The Effectiveness of Occupational Stress Management

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Introduction

Occupational stress is hard to avoid in the work environment. Some of the primary causes of work-related stress are dense working conditions, severe competitiveness, experiencing differences in finding the balance between personal life and work, conflict with other members of a team, and excess pressure from senior management. (Dwamena, 2012; Griffiths, Baxter, & Townley-Jones, 201; Trivellas, Reklitis, & Platis, 2013). The consequences of professional stress vary, but in most cases, the effect of distress on the psychological and physical well-being of employees is negative (American Psychological Association, 2015; Hiriyappa, 2013; O’Keefe, Brown, & Christian, 2014; Patel, 2013). In addition to it, work-related stress is the primary cause of decreasing employee performance and lower productivity, producing depression and emotional burnout (Leon & Halbesleben, 2013).

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Moreover, it leads to employee dissatisfaction with working conditions and desire to quit and seek other work, thus increasing turnover rates (Campbell, 2015; Hakanen & Schaufeli, 2012; The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, 2014). Occupational stress has a negative influence on both employees and employers, because it can lead to higher turnover rates, absenteeism, and expenditures for addressing not only the healthcare needs of current workers, but for training and hiring new employees (O’Keefe, Brown, & Christian, 2014; Patel, 2013; Prater & Smith, 2011; White, 2015).

Sherridan and Ashcroft (2015) noted that the most effective method for combating the consequences of work-related stress and diminishing the risks associated with work-related stress is taking preventative measures aimed at creating a friendly and trustworthy environment in the workplace, which could lead to improved emotional well-being and employee performance. Most industries make efforts to reduce stress at work or eliminate it (Aftab & Javeed, 2014). However, as it relates to analyzing the shipbuilding and ship-repair industries, the level of occupational stress is higher in comparison to other sectors of the economy, and the effectiveness of managing the problem is lower.

The low efficiency of strategies aimed at minimizing the risks of work-related stress can be explained by the lack of necessary skills to address the challenges resulting from work-related stress, and the significant pressure with regard to overtime shifts, work-related accidents, and poor quality management (Al-Raqadi et al., 2015; Cardoso, Padovani, & Tucci, 2014; Cezar-Vaz et al., 2014).

According to Meško et al. (2013), it is possible to choose appropriate strategies to minimize the risks of work-related stress. They believe that there are two options for reducing occupational stress – to focus either on emotions or on problems of the employees and the working environment, i.e., elevate negative emotions or directly address existing problems (Meško et al., 2013).

However, each industry and company should adapt either emotion-centered or problem-centered strategies in order to meet the requirements of its staff and comply with the peculiarities of the workplace. For this reason, it is paramount to explore the specifics of the ship-repair industry’s operations, as well as the techniques used by management to reduce work-related stress and create a comfortable working environment. Therefore, the focus of this study will be on the experiences of both workers and managers, with the aim of determining the effectiveness of occupational stress management techniques deployed by the managers of the ship-repair service company located within the Hampton Roads area in Virginia.

Statement of the Problem

The psychological well-being of employees in the workplace is critical to avoid stress and improve employees’ performance (Vainio, 2015). According to Hiriyappa (2013), stress is inevitable in the workplace, and the effects of stress are mostly negative. Even though stress can enhance employees’ performance at the workplace (Britt & Jex, 2015), 75% of American workers report experiencing significant stress every month resulting in health damages (American Psychological Association, 2015), leading to reduced performance, increased turnover, and absenteeism (O’Keefe, Brown, & Christian, 2014).

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O’Keefe et al. (2014) found that work-related stress leads to performance decrease in 20 % of employees, increased turnover in 65 % of workers who demonstrate dissatisfaction with their stress-related work, and 9% absenteeism caused by tension at work. Work-related stress causes 5-8% of the entire US healthcare costs each year with companies spending more than $150 billion dollars in healthcare expenses (White, 2015).

In addition to companies spending more on healthcare costs, work-related stress also causes higher turnover adding greater losses on recruiting and preparation of new workers (O’Keefe et al., 2014). The cost of hiring a new employee in place of one who left and made less than $50,000 a year may cost 20% of his or her salary while the replacement of an executive worker may require up to 200% of his or her annual salary (Patel, 2013).

The general problem is that work-related stress affects people emotionally, mentally, and physiologically, resulting in aggravated job performance, increased turnovers, and absenteeism (Patel, 2013). Occupational stress can also lead to the development of cardiovascular diseases, disturbances of mood, psychological and emotional disorders, and injuries at the workplace (O’Keefe et al., 2014). Leon and Halbesleben (2013) noted that work-related stress is directly related to the worsening of employees’ working performance and cooperation with other colleagues.

The specific problem is that ship-repair managers lack the skills and understanding to reduce occupational stress, absenteeism, and turnover to increase employee performance. The backbone to ship-repair leaders should be strategies to deal with and prevent work-related stress for successful performance outcomes, and preventive measures that are meant to neutralize the stressful environment (Sherridan & Ashcroft, 2015).

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this qualitative exploratory case study is to discover the strategies that managers in a ship-repair company, in the maritime industry, can use to reduce occupational stress, absenteeism, turnover, and increase employee performance. The participants will be employees from one ship-repair Service Company located within the Hampton Roads area in Virginia. A group of 5 helpers, 5 trade persons, and 7 managers will be interviewed using open-ended questions to gain an in-depth understanding regarding occupational stress, absenteeism, turnover, and employee performance. The employee’s personal perspectives might shed some light on strategies for managers to address the aforementioned issues.

Research Questions

The following section contains the research questions for this study.

  • RQ1. What are the primary aspects of the work that may lead to occupational stress?
  • RQ2. What are the occupational consequences of work-related stress?
  • RQ3. How does work-related stress affect employees, employee performance, turnover, and absenteeism?
  • RQ4: What are the strategies used by managers in the ship-repair company to reduce work-related stress?
  • RQ5: What strategies are most effective in reducing work-related stress and improving overall performance?

Definition of Key Terms

Stress: Stress refers to an interaction between individuals and the source of demands within their environment (Naqvi, Khan, Kant, & Khan, 2013).

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Job satisfaction: Job satisfaction refers to the positive and pleasurable emotional feeling that emanates from an individual’s job experience (Gupta, Kumar, & Singh, 2014).

Job performance: Job performance refers to all the behaviors employees engage in while at work (Gupta et al., 2014).

Productivity: Productivity refers to the ratio of output to inputs and the real output per unit of labor (Naqvi et al., 2013).

Motivation: Motivation is the inner force that individuals pursue and accomplish predetermined organizational and personal goals (Naqvi et al., 2013).

Theoretical Framework

The job demands-resources model (JD-R model) is employed in the study; the researchers use it to predict the effect of increased job demands on employees’ stress levels. Using the JD-R model as the theoretical framework, researchers understand how various aspects of the job affect employees’ well-being and their behaviors at the workplace Demerouti, Bakker, Nachreiner, & Schaufeli, 2001).

The revised version of the JD-R model includes work engagement and burnout as two key factors that influence job demands and the well-being of employees (Demerouti et al., 2001). The employees’ high levels of dedication, vigor, and absorption towards their job can positively influence work engagement. On the other hand, burnout stems from a negative perspective of the working environment and is associated with the health problems of employees (Xanthopoulou, Bakker, Demerouti, & Schaufeli, 2007).

High job demands lead to building up stress among employees, while resources represent the positive aspects that promote their good health (Xanthopoulou et al., 2007). According to Demerouti et al. (2001), the job characteristics include physical, social, or organizational characteristics of the work environment that command restricted physical and psychological commitment of employees. Job resources increase employee enthusiasm, reducing the adverse effects of job demands (costs) (Xanthopoulou et al., 2007).

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Additionally, providing job resources can impact positively employees are in correlation with the personal growth and the development of workers (Bakker & Demerouti, 2007). Bakker and Demerouti (2007) noted that when the correlation is positive, the outcomes are positive as well; however, if there exists an imbalance between the resources and the needs of workers, the outcomes may be adverse (Bakker & Demerouti, 2007). JD-R model is an appropriate model to serve as the theoretical framework in this study.

A high-demand job can lead to unhealthy employees resulting in work-related stress. However, the effectiveness with which a stress-free environment in the workplace is developed in organizations depends on the extent to which organizational managers understand occupational stress.

Brief Review of the Literature

Introduction

Thorough online research has been conducted for this paper. The sources suitable for the review were found by utilizing a number of different keywords and word combinations such as workplace stress, occupational stress, causes of work stress, workplace stress outcomes, job dissatisfaction causes, turnover causes, depression, stress coping mechanisms, and other similar phrases. The search was not limited to any particular databases or countries of origin. It was conducted using Google as well as the databases that can be accessed through the library.

The main conditions for the search were the topics covered in the studies, the time when the works were published (only the recent sources were included), and the types of the sources (mainly scholarly peer-reviewed journal articles). Even though the main focus of the research is workplace stress in ship-repairing, the studies with versatile subjects and from different career fields were included.

The inclusion was based mainly on the fact that the causes of work-related stress, turnover intention, and job dissatisfaction are rather similar throughout most professional spheres (Britt & Jex, 2015). The sources that matched the search terms were grouped based on the issues discussed in them (job satisfaction, workplace absenteeism, workplace productivity, and workplace stress in ship-repairing).

Nowadays, workplace stress is one of the primary challenges that managers and leaders of modern organizations have to face (Aftab & Javeed, 2014). Workplace environments are highly competitive and intense; as a result, many employees may start having health problems that occur due to workplace stress (Dwamena, 2012). In addition, occupational stress may influence multiple aspects of a workers’ life and affect their physical and mental health, family relationships, professional performance, and relationships with coworkers (The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, 2014).

Apart from harming workers, stress produces adverse effects on organizations in terms of human resources and capital, causes problems with reputation and brand image, and harms the workplace climate (The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, 2014). In the following review of the literature, such manifestations of workplace stress as low levels of job satisfaction, employee absenteeism, productivity, and health effects will be explored.

Job Satisfaction

Studies were conducted in order to explore the correlation between workplace stress and the level of employees’ satisfaction with their work. It was found that high workplace stress is strongly correlated with low levels of employee job satisfaction (Griffiths et al., 2011). It might be stated that workers who experience high levels of stress in their workplace, for instance, while being overloaded with work or due to pressure from the management, conflicts with co-workers, or lack of career opportunities, lose their feeling of control over events (Griffiths et al., 2011; Trivellas, Reklitis, & Platis, 2013), which may lead to a constant feeling of anxiety and helplessness combined with the persistent accumulation of fatigue.

When employees facing such a situation simultaneously have no access to social support from their peers or managers, it is hard for them to find relief, and their negative feelings are further exacerbated and continue to accumulate (Griffiths et al., 2011). It appears to be clear that the persistence of these negative feelings has a strong adverse effect on the job satisfaction levels of the employees, which decreases their performance; furthermore, it is stated to be capable of harming their psychological well-being, leading to burnout and depression (Griffiths et al., 2011; Hakanen & Schaufeli, 2012).

In addition, many researchers cover the issue of correlation between workplace stress and job satisfaction in a variety of spheres. For instance, healthcare is one of the career fields with heavy workloads and high levels of pressure on employees; as a result, the medical workers often experience low job satisfaction and turnover intentions (Trivellas et al., 2013). Researchers recognized that conflicts with coworkers, lack of access to information, heavy workloads, the absence of career opportunities, benefits, and rewards, and overall negative environments are the primary factors contributing to the decrease in employees’ job satisfaction and the increase in workplace stress levels (Trivellas et al., 2013). The studies also emphasized the common ground of job satisfaction and turnover intention.

