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The Project File Details
This study examined work stress factors as correlates of staff job performance in University of Lagos, Nigeria. The study adopted a case study research design. The researchers raised three research questions and formulated two research hypotheses to guide the study. The population comprised all the 4688 staff (1400 academic staff and 3288 non academic staff) of the University of Lagos, Nigeria. A total number of 603 participants (414 academic staff and 189 non-academic staff) representing 12.86% of the total population were selected through stratified and simple random sampling techniques. Descriptive statistics (specifically mean and standard deviation score) and inferential statistics (specifically Pearson Product Moment Correlation) statistical tool were used to test the research hypotheses. Findings from the study show that university work stress factors such as workload and interpersonal demands and working hours relate to staff job performance in University of Lagos, Nigeria. This implies that the university staff job performance can be determined by work stress factors such as workload and interpersonal demands. Based on this, the study recommended among others that the: universities in Nigeria should set more realistic time-table for a semester’s work, examinations and for the submission of compiled results. This will help to reduce the time pressure and too many deadlines, tiredness, and problems associated with the tight schedules of semester examination time-tables and the overseeing of the conduct of semester examinations which are often the sources of stress.
Keywords: university, work stress, workload, working hours, work relations, and staff job performance
Background to the Study
The university is a place where an individual’s knowledge, skill, mind and character developed for socio-economic and political capacities. The university exists with the efforts of the academic and non-academic staff. The staff of any university controls the operational activities, in order for the university to attain its stated goals and objectives. The attainment of these university goals and objectives, is therefore, determined by the performance of the university staff. The performance of the best staff can dwindle due to the presence of work stress factors at the university workplace.
Stress is a common and complex phenomenon to humans and it is inevitable at the workplace round the world. Stress in the university organization will definitely have impact on the individuals and the organization. Work stress is a concept that has been defined by numerous scholars and researchers in different ways such as, Kazmi, Amjad, & Khan (2008), define work stress as a change in one’s physical or mental state, in other words disturbance or imbalance from normal state. Work stress is used to denote an excessive environmental force, which by its actions on an individual, causes him harm and the individual’s reaction on such a situation, such as irritability or inability to concentrate (Ejiogu & Aderounmu as cited in Ejiogu, 2006). Work stress is a number of features within the workplace (intrinsic to job role, role within organisation, career development, work relationships, organisational climate/structure have the potential of producing negative organisational and extra-organisational outcomes which often impair mental health and physical well-being (Babatunde, 2013).
Colligan and Higgins (2010) posit that work stress comes from any situation or circumstance that require behavioural adjustment any change either good or bad is stressful or whether it’s positive or negative change, the physiological response is same. Work stress was termed as deforming force created by existing stressors within work environment which are out of control of employees resultantly employees develop both physical and psychological symptoms due to which their work related performance is negatively affected (Cooper & Dewe, 2008). Work stress is also an extension of general stress, specifically a result of work task, the workplace, the job characteristics, role conflict, or worker capabilities (Jou, Kuo & Tang 2013). World Health Organisation (2015) also defines work stress as work-related stress which could results in a response when employees are presented with work demands and pressures that are not matched to with their knowledge and abilities and which challenge their ability to cope. Therefore, work stress is the employees’ unhealthy response to a set of environmental factors that could be physical, political, economical, social or organizational in nature; and it is harmful to work environment due to the direct impact it has on the performance of university employees.
Stress points to a poor fit between the individual’s capabilities and his or her work environment, in which excessive demands are made of the individual or the individual is not fully prepared to handle a particular situation (Jamal as cited in Jamal 2011). The university work is very stressful job for it exposes the university staff to political, physical, social, organizational and psychological stressors (stress factors). These stressors (work stress factors) that may be encountered by the university staff are: perceived loss of work, insecurity, conflicting expectations, working conditions, role overload, alienation and work mismatch as the sources of stress and lack of autonomy in the work. These work stress factors which cause the stress among university staff are to some extent similar to stressors found in other jobs certain stressors, for example, interpersonal, emotional demands, role conflict, work overload and career progression are specifically related to teaching profession (Boyle, Borg, Falzon, & Baglioni as cited in Yosoff, Khan & Azam, 2013).
Hamid, Bisschoff & Botha (2015) conducted a study on Work Stress and its Influence on the Work Performance of Swaziland Teachers in the Swaziland School Education System. The objectives of the study were to examine, understand, identify causes of workplace stress and examine how influences work performance. The discussion includes how unmanaged and/or unidentified it manifests itself in relation to the health, welfare and abilities of workers, specifically relating to Swaziland school teachers. The workplace stress-related factors of the teachers and how it influences their work performance were examined using a stratified random sample to identify respondents to complete the structured questionnaire (N = 750; n=368) in the Mbabane, Manzini and Ezulwini areas. Nine factors, explaining a cumulative variance of 56.5 percent, were identified using exploratory factor analysis These factors are (in declining order of importance) Satisfaction, Unfair promotion, Internal locus of control, Job performance, Personal growth, Job retention, Job loyalty, Competence and Job control.
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