Why aren't managers concerned about occupational stress?

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To explain the rarity of workplace stress management interventions, it is thought that managers are not concerned with the risks of occupational stress to health and job performance. Some writers consider either (1) deficiencies in theory, and/or (2) deficiencies in methodology to be the cause of this apparent lack of concern. The aim of this paper is to illustrate another perspective on this issue; that of risk perception. Two perspectives on risk perception are discussed; the psychometric view and the cultural view. The psychometric view suggests that senior managers may underestimate the risks associated with stress. The cultural view suggests that managers may consider stress management to be inappropriate, since individuals, not organizations, should be responsible for coping with stress. Both perspectives indicate that very few managers may consider stress to be a risk that should be actively managed by the organization. The associated disciplines of risk management and particularly risk communication are discussed to suggest ways to overcome lack of managerial interest in stress management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-366
Number of pages15
JournalWork & Stress
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 1996


  • Risk perception
  • Risk communication

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