As the researches show, workplace stress is an outcome of a multitude of determiners working in a combination. At the same time, there are factors that oppose the negative influences and minimize levels of stress or turnover intention; such factors are age and experience of the employees, and their marital status; in addition, employment under a contract also decreases turnover intentions (Chen et al., 2014), but it is possible to assume that such a decrease is related to factors other than lower workplace stress.

Another field with a high level of job dissatisfaction is public service known for the heavy and unevenly allocated workloads and lack of individual appreciation of the employees’ contribution. Obiora and Iwuoha (2013) present a study that identifies the main contributors to the low satisfaction of public service employees in Nigeria. Kula and Sahin (2015) cover the same problem exploring the sphere of law enforcement specifically. Both groups of researchers emphasize that overtime hours and low payments are the primary contributors to high rates of dissatisfaction in public service careers; also, the authors conclude that workplace stress leads to the loss of human resources in the form of turnover (Kula & Sahin, 2015; Obiora & Iwuoha, 2013).

Employee Absenteeism

Another issue pertaining to the topic is employee absenteeism. Absenteeism is defined as the customary failure of an employee to attend work (Prater & Smith, 2011). It is known that workplace stress is one of the major factors that increase the likelihood of employees’ absenteeism (Daniel, 2015). There are a number of mechanisms of absenteeism induction due to occupational stress, burnout, and depression being the most notable of them.

It was already mentioned that workplace stress has a profound adverse effect on the employees’ psychological well-being; it is no wonder that it often may lead to burnout. Burnout is a state in which an employee feels completely exhausted and frustrated and finds it difficult to continue working; the feeling of ineffectiveness, the mental fatigue, the loss of motivation, and the accumulating amounts of work to be done further impair their ability to work and may cause absenteeism (Hakanen & Schaufeli, 2012).

In addition, burnout is capable of leading to depression (Hakanen & Schaufeli, 2012). Depression, in turn, may result in such phenomena as despair, crying, angry outbursts, self-destructive behaviors, substance use, and so on (Martin, Neighbors, & Griffith, 2013).

Clearly, employees who find themselves in these situations are more likely to be absent from work. In addition, it is known that the symptoms of depression may include headaches, stomachaches, nausea, and diarrhea (Prater & Smith, 2011). While employees that are not experiencing such symptoms still may come to work, those who are may be forced to miss their work, which further exacerbates their adverse condition and leads to the additional pressure that they and their families find themselves under due to the fact that apart from suffering from such unpleasant experiences, these workers cannot make money.

The employee absenteeism caused by depression is known to be a widespread and costly problem; for instance, according to Martin et al. (2013), approximately one-third of the population of the U.S. suffers from this disorder, and the losses experienced due to depression in workers are stated to be approximately $83 billion annually (Prater & Smith, 2011).

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (2014) points out that employers have a legal obligation to take care of the well-being of their workers; this obligation covers physical hazards as well as psychosocial threats such as work-related stress. In cases when the managing personnel of organizations fails to accomplish their duties, negative outcomes may turn out to be rather costly (The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, 2014). The mechanisms individuals employ as strategies for coping with work-related stress differ from one person to another (Meško et al., 2013).

As explained by Meško et al. (2013), the scholars divide stress coping mechanisms into two main types: focused on emotions and focused on problems. According to Meško et al. (2013), the latter mechanism is more efficient in terms of the productivity of employees; it is also stressed that the use of it more effectively helps to reduce their absenteeism rates. Further, the causes of absenteeism related to workplace stress may be either objective (the ones that are difficult to influence for the organization or an individual) or subjective (the ones that refer to the effects that stress may have on the employees’ health) (Meško et al., 2013). In fact, work-related stress can result in such issues as mental and psychological disorders, loss of sleep and focus, eating disorders, substance abuse and addictions, depression, depersonalization, and cardiovascular disease (Meško et al., 2013).

Employee Productivity

Employee productivity is defined as the employee’s ability to meet or exceed assigned tasks in using the tools, technologies, and procedures given (Campbell, 2015). Productivity is defined as “the increased functional and organizational performance, including quality” (Roelofsen, 2012, p. 248). There is increased performance if there is less absenteeism and higher-quality production.

While employee absenteeism decreases the number of working hours that employees provide for the organizations they work for, there are other ways in which workplace stress experienced by employees may cause losses for an organization. Very often the losses originate from diminished employee productivity. It was already noted that burnout may lead to depression (Hakanen & Schaufeli, 2012). Before a worker is influenced by depression, however, burnout among the employees is also capable of harming an organization. For instance, it should not escape one’s attention that burnout may lead not only to frustration and cynicism but also to negative feelings or views related to clients, which may result in a poor quality of service, decreasing the quantity of a company’s clientele (Hakanen & Schaufeli, 2012).

It was stressed above that depression may cause absenteeism; another negative option is presenteeism or a situation in which employees come to work in spite of the fact that they are suffering from health problems. It is clear that a worker that is ill, depressed, and tired may find it hard to focus on the task at hand, which adversely affects their capability to do their job properly. Thus, the above-mentioned symptoms of depression, such as despair, angry outbursts, or substance abuse, will further lower the output of an employee’s work (Martin et al., 2013). In addition, the need to work while being ill often causes profound additional damage to the worker’s health.

While discussing productivity, RAND (2015) approached the concept of environment. Three domains of its determinants are distinguished: work-related factors (workplace conflicts, environments, corporate attitudes, and conditions), personal factors (individual behaviors, habits, and perspectives), and health factors (long-term illnesses and health conditions that may affect one’s professional performance).

Further, RAND (2015) added the concepts that helped managers measure the loss of productivity at an organization including daily activity impairment, absenteeism, and presenteeism; the use of these variables allows for calculating the exact number of days or hours that were lost due to the workers’ objective and subjective reasons. Consequently, the working hours can be easily converted into monetary equivalents in order to estimate the loss of capital the company has suffered due to productivity problems (RAND, 2015).

The method for estimation of productivity and the rates of other factors that influence it (job satisfaction, absenteeism, stress levels) are measured with the help of questionnaires, interviews, and feedback (Chen et al., 2014). Cevenini et al. (2012) propose measuring the levels of stress based on six dimensions (role, structure, growth and sensibility, work-life balance, interpersonal relations, and fulfillment) and test their questionnaire measuring workplace stress of the whole working population in Italy. The study had an extremely large sample (over 19 million people) and helped identify the correlation between workplace stress, occupational demotivation, and the personal well-being of workers (Cevenini et al., 2012).

The imbalance between the employee and workplace fosters the employee’s inability to endure obstacles and meet the demands of the job. Most of the time, employees encounter stressors that tend to accumulate if not well managed or released as waste from the physical and psychological faculties (Roelofsen, 2012). The workplace environment is one major stressor reducing productivity (Daniel, 2015). A survey conducted by the Building Owners and Managers Association International among building owners and managers in the US found that the indoor environment is considered a major stressor, which caused a low level of performance among employees in the facility (Roelofsen, 2012).

Workplace Stress in Ship-Repairing Industry

In the sphere of ship repair, the productivity of employees and their ability to remain focused is crucial for the maintenance of safety (Al-Raqadi, Abdul Rahim, Masrom, & Al-Riyami, 2015). This sphere shares many aspects that induce stress in workers with other industrial domains. However, there are also other factors. For instance, the evaluation of the main causes of stress among the ship-repair workers revealed that in addition to the hazardous working conditions and the frequency of accidents at the workplace, the employees experienced stress due to such reasons as workplace conflicts, inequitable allocation of workloads, overtime shifts, lack of fulfillment, and insufficient work-life balance (Cardoso, Padovani, & Tucci, 2014).

Bakotić and Babić (2013) prove the same tendency as they point out that working conditions are crucial for the employees of the ship-building sphere as well. In addition, according to the research of Cezar-Vaz et al. (2014), health problems resulting from work-related accidents are one of the most prominent stressors for employees in the ship-repair field and dock workers.

Quality management is one of the most efficient and necessary approaches that could ensure better and safer working conditions at the docks (Al-Raqadi et al., 2015). At the same time, the docks are one of the areas that are extremely sensitive towards reorganization (Cardoso et al., 2014). As the authors demonstrate using the modernization process at the Brazilian port Santos, the changes caused higher levels of stress among the workers (Cardoso et al., 2014). At the same time, the rapidly developing technologies of modern days require that such companies that are involved in the performance of repair work and services increase their quality and efficiency by means of modernizing their operations and technologies (Al-Raqadi et al., 2015).

Quality and change management approaches can be rather useful for the field of ship repair; however, the implementation of change and modernization should rely on smart and far-sighted plans. Otherwise, unorganized transformations may lead to workplace crises in terms of operations, productivity, and employee security and safety (Cardoso et al., 2014); the disruption of well-oiled processes and habitual organization for the purpose of modernization and change might cause additional accidents and hazards to the health of the workers (Cardoso et al., 2014).

As quality and change management directly affects the operations and organization of the working process, the transformations that occur due to its implementation may become the causes of workplace stress and its outcomes such as turnover, low job satisfaction, loss of resources, and absenteeism. This tendency has paradoxical character as a process designed to improve the working conditions has the capacity to make them worse and decrease the efficiency instead of making it better.

Summary

Working environments are one of the most significant stressors and management should take it as a precaution. Workplace stress can cost billions of dollars to the industry. The literature provides examples of stressful situations for workers. Construction workers, ship-repair workers, dockworkers, many blue-collar workers, work in dangerous environments which cause workplace stress. Other studies recorded a direct relationship between workplace stress and injuries in the construction industry. Workplace stress is a significant indicator of other symptoms of anxiety and psychological distress (Sunal, Sunal, & Yasin, 2011).

Research Method

To find relevant answers to the research question, I will use a qualitative research design. The rationale for selecting this method is the fact that it is the most appropriate for analyzing social contexts, behaviors, and experiences, which are valuable for reaching research objectives (O’Sullivan, Rassel, & Berner, 2008). Quantitative research focuses on testing hypotheses, detecting cause-and-effect relationships, and making generalizations (Caruth, 2013; Frels & Onwuegbuzie, 2013). Mixed research is the combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods designed to address their limitations, and investigate the issue from both explanatory and exploratory perspectives (Caruth, 2013).

Unlike these methods, qualitative research is based on the depth of understanding of the subject of research (Lund, 2012). Finally, qualitative research that is aimed at finding the meaning and understanding of perceptions allows using smaller sample sizes (Dworkin, 2012). Bearing in mind the limited resources of the proposed study and its objectives, it is the most appropriate research method.

Research questions were designed in a way to support the choice of a qualitative case study. These were constructed with the aim of pointing to the significance of personal experiences, perceptions, and perceived knowledge, i.e., (to articulate the objectives of the study) (Agee, 2009).

Research Design

For the purposes of this research, I chose the study as a research design. The rationale for selecting this is the method’s usefulness when conducting research on personal experiences and in-depth apprehension of the issue under consideration. Moreover, the case study is the only research design that can be effectively deployed when the researcher cannot control behavior, because they are influenced by the external environment. In addition, issues under investigation are contemporary, i.e., (can be changed easily) (Yin, 2013). Finally, it allows an opportunity to analyze the behavior of the respondents in their natural environment (Crowe, Creswell, Robertson, Huby, Avery, & Sheikh, 2011).

