which helps to describe the pursuant of one’s physical and
mental potential and reduce the health stress.

87.5% of executives prefer transport facility. Office transportation helps the


executives to avoid driving their own vehicle among the hectic traffic, which makes them
stressed out even before they could start the work.

Table 6.5 Organizational Coping Strategies

Yes % No % Total %
1 Off-site picnics / family trips 446 87.5 64 12.5 510 100
2 Recreational facilities 483 94.7 27 5.3 510 100
3 Programmes on balances dieting 438 85.9 72 14.1 510 100
yoga, mediations etc.
4 Programmes on time management 307 60.2 203 39.8 510 100
techniques
5 Personality and career 269 52.7 241 47.3 510 100
development programmes

This table explains the various mechanisms adopted to manage stress. 87.5% of
executives would like to go off-site picnics / family trips. 94.7% of executives make
arrangements of some recreational activities, trips and tours, a source of enjoyment that
shall reduce the level of stress among the executives.

94.7% of executives are interested in recreational facilities. Recreation facilities


like setting up a small gym, swimming pool, and badminton court, etc. at work place
normally helps the executives not only to stay fit but also to get rid of stress.
85.9% of executives are interested in programmes on balanced dieting, yoga,
meditation, etc. A good balanced diet plays a vital role in reducing stress. Yoga is
another important stress reliever. Yoga simply focuses on gentle postures that improve
orientation of blood to vital parts of the body. Meditation is one of the most effective
techniques in reducing and avoiding stress. Regular practice of meditation helps our
body to respond to stress better.

60.2% of executives indicated their interest on programmes on time management


techniques. Such techniques focus an executives to follow time discipline by ensuring
100% commitment, when at work, thereby creating time for other things in life.
Effective time management programmes presupposes a commitment to the schedule
planned, maintaining a boundary between home and office and sticking to schedule.

52.7% of executives showed their interest on personality and career development


programmes. The organization can hold such career development programme to
overcome stress.

Table 6.6 Organizational coping strategies

Yes % No % Total %
1 Executives assistance programme 234 45.9 276 54.1 510 100
(EAP)
2 Counseling 338 66.3 172 33.7 510 100
3 Incentives 345 67.6 165 32.4 510 100
4 Job rotation 303 59.4 207 40.6 510 100
From Table 6.6 it is observed the various coping up mechanism for stress. 45.9%
of executives shown their interest on Executives Assistance Programme. EAP is a
specifically designed programme to solve the personal problems of executives. These
problems may be due to job stress. Another type like legal, marital financial or health
related problems ultimately affect employee performance. To help executives deal with
these personal problems more and more organizations are implementing executives
assistance programme. 66.3% of executives are interested in counseling, so the
organization can hold counseling programmes regarding health problem family problem
and job problem. Counseling helps the executives to obtain professional advice
regarding career path that would help them to achieve personal goals.

67.6% executives agree getting incentive, appreciation and rewards for


achievement which will reduce stress.

59.4% of executives have agreed for job rotation which helps in reducing stress.
Job rotation, an approach to management development where an individual is moved
through schedule of assignment designed to give him / her best exposure to the entire
operation.

Where an individual is moved through schedule of assignment designed to give


him / her best exposure to the entire organization.

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CORRELATION

The parametric relationship is estimated through Karl Pearson’s co-


efficiency of correlation.

Table 6.7

PR ER
MP Pearson Correlation .167(**) .031
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .487
N 510 510
EP Pearson Correlation .251(**) .025
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .573
N 510 510
OD Pearson Correlation .182(**) .085
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .054
N 510 510
PA Pearson Correlation .099(*) .030
Sig. (2-tailed) .025 .504
N 510 510
ED Pearson Correlation .253(**) .041
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .353
N 510 510
RL Pearson Correlation .061 .229(**)
Sig. (2-tailed) .169 .000
N 510 510
GS Pearson Correlation .050 .159(**)
Sig. (2-tailed) .263 .000
N 510 510
CD Pearson Correlation .091(*) .123(**)
Sig. (2-tailed) .041 .006
N 510 510
TR Pearson Correlation .046 .064
Sig. (2-tailed) .301 .147
N 510 510
IR Pearson Correlation .190(**) .136(**)
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .002
N 510 510
From Table 6.7 it is found that management potential causes stress among the
executives in multinational companies and creates more physical responses that can be
identified among the employee (r =0.167). This shows that management potential causes
stress which has come out in the form of physiological changes that affects the
fundamental commitment of executives.

