The Impact Of Stress On Staff Productivity In The Institution Of Higher Learning

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The Impact Of Stress On Staff Productivity In The Institution Of Higher Learning


Stress is a universal element and persons from nearly every walk of life have to face stress. Staff productivity can be significantly hindered by high levels of stress experienced in the work environment. Employers today are critically analyzing the stress management issues that contribute to lower job performance of employees. The main aim of the study was to evaluate stress and its effect on staff productivity. The study was conducted at university of Lagos simple random sampling techniques were used in selecting a sample size of 133staff. Questionnaires and interview was used as data collection instrument. From the results obtained, it was evident that there were many stress factors that the respondents endured, and the enquiry proved that stress had an effect on productivity. Majority of the respondents reported to work under pressure and that they feel uncared for by the organization. It was recommended that that an Employee Assistance Programme be introduced for early identification and intervention on problems so that productivity levels do not decrease.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Generally, stress is a phenomenon which cannot be avoided in any organization or institution since everybody experiences stress.

So how you manage this stress can be the key to your well-being. A survey conducted by mental health in America found that people frequently deal with chronic stress by watching television, skipping exercise and neglecting to eat healthy food.

Many staff today run from organization to another thinking that they will no longer encounter stress, but they refused to know that stress is a national factor which cannot be avoided entirely but can only be controlled.

Stress is common to staff in any organization and depends on individuals. A condition that creates stress for one person may not have effect on another. There are three source of stress, they are environmental, organizational and individual stresses. It becomes actual stress depending on individual difference. Its symptoms can surface as psychological and behavioral outcomes.

In today’s world, stress has become a worldwide phenomenon, which occurs in various forms in every workplace. In today’s work life, employees are generally working for longer hours, as the rising levels of responsibilities require them to exert themselves even more strenuously to meet rising expectations about work performance. Omolara (2008) described occupational stress as the adverse psychological and physical reactions that occur in an individual as a result of their being unable to cope with the demands being made on them. According to Swanepoel et al (1998) work related stress has been a topic that has received increasing attention, in the area of occupational health, over the last three decades. These authors were of the opinion that the world, especially the world of work and business, has become increasingly subject to fast changing forces like increased competition, the pressure of quality, innovation and an increase in the pace of doing business. The demands on employees grew equally dramatically and this created stress within employees. Apart from stress that arose from the work situation, other sources of stress could relate to personal factors such as relationships with others and use of free time. Stress can therefore be described as the adverse psychological and physical reactions that occur in an individual as a result of his or her inability to cope with the demands being made on him or her (Moorhead and Griffen, 1998). That is tension from extra-ordinary demands on an individual.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Most organizations with the aim of attaining higher productivity end up saddling employees with overload of work in order to meet deadline and this might have psychological and physical effects on the employees which may result in something contrary to what these organizations want to achieve. Although organizations are paying more attention than in the past to the consequences of the trauma their employees go through when they place extraordinary demands on them, there is still more room for improvement. Again to generate enough revenue to be self-sustaining and to be able to fund the acquisition of modern equipment meant efficient service provision and optimal employment of resources.

The modern organization operates in dynamic and ever changing environment. The rapid existence and changing environment makes the manager face all sorts of problems. The manager for all appearance in pursuit of rational action is continually confronted with irrational behavior, ambiguity and stress. Added to these pressures are societal changes such as the acknowledged revolution and accelerated technical development, as well as changes in social structure, occupation and organizations factors which make an increasingly complex environment.

Underlying these social problems is the expectation by young staff whose rewards out-weight punishments as soon as they attain professional or managerial status on their jobs. For the above reasons and statements, the need to evaluate the impact of stress on academic staff in the institution of higher learning emanates.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this research work include the following:

  1. To evaluate the impact of stress
  2. To examine the influence of stress on staff level of productivity.
  3. To identify the types and nature of stress which may serve as motivations to most staff due to individual differences.
  4. To evaluate various measures of curtailing staff stress in an organization.

1.4 Research Hypotheses

Hypotheses One
  • Ho: There is no relationship between stress and staff productivity
  • Hi: There is a relationship between stress and staff productivity
Hypotheses Two
  • Ho: Staff of higher institutions do not undergo much stress
  • Hi: Staff of higher institution do undergo much stress

1.5 Significance of the Study

The work of this research shall be beneficial and contributes to the understanding of stress in an organization. Most writers on stress stop at identifying the problems, such as stress in an organization without offering solution to it. Although books have been written on this subject over the years this phenomenon has become an economic concern since it has gone long way in affecting the life pattern of staff.

The research does not only study stress in an organization, but also teaches the organization some techniques of converting stress solution to their advantage.

This project work shall also be useful to researchers and students at management level.

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study is primarily concerned with the impact of stress on staff productivity in the institutions of higher learning. This study covers university of Lagos staff. The researcher encountered some constraints, which limited the scope of the study.

These constraints include but are not limited to the following.

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

1.7 Definition of Terms


In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. Stresses can be external (from the environment, psychological, or social situations) or internal (illness, or from a medical procedure). Stress can initiate the “fight or flight” response, a complex reaction of neurologic and endocrinologic systems.


A group of persons, as employees, charged with carrying out the work of an establishment or executing some undertaking


The quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services


Consistent and organized pattern of behavior or activities (established by law or custom) that is self-regulating in accordance with generally accepted norms

1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  1. Chapter one is concerned with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  2. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  3. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  4. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  5. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to have a critical analysis of the impact of stress on staff productivity in the institution of higher learning.

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations are made, which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefit in addressing the challenges of staff productivity.

5.2 Summary

This study aimed at having a critical analysis of the impact of stress on staff productivity in the institution of higher learning. Four objectives were raised to guide the study and these objectives include: To evaluate the impact of stress, to examine the influence of stress on staff level of productivity, to identify the types and nature of stress that may serve as motivations to most staff due to individual differences, to evaluate various measures of curtailing staff stress in an organization.

5.3 Conclusion

Based on the above findings pertaining to the objectives of the study the following conclusions are drawn.
On the basis of the survey results it is seen that in the universe of the study the over-all population in the respective hospitals is suffering from lack of span of control over Imtiaz & Ahmad. The work environment, low acceptance for the work done, rigid organizational structure, high unpredictability in job pattern in job, departmental variation in administrator support, inadequate monetary reward, & personal issues are causes of rising stress levels in doctors both medical and house officers alike which ultimately affected their job performance negatively. And the significant view was that the employers; the entire organizational management is not responding to these factor even the financial reforms taken by the Punjab government are not implemented. Devastating long term results can take place lowering the even deplorable state of the government hospitals, however private organizations provided a better environment but the employees articulated even more desperation due to lack of field exposure which risked their career development; this area can further be researched. the management hospital needs to take in immediate reforms in order to have maximum return from their assets.

5.4 Recommendation

  1. Time management training should be given to employees on a continuous basis.
  2. Managers should invite employees, who think that they are being given jobs that are in contradiction with each other, and clarify their roles.
  3. Managers should facilitate an employee skill audit that will help to place employees that feel underutilized.
  4. Managers should revise their decision making strategy.
  5. Management should introduce stress management techniques at
  6. An Employee Assistance Programme has to be introduced for early identification and intervention on problems so that productivity levels do not increase.

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