Research Technique

The proposed qualitative case study will be conducted on interviews. The rationale for choosing interviews instead of other data collection tools is the fact that they offer an opportunity to analyze numerous perceptions of reality (King & Horrocks, 2010). In most cases, this is the best option for obtaining an in-depth understanding of the issue under investigation. The interviews will be comprised of open-ended questions because they do not limit the area of the answer and are effective for gathering information regarding personal experience (Seidman, 2013). The primary purpose of conducting interviews is to inquire about feelings and personal experiences related to occupational stress. It means that I am the one to choose the phenomenological design for the interviews.

The motivation behind this choice is the fact that this type of interview is the most appropriate for gathering the data necessary for qualitative research because the information sought is based on sensations, perceptions, and intentions, i.e., (lived experience) (Ericson & Melin, 2010; Seidman, 2013). That said, the primary idea is to develop the questions aimed at studying job satisfaction, working environment, and work-related stress.

Sample Population

There are several rationales behind selecting respondents. Only people occupied in the ship-repair industry will be interviewed, because their experience is valuable for finding the answers to the research questions. As already mentioned, the sample size will be seventeen people – five helpers, five tradespersons, and seven managers of the ship-repair service company located within the Hampton Roads area in Virginia. The motivation for choosing a small sample size for this research is the fact that it guarantees the opportunity to conduct individual interviews and obtain the necessary amounts of data (Crouch & McKenzie, 2006; Hesse-Biber, 2016).

Because the purpose of the research is to gain an in-depth understanding of occupational stress, and the role of working conditions and management in reducing or increasing it, there is no sense in involving more people in the research (Miles, Huberman, & Saldaña, 2014). In addition to this, I decided to choose people carrying out different functions within one company, in order to obtain various perspectives on the same issue and draw comprehensive conclusions. The rationale for choosing people working in one company is their operation within one environment and interactions with each other. I believe that it would be beneficial for gathering accurate data.

In addition to choosing people working for a company involved in the shipbuilding industry and interviewing them in order to collect primary data, it is also imperative to include secondary sources of data. The central idea is to analyze the data collected by the authors of other qualitative research studies (Roller & Lavrakas, 2015). However, information from primary sources should be emphasized (Johnson & Christensen, 2014). Some of the secondary sources of data, which might be helpful in conducting the research, are studies in the same area of interest, i.e., coping with occupational stress and factors that invoke work-related stress, as well as company reports that focus on job satisfaction and professional stress (Flick, 2014).

Statistics showing rates of absenteeism might also be useful if provided by the company. The rationale for including secondary sources of data is the fact that they are valuable for generalizing the findings of the proposed qualitative research and checking its results for reliability (Hesse-Biber, 2016). Moreover, they are useful for providing a comprehensive picture of the findings and integrating them within the broader context of the area of interest (Flick, 2014).

Sampling Technique

For the purposes of this research, I have decided to use purposeful sampling. The first technique is purposeful sampling, i.e., (selecting only those people who are believed to provide me with enough details on the issue under consideration) (Miles et al., 2014). This technique is commonly deployed in qualitative research because it focuses on the participation of respondents who are closely related to the subject of the research (Palinkas, Horwitz, Green, Wisdom, Duan, & Hoagwood, 2015).

It will be supplemented by stratified sampling, i.e., (choosing respondents who belong to a particular subgroup of people, or stratum) (Johnson & Christensen, 2014). When speaking of the given research, belonging to a specific stratum stand for a position in a company – a helper, manager, or tradesperson.

Type of Data and Data Analysis

Data obtained during interviews that focus on perceptions and experiences is referred to as qualitative data. It is subjective and major, reflecting the worldview of every particular respondent (Grbich, 2013). The data collection process will be made up of several stages. The first step is to construct interview questions based on research objectives and research questions (Agee, 2009; King & Horrocks, 2010).

They should be open-ended. The second stage is shaping the sample for research on the basis of all the requirements for a respondent, i.e., (belonging to a particular stratum and having enough experience) (Johnson & Christensen, 2014; Palinkas et al., 2015). The third stage is conducting interviews. This will be done in a natural environment, i.e., (within a company unit, in order to increase the accuracy because of the possibility of observing the environment) (Agee, 2009). The final phase of the research is data analysis.

The primary step planned for analyzing the data is conceptualizing. Conceptualizing implies fractionalizing on the basis of themes and concepts mentioned in the answers to the interview questions (Miles et al., 2014). Further analysis will be based on finding trends in concepts, such as determining the primary areas of the work environment and management that lead to occupational stress, ideas related to job satisfaction and employee performance, ways to reduce work-related stress, etc.

Reliability and Validity

The central objective of the research is to guarantee that the gathered data is valid and accurate because it influences the conclusions. The initial challenge is the sample size. Even though small sample sizes are commonly used in qualitative research and are the most appropriate for gaining an in-depth understanding of the issue under investigation, they are often threats to validity (Flick, 2014). To overcome this challenge, it is recommended to use triangulation and member checking. Triangulation stands for using different methods for analyzing data or collecting it (Flick, 2014; Grbich, 2013).

This tool is referred to as methodological triangulation. Its significance should not be underestimated, as it is helpful for enhancing the validity of the findings. As the instrument implies comparing the obtained data by deploying different methods, the conclusions of the research are converging and comprehensive and the collected data is consistent with the phenomenon under investigation (Hesse-Biber, 2016; Miles et al., 2014; Roller & Lavrakas, 2015). If I use different methods for analyzing data and get identical results, it will point to a high level of reliability and validity of the research findings (Johnson & Christensen, 2014).

Conducting interviews within a company and observing working conditions could become another option for increasing the trustworthiness and accuracy of interview responses (Grbich, 2013; Miles et al., 2014). As for member checking, this method is used during the process of conducting interviews. It implies restating primary ideas of the answers and asking a respondent whether they match (Harper & Cole, 2012).

Summary

For the purposes of this research, a qualitative method is the best option, because it focuses on perceptions and is beneficial for getting an in-depth understanding of the issue under investigation (Dworkin, 2012; O’Sullivan et al., 2008). The data will be collected through conducting individual interviews consisting of phenomenological questions. The sample size is small, which is also useful for qualitative research, especially bearing in mind the limited resources. Once the data is collected, it will be analyzed by conceptualizing, with the primary emphasis on such constructs as emotional, philosophical, and those related to knowledge and the focus on job satisfaction, work environment, and management skills. In order to guarantee data relevance, triangulation and member checking will be employed.

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American Psychological Association. (2015). Stress in America. Web.

Bakker, A. B., & Demerouti, E. (2007). The Job Demands-Resources model: State of the art. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 22, 309-328. Web.

Bakotić, D., & Babić, T. (2013). Relationship between working conditions and job satisfaction: The case of Croatian Shipbuilding Company. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 4(2), 206-213. Web.

Britt, T., & Jex, S. (2015). Thriving under stress. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Campbell, K. (2015). Flexible work schedules, virtual work programs, and employee productivity. Web.

Cardoso, P. Q., Padovani, R., &Tucci, A. M. (2014). Analysis of stressors agents and stress expression among temporary dock workers. Estudos de Psicologia. 31(4), 507-516. Web.

Caruth, G. D. (2013). Demystifying mixed methods research design: A review of the literature. Mevlana International Journal of Education, 3(2), 112-122. Web.

Cevenini, G., Fratini, I., & Gambassi, R. (2012). A new quantitative approach to measure perceived work-related stress in Italian employees. International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, 25(4), 426-445. Web.

Cezar-Vaz, M., de Almeida, M., Bonow, C., Rocha, L., Borges, A., & Piexak, D. (2014). Casual dock work: Profile of diseases and injuries and perception of influence on health. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 11(2), 2077-2091.

Chen, M., Huang, Y., Hou, W., Sun, C., Chou, Y., Chu, S., & Yang, T. (2014). The correlations between work stress, job satisfaction and quality of life among nurse anesthetists working in medical centers in Southern Taiwan. Nursing and Health, 2(2), 35-47. Web.

Creswell, J. (2007). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. New York, NY: SAGE Publications.

Crouch, M., & McKenzie, H. (2006). The logic of small samples in interview-based qualitative research. Social Science Information, 45(4), 483-499. Web.

Crowe, S., Creswell, K., Robertson, A., Huby, G., Avery, A., & Sheikh, A. (2011). The case study approach. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 11(1), 100-109. Web.

Daniel, J. (2015). Workplace spirituality and stress: Evidence from Mexico and US. Management Research Review, 38(1), 43-29. Web.

Demerouti, E., Bakker, A., Nachreiner, F. & Schaufeli, W. (2001). The job demands resources model of burnout. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(3), 499-512. Web.

Dwamena, M. A. (2012). Stress and its effects on employees’ productivity: A case study of Ghana ports and harbors authority, Takoradi. Web.

Dworkin, S. L. (2012). Sample size policy for qualitative studies using in-depth interviews. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41(6), 1319-1320. Web.

Emmel, N. (2013). Sampling and choosing cases in qualitative research: A realist approach. London, UK: SAGE Publications.

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Fleming, P. (2005). Workers’ playtime? Boundaries and cynicism in a “culture of fun” program. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 41(3), 285-303. Web.

Flick, U. (2014). The SAGE handbook of qualitative data analysis. London, UK: SAGE Publications.

Frels, R. K. & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2013). Administering quantitative instruments with Qualitative Interviews: A mixed research approach. Journal of Counseling & Development, 91(2), 184-194. Web.

Grbich, C. (2013). Qualitative data analysis: An introduction. London, UK: SAGE Publications.

Griffiths, M., Baxter, S., & Townley-Jones, M. (2011). The wellbeing of financial counselors: A study of work stress and job satisfaction. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, 22(2), 41-78. Web.

Gupta, M., Kumar, V., & Singh, M. (2014). Creating satisfied employees through workplace spirituality: a study of the private insurance in Punjab (India). Journal of Business Ethics, 12(2), 79-88. Web.

Hakanen, J. J. & Schaufeli, W. B. (2012). Do burnout and work engagement predict depressive symptoms and life satisfaction? A three-wave seven-year prospective study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 141(2-3), 415-424. Web.

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Appendix A

Annotated Bibliography

Aftab, H. & Javeed, A. (2012).The impact of job stress on the counter-productive work behavior (CWB): A case study from the financial sector of Pakistan. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 4(7), 590-604. Web.

Purpose

Aftab and Javeed’s paper’s major objective is to find out the relationship between job stress and employee counterproductive work behavior (CWB). In terms of participants, research design, methods, and data analysis, the research serves to address how stress at work can direct a worker toward counterproductive work behavior.

Participants, Research Design, Methods, and Data Analysis

In this paper, a sampling of 134 workers from the telecom segment of Pakistan was selected by researchers. Their occupational stress was evaluated using three imperative measurements which include conflicts at work, physical surroundings, and workload. The study uncovered that all three variables of occupation anxiety negatively impact the employment satisfaction of workers. The research outcomes likewise were backed by earlier findings, such as the fact that workers who expressed anxious feelings lamented that their jobs were not fulfilling. In this study, the subjects who had encountered excessive stress due to job conflicts, physical environment, and inordinate workload were less satisfied with their jobs, compared to those who had less stressful moments.

