Stress, Health and Sustainable Working Life

Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfskunde
Jaar 2021/22
Vakcode EBM203A05
Vaknaam Stress, Health and Sustainable Working Life
Niveau(s) master
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester II a
ECTS 5
Rooster rooster

Uitgebreide vaknaam Stress, Health and Sustainable Working Life
Leerdoelen Upon completion of the course the student is able to:
1. define stress and explain how it affects individual workers, organizations and society
2. identify different sources of stress at work and describe how these can particularly impact specific groups of workers (e.g., minorities, vulnerable groups)
3. evaluate the quality and efficiency of stress interventions based on major stress theories
4. select and implement an evidence-based individual stress management technique
5. analyze sources and consequences of job stress, and suggest theory-based interventions to lower stress
Omschrijving The World Health Organization has called job stress the “health epidemic of the 21st century” and has found that most European managers are concerned about stress in their workplaces. Job stress is a major cause for a variety of serious mental and physical diseases ranging from coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and chronic back pain to anxiety, depression and burnout. Highly stressed employees often display low levels of work motivation and job performance, and are more prone to make mistakes that can result in work accidents. They may be hostile or aggressive towards co-workers and disengage from their work by calling in sick, quitting their job, or retiring early. Therefore, job stress is associated with reduced organizational productivity, quality of products and services. In the Netherlands, Blatter et al. (2005) estimated the costs of absenteeism, disability benefits and healthcare due to stress-related illnesses at €4 billion per year.
But why is job stress such a common day phenomenon and more and more prevalent among workers? Spatial and temporary boundaries between work and private life increasingly vanish. Modern employees work in globalized 24/7 economies and smart mobile ICT devices enable and oblige them to work anywhere and anytime. Telework has become the new normal. Workers often have to perform several tasks simultaneously and rapidly, and continuously update their knowledge and learn new skills. Moreover, poorly paid, temporary and project-based work with high-levels of job insecurity is on the rise. Eventually, each HR-manager will need to deal with the effects of stress on employee well-being and performance at some stage of their career. Accordingly, it is essential to understand its causes, consequences and possibilities to lower stress with the help of structural interventions.
In this course students will learn to identify symptoms of stress and understand the mechanisms, which link job stress to mental and physical health deterioration. Based on major stress theories, they will learn about sources of job stress such as role stress, work intensification, telework and factors in the job itself, for instance adverse work schedules, low levels of autonomy or emotional labor. Special attention will be paid to specific groups of workers and the stressors they face. A significant share of the course will be devoted to organizational-level and individual-level interventions to prevent or ameliorate job-related stress. The overall aim of the course is to increase student´s understanding of sustainable working life and the importance of lowering stress to support well-being and prolong working careers of a workforce composed of people with different backgrounds and conflicting roles.
Uren per week
Onderwijsvorm -gastcollege ,  -groepsbegeleiding ,  -hoorcollege ,  -werkcollege
Toetsvorm -groepsopdracht,  -groepspresentatie,  -schriftelijk tentamen (open vragen)
(active participation in tutorials)
Vaksoort master
Coördinator dr. J. de Bloom
Docent(en) student-assistenten ,dr. J. de Bloom
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
Additional scientific literature as part of the assignments
Academic articles as well as book chapters to be downloaded from the website of the University Library
Entreevoorwaarden • Students who have a BSc degree in Economics and/or Business and who are officially registered as master students at the Faculty of Economics and Business
• Interactive learning is an integral part of the course. Student must be available for participation at all times during the course.
Opmerkingen For further information please contact the secretary of MSc HRM: Zedef Karakayali, z.karakayali@rug.nl - phone: +31 (0)50 363 4288, room 5411-0343
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
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MSc BA - Health  (keuzevakken B MSc BA Health) 1 semester II a keuze
MSc BA - Management Accounting and Control/MAC  (keuzevakken MSc BA MAC) 1 semester II a keuze
MSc BA - Small Business & Entrepreneurship/SB&E  (keuzevakken MSc BA SB&E) 1 semester II a keuze
MSc BA - Strategic Innovation Management/SIM  (keuzevakken MSc BA-SIM) 1 semester II a keuze
MSc Human Resource Management/HRM  (keuzevakken B MSc HRM) 1 semester II a keuze