Physical response and the emotional response are united. It can be seen that
employee potential creates stress and its respective outcome, in the form of physiological
change among the executives (r = 0.251). Stress due to employee potential affects the
executives physiological factors.

It is inferred from the above table that the organizational development causes
stress among the executives in multinational companies and creates more physical
response, that can be seen among the executives (r=0.182). This shows that
organizational development causes stress which has resulted in the form of physiological
changes that affects involvement of executives.

Again it is noted from the table that the performance appraisal methods adopted by
the company, creates stress among the executives which results in physiological changes
among the executives (r=0.99). Stress caused due to performance appraisal affects the
performance of executives.

Further, it is observed from the table that the need for executive development
produces stress among the executives which in turn affects the physiological impact of
the executives (r=0.253). Stress released out of executive development interrupts the
commitment of executives. It is understood from the table that an analysis of the
executives roles in the organization causes stress and creates more emotional response
that can be identified among the executives (r=0.229). This reveals that the executives
role causes stress which has come out in the form of emotional changes that affects
commitment of executives.

The variable goal setting produces stress among the executives which can be
identified through the emotional response of stress (r=0.159). This shows that the goal
setting creates stress which is reflected through the emotional response that affects the
performance of executives. That the career development produce stress among the
executives of multinational companies and creates more physical and emotional response
of stress among the executives Physical response (r=0.091) and Emotional response
(r=0.123). This indicates that the career development cause stress and its respective
outcome, in the form of physiological and psychological (emotional) change which
affect, the fundamental commitment of executives.

It is inferred from the above table that the interpersonal relationship cause stress
among the executives of multinational companies and creates physical response and
emotional response of stress that can be identified among the executives Physical
Response=(r=0.190) Emotional Response=(r=0.136). This shows that the interpersonal
relationship causes stress which has come out in the form of physiological changes and
emotional changes that effect the commitment of the executives.

Table 6.8 Organizational effectiveness

OE
PR Pearson Correlation -.121(**)
Sig. (2-tailed) .006
N 510
ER Pearson Correlation -.422(**)
Sig. (2-tailed) .000
N 510
The sequential relationship between physical response to stress and emotional
response to stress are also identified through the Karl Pearson co-efficient of correlation.
It is found that both physical response and emotional response are negatively correlated
to the organizational effectiveness (r= -0.121) and (r = - 0.422). This shows
that the causes of stress in the form of physical and emotional responses create more
negative response towards organizational effectiveness. It is found that stress among the
executives’ leads to poor organizational effectiveness and productivity. This empirical
relationship leads to diagrammatic model of cause and effect of stress impact among the
executives of multinational companies. An empirical model on causes and effect stress
impact among the executive of multinational companies. The present study meticulously
deals with perception of executives of multinational companies.

The present research work segmented the causes of stress, outcome of stress, stress
management techniques of coping strategies to create influence over organizational
effectiveness. It is ascertained in the gaps in the literature that Management potential,
Employee Potential, organizational development, Vigerous training, Goal setting,
Interpersonal relationship cause stress among the executives of multinational in Chennai
city. The sequential analysis clearly unraveled the physical and emotional outputs of
stress among the executives. These outcomes may or may not present among the
executives and create pessimistic impact on the executives if their physical or emotional
outcomes are negative. The literature also identified that the stress management among
multinational companies and advanced coping mechanism among the executives
curtailed the transformation of stress causes into physical and emotional responses.

If the optimistic stress management techniques and coping mechanism are found
among the executives then organizational effectiveness is conducive and productive
among the executives. This sequential phenomenon empirically tested parametrically
using Karl Pearson’s co-efficient of correlation and analysis of variance. In this model
the organizational effectiveness is considered as ultimate dependent variable that
measures causes and impact of stress. Their relationships between organizational
effectiveness and management potential, employee potential, emotional response are
presented in the model below. Besides these effects, the influence of gender, marital
status, number of family members, also influence the cause of stress and organizational
effectiveness.

This diagram clearly explains the diagrammatic representation of parametric relationship


between the causes of stress and its physical and its emotional outcomes. The subsequent
effects of these outcomes are organizational effectiveness. It also empirically uses Karl
Pearson Co-efficient of correlation. Besides these variables, the demographic variables
and their impact on organizational effectiveness are also diagrammatically shown in the
model.
After the overall statistical analysis of cause and effect of stress among the
executives of multinational companies, the next chapter deals with the findings,
suggestions and conclusion.