This study sought to reveal how stress at work impacts employees’ CWB. The findings of the study revealed that occupational stress among workers leads to counter-productiveness. In addition, there was an adequate positive correlation between occupational stress and workers’ CWB. These outcomes were in tandem with past studies, in the sense that occupational stress drives workers toward CWB. This study strengthens the significance of employees’ job conduct.

Thoughtful Evaluation

An inference can be made, based on the findings, that workers’ stress levels have a significant influence on their CWB. The study is thus crucial to management teams in organizations since it points out the necessity of getting rid of causes of workers’ stress in order to boost productivity.

Agee, J. (2009). Developing qualitative research questions: A reflective process. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 22(4), 431-447. Web.

Purpose

The author seeks to explore ways of constructing effective and more meaningful research questions when undertaking a methodological field study. According to the researcher, a good research project may not necessarily be generated by good research questions. A study requires both shape and direction in order to develop and attain the set objectives.

Participants, Research Design, Methods, and Data Analysis

The researcher in this study material approaches the objective of the paper using processes such as interrogation and reflection. By exploring various methods of developing effective research questions, the author is in a position to examine the pros and cons of each approach. With regard to reflection, the researcher is in a position to weigh, assess, and critique the variety of methods used and eventually come up with solid evidence. Various stages in a study can be negatively affected if the adopted research questions are either poorly conceived or developed. It is also crucial to mention that the perspective of other people can be best understood by questioning the person concerned. Comprehending these unfolding lives is considered to be a crucial part of any category of a qualitative study. In any case, the perspective of other people is both an informative and a balanced way of gathering data when conducting qualitative research studies.

Key Findings

From the study material, it emerges that a qualitative study can be shaped by developing and refining research questions that eventually work as the building blocks for the entire research study. In addition, the starting point of any research study should be the adopted questions. This implies that a researcher can comfortably begin a study project after establishing satisfactory questions.

Thoughtful Evaluation

Since a qualitative research study is more or less descriptive in nature, a guiding framework is indeed necessary. Most qualitative studies often take the shape of question and answer format, so as to establish a formidable understanding of the theme being developed.

Al-Raqadi, A., Abdul Rahim, A., Masrom, M., & Al-Riyami, B. (2015). Learning quality management for ships’ upkeep and repair environment. Asian Social Science, 11(16), 196-218. Web.

The basic purpose of this article is to emphasize the significance of an established quality management program.

Participants, Research Design, Methods, and Data Analysis

The research was a qualitative study, whereby data was collected using a questionnaire. Whereas the paper looks into other past studies and connects the entire research within a streamlined structure, it similarly focuses on or utilizes the ships’ maintenance and repair bolster management (SU&RSM) as a point of reference to solve issues and develop strategies addressing how to improve management skills in organizations. The study accentuates the requirement for a system to comprehend institutional learning and quality administration. It utilizes capability, fixation, and adequacy of preparation to thoroughly comprehend the association of ships’ maintenance.

Key Findings

Having fundamentally looked into other published literature, it is vital to mention that upgrading employees’ capabilities in business is important so that the management can be in a position to set goals and achieve them within the stated timelines. Comprehension of one’s position and utilization of administrative structures and devices are both fundamental, especially in unpredictable circumstances. Effective management strategies should be exercised at all times, in order to improve both the quality and timing of production.

Thoughtful Evaluation

Organizations that do not embrace any type of value authorization may not be in a position to remain competitive, profitable, or productive in the delivery of goods and services. Hence, quality management is an important undertaking that should not be ignored.

American Psychological Association. (2015). Stress in America. Web.

Purpose, participants, Research Design, Methods, and Data Analysis

The purpose of this study was to explore the state of stress throughout the United States, along with its effects. This research study was an online survey conducted by Harris Poll for the American Psychological Association. The survey targeted about 3,000 adults who were over 18 years of age and lived in the US. The parameters considered in the study included sex, age, race, region, household, and education.

Key Findings

The study found that the stress gap widens with gender. For example, men report lower stress levels than women. Women are also likely to reveal the symptoms associated with stress any time they experience or go through stressful situations. The study also finds an association between age and stress. It is reported that the levels of stress between middle-aged individuals and older people are lower than that among youngsters. The youths find it difficult to manage stress, unlike the older generation. In addition, parents and young people face a lot of financial pressure, compared to other segments of the population.

Thoughtful Evaluation

The study is important because it acts as a crucial model in the psychological field and health department in the United States, when it comes to the endeavor of managing stress, both in the workplace and within American families. Through considering this survey’s results, appropriate recommendations can be made regarding how to mitigate incidents of stress that can jeopardize workplace productivity and enable workers to thrive in good health.

Bakker, A. B., & Demerouti, E. (2007). The Job Demands-Resources model: State of the art. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 22, 309-328. Web.

The aim of this article is to provide a cutting-edge impression of the Job Demands-Resources model.

Participants, Research Design, Methods, and Data Analysis

In their research paper, Bakker and Demerouti discuss the pros and cons of the demand–control prototype and the determination-reward inequality prototype, with regard to the forecasted value of workers’ affairs. They further introduce a more versatile model of job demand, which is laid out in fundamental details. The paper challenges the existing anxiety models. Moreover, it traces how the JD‐R model can be connected to an extensive variety of jobs, and be utilized to enhance productivity of employees and job execution.

Key Findings

The paper gives a review of the studies that have already been executed using the JD‐R model. The authors discuss each of the model’s fundamental recommendations.

The model can be utilized as an instrument for human asset administration. A double-stage methodology can be used to detect causes of employees’ declining performance in the workplace.

Thoughtful Evaluation

This survey urges specialists to research the legitimacy of the Job Demands‐Resources model using various work groups and in different settings. Additionally, it is an eye-opener, and future studies ought to test whether the model is compelling enough to assist workers.

Bakotić, D., & Babić, T. (2013). Relationship between working conditions and job satisfaction: The case of Croatian Shipbuilding Company. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 4(2), 206-213. Web.

Purpose

The paper aims to evaluate how varied working conditions influence job satisfaction among workers.

Participants, Research Design, Methods, and Data Analysis

The paper is based on empirical research that was done within a ship construction company in Croatia. The researchers sampled a total of 60 employees of the company, whereby 30 of them worked in ordinary environments while the remaining 30 worked under difficult conditions. Questionnaires were administered in order to collect the necessary data for the research study, in terms of the overall traits of the respondents and their responses on overall job satisfaction questions. The collected data was then tested and analyzed statistically.

Key Findings

The study findings demonstrate that there is no clear distinction in general employment satisfaction between employees who work in hardship conditions and those who work in fairly good conditions. In the case of laborers who face numerous workplace challenges, the working environment is a critical element required in order to gain a feeling of job satisfaction. From the observations made, it can be noted that the overall job satisfaction level does not differ significantly among workers located in different organizations or geographical settings.

Thoughtful Evaluation

The study is important, since it provides a model that can assist organizations in coming up with appropriate job descriptions for employees, and creating a conducive work environment.

Britt, T., & Jex, S. (2015). Thriving under stress. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Purpose

The book aims to teach the audience how to deal with stress at work and eventually thrive in productivity.

Participants, Research Design, Methods, and Data Analysis

Britt and Jex highlight practical exercises in every chapter for any reader going through the book. The exercises entail lessons that cover how employees can minimize factors that promote stress in the workplace. The authors also outline the responsibilities of leaders in helping workers to thrive. The book highlights conditions that assist workers in coping with challenges within their work environment. The study findings are based on scientific research.

Key Findings

This book brings out criteria for how stress can be positively exploited at any given firm. There are numerous ways of dealing with anxiety that lead to or trigger stress in the workplace. Some pundits view stress as a dangerous condition that ought to be avoided at all costs. There are also management teams that do not perceive how workplace pressure may be utilized to encourage self-awareness, proficient improvement, and increased volume or capacity of production. In this book, Britt and Jex portray how unpleasant functioning conditions can deliver positive results when workers approach stress in the proper manner, or if they concentrate on the importance and critical value of their work. Employees who recoup proper benefit from distressing working conditions are more highly likely to remain productive than those who concentrate on workplace challenges.

The authors also emphasize that management teams should view themselves as dynamic constructors of their workplaces. As a result, both middle and higher level managers should perceive themselves as agents of change.

Thoughtful Evaluation

The book explores a number of dos and don’ts when it comes to the management of stress in the workplace. In particular, the authors argue that employees play a major role in the management of stress, even before it reaches a point where the employer has to chip in. Moreover, coping with stress at work should be an ongoing process, and not merely a one-time commitment.

Campbell, K. (2015). Flexible work schedules, virtual work programs, and employee productivity (Doctoral dissertation). Web.

Purpose

The main purpose of the paper is to explore a number of strategies used by business leaders to promote, enhance, or stimulate job schedules and flexible workplace programs.

Participants, Research Design, Methods, and Data Analysis

Campbell applies a qualitative research approach in the above study. In addition, an ethnographic study has been incorporated in the paper in order to derive the much-needed results. The researcher sampled out a population of six workers and three administrative managers in an international blood management solutions enterprise in the United States. During the process, data was collected using strategic focus groups, interviews, and documents derived from the organization.

Key Findings

During the study, five different developing themes were discovered, with relation to the main research question. They included advancement of standard of living, hours of work, performance of workers, job satisfaction, cybernetic office setups, and communication. Some of the themes were not well covered. As revealed by the findings, the dominant part of the research’s team was composed of both directors and focus group members. Adaptable work routines and virtual work programs generally enhance workers’ value.

Thoughtful Evaluation

The study findings add to the current body of research by making data available on the relationship between virtual work schedules and adaptable work routines and workers’ efficiency. However, further research still needs to be conducted in this area of study, in order to solidify the findings that have already been documented on workplace stress and job satisfaction.

Cardoso, P. Q., Padovani, R., &Tucci, A. M. (2014). Analysis of stressors agents and stress expression among temporary dock workers. Estudos de Psicologia, 31(4), 507-516. Web.

Purpose

The research study was done at Santos Port in Sao Paulo, with an aim to investigate the opinion of employees regarding stress at their respective places of work.

Participants, Research Design, Methods, and Data Analysis

The study, done by three researchers – Tucci, Cardoso, and Padovani – adopted the qualitative research approach. The researchers gathered their data by simulating stress symptoms among adults and interviewing port workers. A total number of 17 employees were interviewed in the process. Ten of those who were interviewed were already stressed at work. According to the respondents, their present work arrangement enhanced situations that promoted the occurrence and continuing of stress. It is apparent that a direct relationship exists between anxiety and stress.

Findings and thoughtful evaluation

As indicated by the records of employees at the Port of Santos, stress has a direct bearing on the overall wellbeing and productivity of employees. This report demonstrates that, unless employees are granted adequate time for relaxation and reflecting on their performance, they may continue exhibiting poor performance in the workplace. In addition, it came out clearly that some temporary workers at the docks were not ready to share their experiences with the management. In fact, they opted to endure tough working conditions largely due to temporary work placement. On the other hand, most of temporary dock workers did not experience the actual stressful conditions at their place of work, since they partially interacted with stressors at the port.

The study is important, as it uncovers the psychological and physical stressors that affect the health of workers. Such a model is helpful in developing a suitable work arrangement that can reduce stress among employees at work.

Caruth, G. D. (2013). Demystifying mixed methods research design: A review of the literature. Mevlana International Journal of Education, 3(2), 112-122. Web.

