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Title: Locus of control, personality and occupational characteristics as determinants of job satisfaction, well-being and stress in Scottish social work organizations
Authors: Santos, Maria Bianca
Supervisor(s): Whiteman, Martha
Issue Date: 2006
Abstract: The present research was carried out in to assess how the dispositional attributes of personality dimensions and locus of control, along with the occupational determinants of interpersonal conflict at work and organizational constraints, consequently influence levels on these variables within the hierarchical structure of Scottish social work organizations. We hypothesize that individuals scoring highly on neuroticism (trait NA) and externals will have higher perceived stress and lower job-related affective well-being as well as lower job satisfaction levels, whilst those scoring highly on extraversion (trait PA) and internals are expected to have a converse relationship to these variables. Moreover, because of the nature of their work, social workers were expected to have higher levels of job-related affective well-being and job satisfaction, as well as lower levels of perceived stress than those involved in either managerial or administrative work. Neuroticism, extraversion, locus of control, interpersonal conflict at work and organizational constraints, as well as subsequent levels of job satisfaction, job-related affective well-being and perceived stress were measured and subsequently analyzed in three one-way between-subjects analyses of covariance (ANCOVAs) with three levels, accounting for variables that potentially correlate with the JSS, JAWS and PSS. People in admin were found to be predominantly externals who scored highly on trait NA and lowly on trait PA were found to have the lowest levels of job-related affective well-being and job satisfaction, those in managerial positions were found to have the highest job satisfaction and lowest stress, and those involved in hands-on social work were found to have the highest job-related affective wellbeing but also the highest stress levels. 1 Introduction Over the past dozen years, differences in individual characteristics in organizational settings have motivated theories about occupational stress and well-being (Lee & Ashforth 1996). Job satisfaction and work-related stress are important determinants of turnover and performance, which influence client satisfaction. Although organizational structure plays a role in affecting these, internal or personal resources aid when individuals are faced with challenges and difficulties (Pearlin & Schooler 1978 cited in Thoits & Hewitt 2001). When employees are ill-equipped to face such demands, work stress and poor health can be the result (Sauter, Murphy, Hurrell & Levi 1998). 1.1 Setting the scene and theoretical contextualization 1.1.1 Stress: A brief history and varying perspectives in the field The word stress originates from the Latin words strictus (narrow) and stringere (to tighten), which reflects the internal feelings of tightness and constriction reported by many under stress (Neufeld 1989). Hans Selye (1956, cited in Riley & Zaccaro 1987) originally described the stress response as a three-stage ‘general adaptation syndrome’. The alarm stage, the experience most people associate with stress, is when a threat or challenge is experienced, and various bodily activities increase. Resistance, a response to stressors, is an important concern in the workplace and questions how individuals, groups and organizations cope with stressors. Exhaustion, which is an unsuccessful response to stress, is equally important to organizations as it involves negative health effects and performance decrements. The investigation of job-related stress involves studying the relationship between stressful
Keywords: locus of control
dispositional attributes of personality
occupational health
workplace interpersonal conflict
job satisfaction
Appears in Collections:Psychology Undergraduate thesis collection

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