M.S. Master of Science
Purpose: The purpose of this project was to find a difference between middle managers’ and blue-collar workers’ episodic non-work related and work related stress events. The information that was found was to be developed into a “peer influence” program to help prevent the workers from experiencing chronic stress symptoms.
Method: From research it was determined that there is a significant difference between middle managers’ and blue-collar workers’ episodic non-work and work related stress events. The material that was reviewed showed a difference in five areas: threat of job loss, lack of authority, new social values (sociability), personal life (satisfaction), and stressful life events.
A Survey by the use of a questionnaire was distributed to middle managers and blue-collar workers at two large corporations. When they were returned, they were coded, and an analysis by the Mann-Whitney U-Test was done. This methodology found six events where middle managers and blue-collar workers showed a trend toward, or a significant difference at the
Because of the low blue-collar response and the Mann-Whitney U-Test findings, the questionnaire was also used as a needs analysis. This was done to find any relationship between the samples. Three events were found to show this relationship.
These findings, from both methodologies, were researched and the results were recorded.
Results: The results of this project are that the middle manager is affected by stress when confronted with work related events (activity level of work, change in work schedule). The blue-collar worker is affected by stress when confronted by non-work events (serious illness, arguments with spouse, marriage). Both samples experience stress when confronted by three events that can cause stress for the individual concerned (death of a family member, serious illness suffered by a family member, being transferred to a new position or assignment).
Conclusions: Two conclusions can be drawn from this project: (1) The problems (events) that occur away from the work environment can affect middle managers’ and blue-collar workers’ performance on the job if something is not done to help the individual, chronic stress symptoms could surface. (2) The blue-collar stress is part of the worker’s home environment. Without a release of some kind, the result could be: absenteeism, drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, etc. Because of these results and conclusions, the Peer Influence Program (PIP) was developed.
Zurcher, Ronald Cameron, "Peer Influence: A Method to Help Manage Stress" (1985). Dissertations. 95.