Purpose

The peer study aims to investigate mixed methods research with an eye to setting the record straight when it comes to misleading concepts that are usually misunderstood when the method is applied. It is common knowledge that various complexities are encountered when mixed methods are used in studies. However, this does not imply that researchers should be misled.

Participants, Research Design, Methods, and Data Analysis

Research designs adopted using mixed methods can be varied in a number of ways. Some researchers may be less familiar with designs to be used or already applied in a particular research study. Hence, for any future research to be fully and comprehensively developed there is a need for research partners to explore a broad array of usable approaches. For instance, demystifying misconceptions is part and parcel of improving research studies, regardless of the approach adopted. This study is not peer reviewed and therefore, no particular participants took part in its development. It can be observed that the bulk of the study takes the form of a literature review that expounds the relevance of utilizing both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Key Findings

There is growing acceptance in the application of qualitative and empirical research methods. Most researchers tend to argue that more robust studies can be best obtained through mixed research methods. Better still, mixed research methods enable researchers to clearly stipulate reasons for their studies. Recent research studies on methodologies have revealed that mixed methods create a broad base for alternatives when conducting any type of research. Hence, a researcher is not limited in any way when examining and investigating a concept at hand.

Thoughtful Evaluation

From the outset, a single type of research design, in carrying out a research study, cannot capture all the required information. There is a likelihood of missing or deliberately leaving out vital data when either a qualitative or quantitative method is used as the only option. The body of knowledge being developed can also be enhanced and broadened by mixed methods research designs. In the event that future studies are to be conducted in the same area of concern, the mixed methods research design can elicit more useful questions and explorations. Being limited to one design is a major setback when developing a certain body of knowledge. Therefore, it is up to researchers to acquire adequate knowledge regarding how to use various research methodologies.

Cevenini, G., Fratini, I., & Gambassi, R. (2012). A new quantitative approach to measure perceived work-related stress in Italian employees. International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, 25(4), 426-445. Web.

Purpose

The paper is a research proposal based on a new method of evaluating perceived job-related stress among employees in Italy.

Participants, Research Design, Methods, and Data Analysis

The paper aims to establish a quantitative measure that can be reliably used to evaluate psychosocial health, occupational safety, and occupational stress in the workplace. While workplace stress is a common phenomenon in organizations, precise prevention policies should be put in place at the right time before productivity is negatively affected. The researchers propose a research method that can be used to evaluate and quantify stress, along with seeking functional preventive measures. For example, efficiency of workers and attempts to improve work quality should be a long-term commitment for management teams in organizations.

As part and parcel of data collection in the study, the researchers used suitable questionnaires. The employees targeted in the survey were Italian workers who were contacted by telephone. The sample size was also stratified. In order to fully comprehend work-related stress, a causal model was designed, so as to identify common risk factors at various workplaces. Both the discriminant and cluster methods were combined during the data analysis stage. Additionally, the principle component and multivariate statistical methods were used.

Causal links of stress were explained by the model. This was made possible by allowing employees to relate the available resources and job demands in the workplace, and whether the two components were in tandem with each other.

Cezar-Vaz, M., de Almeida, M., Bonow, C., Rocha, L., Borges, A., & Piexak, D. (2014). Casual dock work: Profile of diseases and injuries and perception of influence on health. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 11(2), 2077-2091.

The current study purposed to examine the characteristics of illnesses and injuries that impact casual dock workers. It also aimed to investigate the general opinion of these workers, with regard to unhealthy work effects on their overall wellbeing. In order to achieve these objectives, the study was approached in two broad phases. To begin with, retrospective analysis opened up the initial stage of the study. This was comprised of empirical research that was carried out with the past records. The total number of records used was 953. A non-random sample was utilized in the next stage of the study. A total of 51 casual workers took part in this stage.

With regard to data analysis, SPSS 19.0 was used. The mean age of the workers was 48.7 years. From the raw data gathered in the field, it was found that the dock work experience stood at 19.6 years. It is worth mentioning that most of the workers fell within this age category in terms of experience.

Before the research study could continue, a sample size of 527 cases was prepared. The diagnoses were purely pathological in nature. Thereafter, the researchers highlighted the musculoskeletal system that had been affected by the diagnoses. One aspect that stood out was the outcomes to physical health generated by mishaps.

The results indicated major differences in the influence of positive work in heart-related complications and the general health standards of families. The researchers unanimously agreed that the nature of perception by workers at the docks were related to the diagnosis obtained. The research study also concluded that preventive measures began in earnest due to the diagnosis.

This study attempts to demonstrate the fact that perception plays a major role in behavioral change of individuals or groups.

Chen, M., Huang, Y., Hou, W., Sun, C., Chou, Y., Chu, S., & Yang, T. (2014). The correlations between work stress, job satisfaction and quality of life among nurse anesthetists working in medical centers in Southern Taiwan. Nursing and Health, 2(2), 35-47. Web.

This empirical study aimed to examine the relationship between work stress, job satisfaction, and the living standard of nurses working in the anesthetic department in a medium-sized Taiwanese healthcare institution.

The research activity used a cross-sectional study plan. Those who were interviewed in the study were primarily nurse anesthetists. One of the conditions for taking part in the study was that a nurse must have worked in his or her respective job for not less than six months. Recruitment took the first three months of 2012. When it came to the process of collecting data, a structural questionnaire was used. In order to gather data in the most comprehensive manner, the questionnaire was subdivided into several useful sections, based on the nature of information required from participants. The quality of life, job satisfaction, causes of job stress, and personal characteristics were among the key information areas obtained from the participants in the study. The survey involved 150 participants.

One of the most noteworthy findings derived from the study was that monthly overtime amounts were contributing to overall job stress. Job satisfaction among the nurses was also influenced, in one way or another, by a number of factors. For example, nurses who were already planning to resign due to stress in the workplace were generally less satisfied with their jobs. It is vital to mention that significant differences were evident in all the aforementioned factors, especially with regard to the degree of job stress and satisfaction.

Data analysis was carried out using multiple regressions. For individuals who were contemplating resigning from their jobs, it was found that they had a lower quality of life than those who had no intention to give up their jobs. In summary, the standard of living among the participants in the study was found to be affected by factors such as physical activities and plans to leave employment.

Creswell, J. (2007). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. New York, NY: SAGE Publications.

The purpose of this book is to delve into key elements, history, and philosophical underpinnings of the five research designs and empirical inquests. The five empirical inquests include case studies, ethnography, grounded theory, phenomenology, and narrative research.

Traditions of inquest are common themes used in qualitative research designs. The text offers a succinct comparison in the verification of results, writing narratives, data analysis, data collection, and introduction to studies. Standards of quality and how to employ them in various theoretical frameworks have also been captured in this study.

Qualitative research is more related to data about the motivations of a group, as well as understanding and interpreting certain behaviors, beliefs, and expectations of individuals in a population. Since it is exploratory, it serves the purpose of obtaining numbers, not as results, but as insights. The latter approach is often unpredictable.

The most commonly used features in qualitative research are semi-structured in-depth interviews, field observation (observing consumer behavior), telephone interviews, and so on.

Qualitative research is crucial in deepening knowledge that has already been quantified, or when there is a need to create and quantify a knowledge base.

In this type of research, the work of an expert is another key feature that can be used to polish the large volume of raw information received from the field.

The sample size cannot follow statistical accuracy. However, we should have, in the sample, a picture of the studied population.

Qualitative research is indicated when there is a need, for example, to understand the customer’s perception about a new product, understand the choice of the popular vote, and analyze the working mode of competition.

Crouch, M., & McKenzie, H. (2006). The logic of small samples in interview-based qualitative research. Social Science Information, 45(4), 483-499. Web.

Purpose

This paper purposes to examine the relevance of using small sample sizes when carrying out descriptive studies based on interview methodology. Manifest meanings and the social aspect of life are not the only attributes that can be learned through interviews. Unless a researcher is deeply immersed in the field of research, it can be practically impossible to gather crucial data after interviewing subjects per se.

Participants, Research Design, Methods, and Data Analysis

The main research methodology described in this paper is the use of interviews. A qualitative framework, like the one discussed in this study, primarily seeks to deepen the data collection method irrespective of the approach used. For instance, it can be observed that a smaller sample size is easier to manage, both in terms of data collection and analysis. The ambiguity created by overly large sample sizes can be significantly reduced, if not eliminated altogether. Respondents should be willing to cooperate with the researcher in the field so that the process of gathering data can be successful. However, it is the duty of a researcher to work out a way and means of attracting and sustaining the attention of a respondent throughout the whole interview period. A fruitful relationship is inevitable.

The research problem can also be labeled successful if a respondent is willing and ready to collaborate with a researcher. In this particular text, the authors suggest a small sample size. The authors argue that thorough interaction with individual cases is crucial in obtaining the much-needed data. a case sample of 15 will enable a researcher to facilitate an in-depth inquiry into a research problem. The data to be analyzed in a logical and manageable case sample can also be understood quite well.

Key Findings

The social world situations can be explained in a better way after interacting with the respondents on the ground. Nonetheless, one of the findings expounded in this paper is that a research study should be explanatory as much as possible, in order to bring out the real picture on the ground. Analysis and induction can be both used to explain the aspect of concept formation. The basic logic of a project does not rely on representativeness or sample size, even though both extremes are relevant in the eventual success of a research study.

Thoughtful Evaluation

The size of a sample in a research study is capable of influencing several factors, including the results obtained. Study of persons also requires a passionate development of relationships before, during, and after the interview process has been accomplished. It goes without saying that when interviewing respondents in the field, a researcher should be in a position to streamline the interrogations within the required boundaries, and also act as professionally as possible.

Crowe, S., Creswell, K., Robertson, A., Huby, G., Avery, A., & Sheikh, A. (2011). The case study approach. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 11(1), 100-109. Web.

Purpose

The paper aims to explore the usefulness and deficiencies of the case study approach in research studies. The authors also explore individual case studies of organizations, with the main objective of evaluating how those cases are beneficial or detrimental to research study workers.

Participants, Research Design, Methods, and Data Analysis

The authors note that corporate fields, such as those that fall within policy making, law, and business, can immensely benefit from case study reports, inasmuch as individual researchers find it useful to employ the case study as a research methodology. The real-life setting nature of a case study assists in building up concepts that can be applied practically as part and parcel of solutions to challenges facing the corporate world.

Another outstanding methodology that goes along with the case study approach is reflection. A balanced personal take is crucial in a research study that entails case study methodology. Moreover, various case study designs can be employed separately when analyzing organizations and workplace realities. For researchers who design and appraise draft projects, there are a number of case study reports that can be used as relevant vital pointers. Readers can also benefit from such pointers in the course of analyzing case studies.

Key Findings

It has been established that an insightful appreciation of issues is possible when a case study approach is used. Phenomena of interest are also best analyzed using case studies. Nevertheless, key methodological considerations are crucial when employing the case study approach.

Thoughtful Evaluation

It is undeniable that the case study approach is a dominant and proven method of conducting analysis of issues in research projects. However, the effectiveness of this method depends upon an individual researcher, since myriad angles can be used. Besides, the case study approach as a research methodology offers an open ground to employ mixed designs, so long as the given analysis stays within the required context.

Daniel, J. (2015). Workplace spirituality and stress: Evidence from Mexico and US. Management Research Review, 38(1), 43-29. Web.

