chapter  14
A Social Identity Approach to Workplace Stress
ByS. Alexander Haslam, Rolf van Dick
Pages 28

Stress is one of the major topics in the field of industrial and organizational psychology. As Haslam (2004) observes, there are at least four good reasons for this. First, stress can be seen as a “downside” to many of the other important topics in which industrial and organizational psychologists are interested and that are studied extensively in the organizational field. Accordingly, while topics like leadership, motivation, communication, negotiation, and productivity are typically investigated and promoted as valuable organizational processes, it is also clear that each of these can have secondary consequences (“side effects”) that impact adversely on employees’ well-being. For example, leaders who works hard to initiate change may place a heavy psychological burden both on themselves and on those they lead (Quick, Cooper, Gavin, & Quick, 2002; Terry, Carey, & Callan, 2001). Likewise, motivational and productivity demands may put staff under extreme pressure (Bourassa & Ashforth, 1998; Parker, 1993). At the same time, when it comes to a number of key organizational topics, stress can be seen as another key part of the analytic equation. For instance, it can be seen as a counterweight to trust and lack of perceived justice (see Chapter 9 by Dirks & De Cremer in this volume), as something that can be ameliorated by prosocial behavior (see the chapter by Aquino & O’Reilly), or as a consequence of conflicts at work (see Chapter 12 by Rispens & Jehn and Chapter 10 by Flynn).