Stressing academia? Stress-as-offence-to-self at Danish universities

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Academic work has traditionally been seen as relatively stress free. However, a growing number of studies have reported increases in occupational stress experienced by university researchers. In order to explain stress among this group, we build on a new perspective in occupational stress research: the so-called stress-as-offence-to-self perspective. In line with this perspective, we have investigated the incongruence between the researchers’ work values and their perceptions of the working conditions provided by the organisation. The analysis is based on a sample of 2127 Danish university researchers. The results show that person-organisation incongruence with regard to freedom and independence in the job, job security, personal and professional development at work, and receiving peer recognition are associated with higher levels of stress among the researchers. Based on these results, we suggest three strategies for managers at universities to mitigate stress among academic employees: a tough recruitment process, a team-based organisation and a proactive human resource strategy.

TidsskriftJournal of Higher Education Policy and Management
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)39-52
StatusUdgivet - 2. jan. 2016


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