The objective of this study is to peruse the connection between distinguishing characteristics of workplace spirituality and work stress. These are the sense of community, meaningful work, and inner life. The study gave special focus to the United States of America and Mexico.

In terms of the design, methodology, or approach adopted, the researcher utilized a statistical tool known as structural equation modeling. Additionally, the partial least squares was used to conduct the analysis with a sample size of 304 participants.

Findings

Insignificant tallies were obtained for sense of community and inner life after analyzing the data. Nevertheless, both countries demonstrated significant records for work stress and meaningful work. Both of the two measures demonstrated significant correlation to the entities that were being measured. In addition, less stress is perceived by employees who tend to engage in meaningful activities. This finding reflects figures obtained from both Mexico and the United States.

Research limitations/implications

Quite a large percentage of the sample size obtained from the US was comprised of employees who were working part time. Such a variation would affect the outcome on workplace spirituality. Additionally, part-time workers may not be subjected to the same magnitude of stress as those employed on a full-time basis. Another likely limitation is that much of the data from the United States was obtained from one region, while data gathered from Mexico was countrywide.

Practical implications

Business specialists and human resource managers can use such results to comprehend the relevance of carrying out meaningful operations in the workplace in order to prevent or manage workplace stress. For example, stress can be minimized in the workplace by rotating employees around different work stations.

Thoughtful evaluation

A study of this type provides the best platform for studying and understanding the relationship between workplace stress and spirituality in a comprehensive manner, bearing in mind that raw data was gathered from diverse sources.

Demerouti, E., Bakker, A., Nachreiner, F. & Schaufeli, W. (2001). The job demands resources model of burnout. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(3), 499-512. Web.

Two broad categories can be used to categorize working conditions according to the Job Demands-Resources model. The two classifications are resources and demands. It is instrumental to note that the two categories are uniquely related to particular outcomes.

This study sought to correlate productivity of employees and stress. In order to attain stronger evidence for the model, both working conditions and observer ratings were used. Self-reports were also found to be relevant in supporting the model. The burnout exhaustion components show a direct relationship with job demands. In contrast, disengagement is related to inadequate job resources.

Workers drawn from the transport industry and human services sector demonstrated highly similar patterns. The total size of the sample was 374. Moreover, the 2-factor structure confirmed the results. Before confirming the outcomes, both disengagement and exhaustion were taken into consideration. In fact, the latter formed a new burnout tool. Stress itself is not a disease. Indeed, stress is a causative factor of disease. In the coming years, stress levels will double. Thus, it is important to identify the early signs, causes, and consequences, as well as how to combat it.

Stress in the workplace can also affect both the employer and employee. Therefore, the health of workers is one of the most important social issues of our time. Its relevance has grown enormously in the face of profound and rapid changes that the unswerving course of technological revolution requires each day in capital / labor relations. In a recent descriptive research, carried out in a company’s services segment in Bahia, 101 workers took part in the survey to assist in assessing the relationship between psychosocial factors at work and mental stress.

Dwamena, M. A. (2012). Stress and its effects on employees’ productivity: A case study of Ghana ports and harbors authority, Takoradi. Web.

The text discusses stress in the workplace and how it affects the productivity of employees. The author posits that there is a direct relationship between stress that a person is subjected to and productivity at work. At first, stress may be beneficial, as it plays the role of stimulating you. However, with the passage of time, it may inflict more serious harmful effects, such as weakening the physical body and causing a gross drop in workplace productivity.

Minor occurrences of stressful situations may cause a slight initial drop in the productivity of an employee. When the situation persists, stress can compromise the entire productivity level of a worker. By the way, professionals who are successful in their careers are those who can manage stress before it can reach a toxic level.

It is common knowledge that stress can compromise other areas in the life of an individual beyond just productivity in the workplace. As a result, it can bring about blood circulation difficulties, decreased sexual activity, challenges in interpersonal relationships, and even a major drop in strength of the immune system.

In the study material, a number of solutions in the management of stress have been proposed. In the case of routine work problems, the challenge is constant. It is therefore very important to create mechanisms to reduce the burden of stress. One of the most efficient approaches is to grant more time to pleasurable activities, devote oneself to the family, enjoy adequate leisure time, and eat a diet rich in anti-stress nutrients. Employees should also be allowed to bond more with colleagues in the workplace by attending seminars, workshops, and team building exercises. Capacity building and training on various subject areas should be organized for employees on a regular basis.

Dworkin, S. L. (2012). Sample size policy for qualitative studies using in-depth interviews. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41(6), 1319-1320. Web.

Purpose

The journal article aims to revisit the subject of policy guidelines when conducting qualitative research studies using either interviews or well-established theoretical models. Qualitative research methods have been broadly used in recent journals submitted to the scholarly community. While most of the journals meet the threshold set, we may not dispute the fact that some journals fall short of the policy guidelines in place.

Participants, Research Design, Methods, and Data Analysis

Writing an effective methodology section has been an area of concern among researchers over the years. In the case when in-depth interviews and theoretical models are combined, several concerns are raised. A rigorous methods section shapes the rest of a research study paper. A research method may vary according to its nature. Thus, a research method may be qualitative, quantitative, and basic or applied.

It is the discipline that reflects the scientific method. It is the structure of the different sciences, and is based on systematic analysis of phenomena and organizing principles and rational as well as experimental processes. It allows thorough scientific research and the acquisition of scientific knowledge.

Quantitative research methods require larger sample sizes than qualitative research methods. The latter scenario can be explained by the fact that heterogeneities in meaning are emphasized in qualitative methods, compared to quantitative research studies. In other words, qualitative research methods tend to answer the questions “why” and “how”.

In-depth interview is another profound research methodology discussed in this journal text. This method usually targets a particular segment of the population which is probably interested in a certain issue. Interviews are usually carried out and incorporated with hypothesis testing during the analysis stage.

Key Findings

Inductive and emergent approaches are particularly focused towards hypothesis testing. The authors elucidate that the gathered data can be put into various categories after winding up the processes of in-depth interviews and application of grounded theory. In fact, the latter are the main objectives of the methodologies discussed in the journal article.

Thoughtful Evaluation

Regardless of the methodology used in a research study, sample size is a fundamental aspect to consider when deliberating any type of research-based activity. Policy guidelines are crucial in this case, even though it is at the discretion of researchers to decide the best methodological approach and research designs to employ.

Emmel, N. (2013). Sampling and choosing cases in qualitative research: A realist approach. London, UK: SAGE Publications.

Purpose

The book explores various ways of approaching a qualitative research study. The author posits that minimal attention has been given to sampling methods used in qualitative research. The same challenge has been witnessed when choosing cases to be used.

Background, Sampling Techniques, and Choosing Cases

The most commonly employed sampling strategies have been discussed in the book. In addition, the book examines the main theoretical assumptions used in qualitative studies, alongside the quantitative and descriptive underpinnings that are usually generated from myriad methods used.

The author prominently revisits approaches to choosing cases and sampling methods used in qualitative research. Needless to say, reworking of sampling techniques is a rare area covered by research scholars. It is interesting to note that case studies provide a valid ground for methodological analysis.

In order to elaborate the key objects of the book, international case studies have been brought on board so as to shed more light. The author also elaborates on the manner in which choices are driven by ideas. Moreover, it is evident that evidence and ideas are a construction of cases and, depending on the researcher, the outcome can be articulate and impressive. Contrary to the popular view, the author asserts that the sample size is not overly significant or exclusively fundamental when carrying out qualitative research studies.

Key Findings and Thoughtful Evaluation

Depending on how individual case studies are selected and applied for analysis, the outcome can be different. Therefore, case studies do not necessarily rely on the size of the samples. Second, the processes of interpreting and explaining cases often determine the validity of results obtained. Moreover, qualitative research demands a realistic approach from the point of selecting cases to the analysis and interpretation stages.

Ericson, M., & Melin, L. (2010). Strategizing and history. In D. Golsorkhi, L. Rouleau, D. Seidl, & E. Vaara (Eds.), Cambridge handbook of strategy as practice (pp. 326-343). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Purpose

The authors seek to lay groundwork on strategy as a practice among researchers and students alike. This section of the book broadly covers methodological perspectives and theoretical underpinnings when exploring and deliberating the aspect of strategy.

Background and Relevance

Strategic planning came to light in the mid-60s, through planning methodologies proposed by scholars. Strategic planning is a management methodology that works toward establishing the direction to be followed by an organization that aims at a greater degree of interaction with the environment. The direction chosen by a company encompasses significant macro policy issues, macro strategies, and functional objectives with regard to the organization’s interaction with the immediate environment. It can vary according to the alignment of objectives set by management teams.

Strategic planning is also a process of analyzing an organization from various angles, directing its course and monitoring its actions in a concrete way. Monitoring and control are practical results of the use of what we know as Strategic Planning. Strategic planning is a continuous and systematic process that can be used to propel an organization into the future. Making decisions that involve risks, systematic organization of the actions that are necessary for proper implementation of the decisions, and providing feedback, as well as measuring the effects of these decisions, are tasks that form part of the strategic planning of an organization.

Key Findings

Companies that employ strategy as a daily practice are highly likely to be ahead of the competition among other market rivals. Since it largely focuses on strategic management, several traditional paradigmatic barriers are broken down.

Thoughtful Evaluation

A clear agenda has been offered in this book in regard to recent developments in the concept of strategic management. Nonetheless, it is important to note that the future body of research can immensely benefit from the contents covered in the book. The strategy research stream that has been synthesized in the book benefits the field of strategy in a major way. In addition, the methodological, theoretical, and epistemological underpinnings are among the most promising paths that should be pursued by strategic management and planning experts.

Fleming, P. (2005). Workers’ playtime? Boundaries and cynicism in a “culture of fun” program. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 41(3), 285-303. Web.

The journal article investigates the famous pattern exercised by practitioners, consultants, and management academics. The latter categories of professionals often prefer boosting the productivity of employees using a culture of fun. Conventional wisdom should be used to break the wall that usually exists between the management team and junior staff members. This can only be made a reality by introducing a friendly atmosphere between the two categories of workers in an organization. The workplace should be seasoned with humor and fun.

Traditional boundaries should be delineated alongside the introduction of managed fun. While injecting such changes in the workplace, the author suggests a number of measures that can fuel success. For example, it is crucial for the management team acting as a change agent to be cautious enough, and able to differentiate serous work from non-work. In most cases, a pleasurable atmosphere is usually generated in relaxed environments. In the study, the author asserts that cynicism may be fueled within the workforce if the approach is not applied with due caution. Nonetheless, interesting insights can be provided when it comes to managing boundaries between the senior and junior-level employees.

In the article, the author posits that a friendlier workplace environment that treats all employees with warmth is highly likely to experience robust productivity. As the article emphasizes the importance of playtime for workers, it does not necessarily imply a playful workplace environment. It basically means that employees should be allowed to share friendly time together, for example, during retreats and team building exercises. Groups and teams should be formed and encouraged within different departments in organizations.

Flick, U. (2014). The SAGE handbook of qualitative data analysis. London, UK: SAGE Publications.

Purpose

The book gives an edge on how to undertake data analysis using myriads of qualitative methods. The author affirms that the several methods used to analyze data in qualitative research may be a real challenge even to experts in research. Hence, it aims to explore and maneuver around various techniques that researchers can use to analyze data from various sources.

