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Changing work environments: Innovative coping responses to occupational stress

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date1994
JournalWork and Stress
Journal number4
Volume8
Number of pages13
Pages319-331
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

To what degree do individuals adapt their work environments in response to occupational stress? The research reported below addresses this question through a qualitative questionnaire survey that assesses the extent to which innovation is used as a stress coping strategy amongst health care professionals (community and hospital nurses, administration workers and paramedics; N = 333). Overall, 32% of these workers reported a coping response subsequently coded as innovative, and significant between-occupational group differences in the frequency of usage were found. Overwork, procedural difficulties and dealing with others were the stressors eliciting the greatest number of innovative coping responses. The study indicated that such responses were perceived as an effective and important way of dealing with occupational stress. It is concluded that stress management programmes that encourage individuals to change workplace factors through innovation, would be a worthwhile addition to interventions that emphasize individual adaptation to stressful work environments.