Conclusion:

The purpose of this chapter was to examine in what ways and to what degree, if any,
executives of MNCs perceive stress and what, if any, coping mechanisms were they
engaged in. This chapter focused on qualities of coping mechanisms and their
effectiveness. Underscored throughout the study is the need for effective stress
management skills, professional development geared towards developing a stress model,
and creating a positive school culture. Moreover, the researcher sought to identify any
significant differences between the frequency of stressors by gender and coping
mechanisms utilized by female and male executives.

Coping strategies were examined to determine effectiveness and included gender


difference. The data revealed gender difference in the coping mechanism utilized and
effectiveness of the coping strategy. Most of the executives identified exercise and
getting away as one of the most frequently utilized strategies; exercise was most effective
for both genders. The most ineffective strategy was identified as artificial means, while
executives reported mentoring or communication with fellow employees helpful in
managing occupational stress.

The findings raise concern that many of the executives are entering the field without the
proper preparation for understanding the implications of stress. Effective stress
management programs should be in place to assist executive leaders as they begin to
create and sustain learning communities. There is need for improvement in supporting
executives with occupational stressors.

The findings of this study are summarized here under:.


75.9% of executives listen to music, the most common strategy to overcome stress.

52.2% of executives attend club or social activities to get rid of stress.

49.2% of executives relax during the day to eliminate stress. Just 10-15 minutes of
relaxation will make the executives feel better, the rest of the day.

48% of executives do exercise to cope with stress.

52.9% of executives meditate, which is one of the most effective technique in


reducing stress.

53.7% Laugh more or crack jokes in order to reduce stress.

45.3% of executives take a walk when they are anxious about something.

60.8% of executives are taking anti depression drug for stress reduction.

76.9% of executives follow time discipline by ensuring commitment when at work,


thereby creating time for other things in life.

86.9% of executives try to prioritize work. One way to minimize stress while
multi-tasking is to plan, prioritize and perform.

86.5% of executives take planned breaks from work to overcome stress. Executives
spare time for leisure purpose with which they can overcome their stress problem.

84.9% of executives delegate responsibilities to overcome stress.

78.8% of executives spend some time with pets to reduce stress.

73.3% of executives eat a balanced diet. Just as a balanced diet is necessary for the
physical well being of an individual, mental / emotional balance of life is necessary
for the psychological well being of executives.

79% of executives try to sleep 7-8 hours at least 3-4 days a week. After a goodnight
sleep, a person feels fresh.

82.4% of executives have the habit of writing stress diary as stress reduction
technique.
85.1% of executives listen to views of others to provide effective and timely
feedback.

Organizational coping strategies:

78.2% of executives need facilities like rest room.

76.3% of executives relax by taking breaks at short intervals.

78.6% of executives prefer cafeteria facility to relax, where executives feel free to
talk openly about their problems and can avoid stress.

86.9% of executives prefer regular health checkup.

87.5% of executives prefer transport facility.

87.5% of executives would like to go off-site picnics or family trips.

94.7% of executives are interested in recreational facilities.

85.9% of executives are interested in programmes on balanced diet which plays a


vital role in reducing stress. Yoga and meditation are important stress relievers.
Meditation is one of the most effective techniques in reducing and avoiding stress.

60.2% of executives indicated their interest on programmes on time management


techniques.

52.7% of executives showed them interest on personality and career development


programme.

45.9% of executives have shown their interest on Executive Assistance Programme.

66.3% of executives are interested in counseling.

67.6% of executives have agreed in getting incentive, appreciation and rewards for
achievement which will reduce stress.

59.4% of executives agree for job rotation, which helps in reducing stress.
Karl Pearson Co-efficient of Correlation reveals that the management potential causes
stress among the executives in multinational companies and creates more physiological
changes that affect the fundamental commitment of executives. Executive potential and
organizational development cause stress and creates more physical response that affects
the involvement of executives. The need for executive development produces stress
which in turn affects the physiological impact of the executives that interrupts the
commitment of executives.

The executive role and goal setting in the organization create more emotional response of
stress. The career development produces more physical and emotional response of stress
among the executives which in turn affects the commitment of workers.

The interpersonal relationship causes stress which has come out in the form of
physiological and emotional changes that affects the commitment of the executives. It is
found that both physical and emotional responses are negatively correlated to the
organizational effectiveness which in turn leads to poor organizational effectiveness and
productivity.