Approaches to Data Analysis, Interpretation, and Key Findings

The qualitative approach to research in the areas of Education and Social Sciences has represented an alternative path to positivist stiffness. In view of this, the present work aims to contribute to a methodological discussion of qualitative analysis in order to report a sequential and systematic procedure that can be applied to semi-structured and free interview data, comprising the steps of the construction of collection instrument data.

The qualitative data analysis is a recently resumed phenomenon which is characterized by being an inductive process that focuses on the daily activities of life.

Qualitative data analysis aims to grasp the multidimensional nature of phenomena in their natural manifestation, as well as capture the different meanings of a lived experience by aiding in understanding the individual in context. There is a lot of discussion revolving around qualitative analysis, and most authors who are familiar with the subject believe that the researcher’s experience with the relevant literature, and the different ways available to analyze interview data are preconditions to conducting a proper study. However, there are prevailing challenges in the use of various techniques for qualitative data analysis. For instance, the absence of appropriate procedures is adequately described in the literature.

Key Findings and Thoughtful Evaluation

Content analysis and grounded theory are apparently some of the viable conventional data analysis techniques used in qualitative methods. Others include meta-analysis and mixed analysis. These methods have proven to be successful in their applications.

Frels, R. K. & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2013). Administering quantitative instruments with Qualitative Interviews: A mixed research approach. Journal of Counseling & Development, 91(2), 184-194. Web.

Purpose

The article elaborates on a data collection method through quantitative instruments that are psychometrically-sound. It aims to illustrate how this technique assists in the process of interpreting raw data before that data can be used for analysis. The ability to contextualize qualitative findings has been made possible in this journal article.

Background and Significance

Methodological studies have argued that the interview format, as well as the type of observational record used least, determines the type of data analysis which is appropriate to use. When performing qualitative analysis, it is essential to verify and validate data collection methods. The interview format would be the most relevant to use when gathering data. Proposal interviews and semi-structured questionnaires that ask for a script composition with selected general topics are crucial. They should be prepared in such a way that they can be addressed to all respondents.

Key Findings

Qualitative analysis is characterized by seeking meanings in the speech of subjects, linked to the context in which they operate and bounded by the conceptual approach (theory) of the researcher. It brings out a systematization based on quality.

It is an unquestionable fact that semi-structured interviews, in which the responses of the subjects were recorded and transcribed in full, produce a huge volume of data that are extremely diversified by the verbalization of the individual peculiarities of each. Hence, to start the work at this stage, a researcher may be pressured to proceed with assumptions. These are the three key guides. First, the issues arising from the research problem ought to be addressed. Second and third, the formulations of conceptual approach to be adopted and the phenomenon being studied are also vital in this case.

Grbich, C. (2013). Qualitative data analysis: An introduction. London, UK: SAGE Publications.

Purpose

The main purpose of this publication is to discuss and expound how data can be comprehensively analyzed using the qualitative method. The author offers a guide in present aspects that affect research studies. The book also offers a detailed example of how qualitative data analysis can be carried out, even in cases where data samples are relatively large.

Participants, Research Design, Methods, and Data Analysis

Various analytical approaches have been summarized in the book. For example, the grounded theory has been used alongside a number of research designs to offer hermeneutic phenomenology that are existential and classical in nature. In addition, memory work and feminist research form part and parcel of the methodology used to expound the aspect of qualitative data analysis. Discourse analysis and content, as well as visual interpretation, have been incorporated in the study

Key Findings

From the study material, it is evident that qualitative research study is a major method used to analyze data in most research works. Due to its detailed and descriptive nature, this type of data analysis should also be mixed with quantitative research methods in order to come up with conclusive findings.

Thoughtful Evaluation

Analyses such as semiotic, structural and post-structural are very common in qualitative data analysis. However, it is vital for learners to familiarize themselves with the use of these extreme data analysis techniques before integrating their applications with the usual qualitative analysis.

Griffiths, M., Baxter, S., & Townley-Jones, M. (2011). The wellbeing of financial counselors: A study of work stress and job satisfaction. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, 22(2), 41-78. Web.

The above research study aims to expound the challenges that financial counselors undergo while discharging their duties. The researchers observe that little public attention is evident when it comes to the roles played by financial counselors. For example, debt invariability and consumer credit are mainly geared toward errors committed by the end users in the supply chain process. In the journal article, there is a unanimous call for concerned organizations and policy makers to cater to the needs of financial counselors, bearing in mind that they greatly help end users who are confronting financial hurdles.

The empirical research was conducted in New South Wales. This area is known to be the most populous region in Australia. As part of the research methodology, the researchers used questionnaires to gather pertinent data from the field. Since only a few respondents could be reached physically, the questionnaires were mailed to the targeted respondents. In this study, participants of the survey were financial counselors, and a total of 260 respondents were interviewed.

Above 46 percent, in terms of response rate, was recorded in the research survey. This impressive response rate created a firm basis for embarking on a detailed statistical analysis. In order to obtain the required results, both multiple regression and variance analysis were used.

Findings

The results of the study pointed out various issues touching continuing education. In addition, isolation of rural counselors and increasing workload are part and parcel of financial counseling services and planning.

Gupta, M., Kumar, V., & Singh, M. (2014). Creating satisfied employees through workplace spirituality: a study of the private insurance in Punjab (India). Journal of Business Ethics, 12(2), 79-88. Web.

The study explores the role played by spirituality in boosting the productivity of employees. In order to expound on the aspect of spirituality, the study incorporates a case study of an insurance firm in India. From the outset, it is obvious that business professionals, academicians, and researchers are rapidly embracing and adopting the concept of spirituality. It is now readily embraced in most workplaces. This implies that spirituality has the potential of impacting a workplace environment in many ways. In addition, a number of past research studies have established that job satisfaction has a direct bearing on spirituality in the workplace. Some of the core values of spirituality include compassion, organizational values, sense of community, and meaningful work. The research study hypothesizes how job satisfaction is influenced by each dimension.

In terms of data collection, the researchers employed a cross-sectional survey. The sample size was made up of 100 workers drawn from an insurance company. The gathered data was analyzed using a correlation method. After the analysis, it was evident that all the spirituality dimensions demonstrated a positive relationship with respect to employee satisfaction in their various job roles.

For employees to gain the greatest sense of job satisfaction in the workplace, a sense of community and the embraced organizational values were found to be the most important dimensions of spirituality, according to the results of regression analysis.

This study will be instrumental for insurance firms to comprehend and appreciate a spiritual aspect in the course of their operations. In a nutshell, promoting employee spirituality in the workplace can indeed be beneficial to the robust functioning of insurance companies.

Hakanen, J. J. & Schaufeli, W. B. (2012). Do burnout and work engagement predict depressive symptoms and life satisfaction? A three-wave seven-year prospective study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 141(2-3), 415-424. Web.

Employee wellbeing is positively affected by the distinct states of both work engagement and burnout, even though the two attributes are sometimes perceived to be opposite each other. This paper purposes to establish whether depressive symptoms have a direct bearing on work engagement and burnout. The study sought to create a clearer picture showing whether there are any spillover effects of work engagement and burnout when life satisfaction and symptoms of depression are brought into the discussion.

The researchers also examined causal direction on the two extremes of job satisfaction. As part of the research study, three distinct studies were carried out. The first study, in 2003, comprised a sample size of 3,255 Finish dentists. This sample size was equivalent to 71% of all the dentists in Finland. The response rates in the consecutive studies recorded higher values of 84% and 86%, with sample sizes of 2,555 and 1,964 respectively. In order to investigate study variables with the passage of time, the researchers dwelt on cross-lagged variables. A structured equation modeling was employed.

The findings indicated that long-term general wellbeing of employees was a function of positive wellbeing in the workplace. Additionally, it was concluded that work engagement and burnout are not contradictory to each other.

Harper, M., & Cole, P. (2012). Member checking: Can benefits be gained similar to group therapy? The Qualitative Report, 17(2), 510-517. Web.

Purpose

The main objective of the authors is to assess whether similar group therapy can be equated to the benefits derived when undertaking member checking.

Background, Participants, and Significance of the Study Qualitative inquiry methodology is required in the process of member checking. Since there is a need for a researcher to be as articulate and precise as possible, quality control must come into play. A research activity that lacks accuracy may mislead the end users. Hence, a system or process that checks for quality is necessary. All the recordings made during field interviews play a central role in the validity and credibility of the final results. This procedure can also be referred to as participant verification. Summarizing or restating the question is a common practice by researchers during interviews. It is then up to the participant to discern the accuracy of the question. If the summary maps out their opinions, it is the duty of the participant to respond with a “yes” or “no” answer. Personal experiences, feelings, and views should be reflected in the response sheet. Finally, if a participant agrees with the pre-stated questions, the research study is marked as credible or valid. Not all scholars exhibit the same belief system. For example, there are those who argue that toward the end-point of a research study, member checking may begin to end. If authentic representation is evident, then the study is marked as valid.

It is also vital to mention that member checking is not merely limited at the end of a research study. It can be carried out at the same time as the interview is going on. The member checks may contain some degree of failure at one time or another.

Hesse-Biber, S. N. (2016). The practice of qualitative research: Engaging students in the research process (3rd ed.). London, UK: SAGE Publications.

Purpose

The key objective of this book is to introduce and swiftly engage learners in research work. All the research procedures have been highlighted and discussed in the book.

Background

The book begins by expounding the process of collecting data required for a research study. Data collection methods are varied. The choice depends on the nature of research activity to be carried out and the sample size. The author observes that data collection is an important initial stage of research study and therefore, it should be conducted in the most credible manner. The author also elaborates on a number of data collection methods. Some of the data collection methods include interviews, questionnaires, and focus groups. Verbal interviews are also a common type of data collecting instrument.

Appropriate data collection entails accurate methods of acquiring data from the field. The integrity of any type of research study can be immensely affected if data collection instruments and procedures are questionable. For instance, there should be specific instructions to be followed during data collection. The rules ought to be followed optimally. Delineating instructions in the course of collecting data is highly likely to interfere with the outcome of a study.

Key Findings

Research questions cannot be answered correctly when data collection is done poorly. Hence, it may also be cumbersome to validate a study that was done in the past. In addition, resources are wasted in the event that any part of the research process is carried out poorly. Worse still, other researchers may end up pursing wrong deductions into the future if a research study was poorly conducted.

Thoughtful Evaluation

Social media and online research are also key methodologies that can be used to gather reliable data. Modern methods of data collection and synthesis tend to be faster and more effective. Nonetheless, researchers should commit themselves to accuracy and strict adherence to instructors.

Hiriyappa, B. (2013). Stress management. Bloomington, IN: Booktango.

The main purpose of the book is to offer insights about how stress can be generally managed both in the workplace and on an individual level. The author points out that stress is a common occurrence across all levels of professionalism.

The author begins by defining the concept of stress, and moves ahead to explore the various types of stress, as well as the various causes of stressful situations. The book has been built purely on theory and solid examples from past empirical and theoretical studies. The author introduces a rather new term known as skills for managing stress. In the end, the book concluded by juxtaposing the benefits of effective stress management skills, both in the workplace and in individual life.

For example, productivity in the workplace due to improved performance is a direct benefit of successful stress management. Stress can be caused by the existence of conflicts, ambiguities, or inefficient conflict management styles in the workplace. Stress is not always a negative aspect, even though it should be avoided.

All types of conflict and ambiguity are potential causes of stress. It is possible to identify three main types of causes of stress. These are:

  • The physical environment.
  • Labor disputes.
  • Working ambiguities.

