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Lay theory explanations of occupational stress: the Malaysian context

Lay theory explanations of occupational stress: the Malaysian context Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the causes and consequences of job stress in Malaysia and make a comparison between Western and Eastern perspectives. Design/methodology/approach – A grounded theory approach was used to develop a lay representation of Malay people's descriptions of their experiences at work, including job stress. Interviews were conducted with 48 employees in Malaysia, using six semi‐structured interview questions adopted from Kinman and Jones and translated into the Malay language, as a guide. Findings – Although most respondents perceived that individual factors play an important role in work stress, organizational factors seemed to be the dominant factor identified that contributes to work stress. Respondents also perceived the individual as key to stress reduction rather than management interventions. A new concept emerged in this study that was related to external factors impinging on work (such as globalization). Practical implications – Organizations should formulate strategies to prevent job stress among employees. They must also be alert to the impact of external factors that are now common in the Malay workplace. Originality/value – Research of job stress in employees in Eastern cultures is rare. The paper provides in‐depth preliminary research which will lead to further investigations of job stress in Eastern workplace settings. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

Lay theory explanations of occupational stress: the Malaysian context

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1352-7606
DOI
10.1108/13527601011038714
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the causes and consequences of job stress in Malaysia and make a comparison between Western and Eastern perspectives. Design/methodology/approach – A grounded theory approach was used to develop a lay representation of Malay people's descriptions of their experiences at work, including job stress. Interviews were conducted with 48 employees in Malaysia, using six semi‐structured interview questions adopted from Kinman and Jones and translated into the Malay language, as a guide. Findings – Although most respondents perceived that individual factors play an important role in work stress, organizational factors seemed to be the dominant factor identified that contributes to work stress. Respondents also perceived the individual as key to stress reduction rather than management interventions. A new concept emerged in this study that was related to external factors impinging on work (such as globalization). Practical implications – Organizations should formulate strategies to prevent job stress among employees. They must also be alert to the impact of external factors that are now common in the Malay workplace. Originality/value – Research of job stress in employees in Eastern cultures is rare. The paper provides in‐depth preliminary research which will lead to further investigations of job stress in Eastern workplace settings.

Journal

Cross Cultural Management: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: May 4, 2010

Keywords: Qualitative research; Cross‐cultural studies; Malaysia; Employee behaviour; Stress

References