Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Jody L. Newman & Dale R. Fuqua
Occupational stress is a broad concept that has been defined in a variety of ways in the popular and professional literature. It is generally agreed that occupational stress consists of the harmful physical and psychological consequences to individuals that result when an imbalance exists between demands of the work environment and individual needs, abilities, and resources. Most people experience some level of occupational stress on occasion, and it is generally believed that such short-lived, episodic experiences do not pose serious or lasting harm to the individual. However, when a significant level of occupational stress persists for an extended period of time, potentially serious physical and psychological harm may occur. Although occupational stress is most often considered to be undesirable, the notion of good stress , also referred to as eustress , has been used to describe stress that motivates and energizes the worker to learn new skills and perform more ...