A high degree of stress may be caused by poor job satisfaction.

There are five main categories of negative effects of stress:

  • Subjective effects: anxiety, aggression, apathy, lack of patience, depression, fatigue, frustration, nervousness, and loneliness, among others
  • Behavioral effects: illegal consumption of drugs, emotional disorders, tobacco and excess alcohol, and instability
  • Cognitive effects: lack of concentration, inability to make decisions, and memory lapses
  • Physiological effects: increase in blood pressure, sweating, shortness of breath
  • Effects on the Organization: Distraction, bad relationships, poor productivity, poor quality of work, dissatisfaction with the job, and so on.

Johnson, R. B., & Christensen, L. (2014). Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Purpose

The book defines and explores different types of research. It also aims to determine the suitability of qualitative or quantitative research methods in the learning process. In other words, the authors seek to establish a more powerful research tool that can be used for educational purposes, especially when two research methods are taken into consideration. The author also employs other mixed research methods in the analysis, in order to come up with the best conclusion. The book also offers crucial comparison of various research techniques and provides specific examples on how each research method can be applied in research subjects. Research paradigms and their appropriateness in terms of application are also discussed in the book.

Research Design, Methods, and Data Analysis

Weak experimental models have been utilized in constructing various research models and methods described in the book. In addition, quasi experimental design has been employed to describe emerging errors in such models. Such an approach is particularly vital to individuals who rarely carry out research studies. For individuals who are charged with the role of reviewing journal articles and assessing program results, the quasi-experimental design is most useful. Data analyses using various statistical methods are also discussed at length in the book.

Key Findings

From the book, it has been found that educators still require additional knowledge in research methods and designs. The validity of findings in any research work can hardly be established without some thorough knowledge on research methods. It is vital to note that some research findings can affect students in a negative way. Understanding both empirical and non-empirical research methods assists learners in the process of conducting individual research studies, developing questionnaires, and writing proposals.

Thoughtful Evaluation

Program evaluation and research methods (qualitative and quantitative) can greatly benefit from the key tenets expressed in this book. Most successful empirical studies today cannot be effectively constructed without background knowledge in research methods and research design.

King, N., & Horrocks, C. (2010). Interviews in qualitative research. London, UK: SAGE Publications.

Purpose

The paper explores the significance of interviews in qualitative research work.

Participants, Research Design, Methods, and Data Analysis

To begin with, it is vital to mention that qualitative research studies largely use interviews as a crucial tool for gathering raw data from the field. Interviewing methodology takes various forms. In the case of a qualitative interview, the methodology changes from time to time. As we experience drastic advances in technology and theoretical knowledge, the format of theoretical interviews also reflects transformation. The authors present a vivid and exclusive exploration of the application of interview methodology in modern fields of study. Several practical examples have also been pointed out by the authors. Interview methods in research have also attracted philosophy and debate for several decades. The discourses have been pointed out by the authors.

Techniques of designing and conducting interviews are also well elaborated in the text. For online qualitative interviews, the authors have proposed the use of either online messaging services or the telephone. Online interviews demand special requirements. Ethics and reflexivity have also been addressed in the book.

Key Findings and Final Thoughts

Interview data can be analyzed using themes. There are set principles and practice guidelines that may be used to analyze qualitative interview data in the most appropriate manner. In addition, interviewing as a data collection tool has been sharply transformed by the emergent new technologies.

Kula, S. & Sahin, I. (2015). The impacts of occupational stress on the work-related burnout levels of Turkish National Police members. International Journal of Public Policy, 11(4/5/6), 169. Web.

This piece of literature explores the extent to which stresses related to operations and organizations can affect the daily activities of a firm. The study also examines the degree of burnout levels associated with law enforcement.

Research model

The study employed structural equation modeling to examine work-related burnout that is usually caused by organizational and operational difficulties in a firm. In order to execute the model successfully, a causal theory derived from Kahn and Byosiere has been integrated into the theoretical framework.

Key Findings

From the results of this study, it is evident that internal policy reform is urgently required in most contemporary organizations. It has also been established that the manner in which policies and agencies are organized by the Turkish National Police (TNP) executives demands thorough change. It is also vital to point out that the degree of work-related burnout is mostly determined by organizational stressors that negatively impact TNP workers.

Thoughtful Evaluation

As much as work-related burnout may not be desirable for employees, positive effects are derived from stresses related to the operations of a firm.

Physical and emotional stress that employees are subjected to in the workplace environment are significant factors that determine health disorders related to stress, as is the case of depression, anxiety, panic disorder, phobias, and psychogenic diseases.

Generally, the workplace environment may not lack various types of stress. For example, we may experience significant anxiety related to dissatisfaction with colleagues, given the workload and race against time, before salary dissatisfaction or a policy adopted by the human resources department of a firm, depending on an individual employee.

Various emotional factors related to work today contribute to personal stress. Examples include a feeling of job insecurity, a sense of professional failure, a pressure to prove efficiency, a continued impression of committing professional mistakes, lack of vision regarding social relevance at work, and the perceived lack of recognition of efforts, among others. All these forms of stresses are capable of contributing toward workplace burnout.

Leon, M. & Halbesleben, J. (2013). Building resilience to improve employee well-being. In A. Rossi, J. Meurs, & P. Perrewe (Eds.), Improving employee health and well-being (pp. 65-79). Charlotte, NC: IAP.

Purpose

The main purpose of this book is to offer insights about how the health and overall wellbeing of employees can be improved in the workplace. In summary, the book investigates various stress factors that may limit the overall productivity of employees. Hence, occupational health professionals can immensely benefit from the book, by helping employees manage stress elements in the most effective way.

Key Findings

Workers who are healthy are known to be more fruitful. Hence, the wellbeing of workers is duly affected by stress. The latter also leads to poor employee health. Close to US$ 300 billion is spent every year in the US to treat conditions related to stress, according to figures provided by the American Institute of Stress.

Thoughtful Evaluation

Stress is a common daily occurrence that can hardly be avoided, either at home or in the workplace. Nevertheless, gross psychological and physical health challenges may emerge if stress levels are not controlled and brought to the minimum. This calls for proactive stress management techniques, as highlighted in the book.

Stress management in the workplace should be a key pathway in improving the quality of life of employees.

A stress management program at work should be taken seriously, and be given the seriousness it deserves by the management. An effective stress management program should incorporate factors such as systematic assessment of stress levels among employees; increased variety of functions through the routines of rotation to avoid the monotony of repetitive work; avoiding excessive overtime, as this brings about organic wear; selecting people with physical ability to support a greater number of hours of work; improving the physical conditions of the workplace environment; and adoption of appropriate tools that can boost productivity. In addition, investing in personal and professional development of employees, providing opportunities for the realization of professional goals, and offering symbolic bonuses to employees, such as publishing photos and recognition (such as Employee of the Month) of employees can lead to significant stress reduction.

The management team should provide opportunities for employees to present ideas that improve the quality and productivity of an organization. The management should always give feedback to such ideas. Finally, the leadership of a firm ought to democratically implement some code of ethics built by the company and its employees. This code of ethics can be revised periodically.

Lund, T. (2012). Combining qualitative and quantitative approaches: Some arguments for mixed methods research. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 56(2), 155- 165. Web.

Purpose

The paper seeks to elaborate merits of the mixed research methods. The authors also aim at proposing an evaluation design that will encompass five different phases.

Background and Significance of the Study

Mixed research methods entail qualitative and quantitative research. While the qualitative research method is descriptive in nature, the quantitative method is widely empirical. It is worth mentioning that mixed methods research benefits greatly from the five-phase evaluation design. The journal article also investigates how a research study can be directed towards a certain vulnerable segment of society. Using the five-phase evaluation design, it is possible to assess the advantages of using both qualitative and quantitative research methods. When extending treatment to a particular segment of minority groups in a region, the attributes of a five-phase research design can be suitably applied.

Key Findings

Mixed methods research design may accommodate one or more perspectives in terms of design. It is also possible to transform or equate research questions to research problems. Other tools that can be used interchangeably include the research process, experience, knowledge, and hypotheses from past literature. The methods used in such studies depict the size of the sample. Moreover, researchers are open to use any available data collection technique. Various stages in the research process can be affected by the continuous state of interpretation.

Martin, L. A., Neighbors, H. W., & Griffith, D. M. (2013). The experience of symptoms of depression in men vs women: Analysis of the national comorbidity survey replication. The Journal of the American Medical Association: Psychiatry, 70(10), 1100-1106. Web.

Importance and purpose of the study

Present diagnostic criteria may not necessarily reveal the actual experience men go through when they are depressed. In other words, stress factors may be the same, but the symptoms can be altogether different. Hence, this study seeks to unveil these mapped differences when it comes to stress that leads to depression. Specifically, the study seeks to explore visible gender disparities when it comes to stress symptoms and management among men and women. In this case, the study digs out the relationship between the well-known conventional symptoms of depression and alternative symptoms of the same condition.

Major Outcomes and Measures, participants, setting and design

The researchers assessed gender variations in symptom endorsement. In order to obtain the most accurate results, two new scales were used in the evaluation. Within the scales, alternative signs and symptoms of depression were included. In order to improve the validity of the study, the researchers utilized informative records from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. In order to identify the likely predictors of depression, the researchers analyzed sex differences that usually come out among individuals suffering from depression. Multivariate logistic regression, 0.5 level t-tests, and a two-sided, design-based method were used as research designs and methods during the analysis.

Results

From the findings, it was found that anger attacks/aggression were most prevalent among men compared to women. Other depressive factors that stood out among men included risk-taking behaviors and tendencies toward substance abuse. The alternative male-type depressive signs analyses indicated that the male gender is more likely to be depressed than the female gender. In fact, men recorded a 26.3% likelihood rate of being depressed, while women’s rate was low at 21.9%. In both of these gender analyses, the researchers met the criteria for depression.

On the other hand, an equal depression criterion was met when the same analysis was carried out using the alternative and conventional depression signs.

Thoughtful Evaluation

It can be concluded that in regard to occurrence of depression, it is possible to do away with gender differences when both the optional and conventional symptoms are employed in a study. Nevertheless, a separate study is required to establish the specific symptoms evident among men when they are depressed.

Meško, M., Erenda, I., Videmšek, M., Karpljuk, D., Štihec, J., & Roblek., V. (2013). Relationship between stress coping strategies and absenteeism among middle-level managers. Management, 18(1), 45-57. Web.

Purpose

The key objective of the study is to investigate various signs and symptoms of stress. In addition, it aims to identify and explore strategies that can be adopted to cope with stress. In order to create a link between stress and workplace attendance, the research study has highlighted the case of Slovenian middle management.

Participants, data collection, statistical analysis

A total of 211 mid-level managers were covered in the survey. Participants were drawn from both medium-sized and large organizations. During data collection, two questionnaires were used by the researchers. The first questionnaire captured data related to stress management tactics. In other words, the questionnaire was used to determine methods that employees adopt in order to manage stress in the workplace. Symptoms of stress, as well as stress load data, were captured in the second questionnaire.

SPSS 17.0 was used to carry out statistical analysis. From the analysis, the researchers found out that two major stress-coping strategies are employed by managers. To begin with, there are managers who prefer coping strategies that focus on the problem. On the other hand, other managers prefer coping strategies that focus on the emotions. Moreover, the analysis concluded that less absenteeism is recorded among managers who employ stress coping strategies that focus on the problem, while a high level of absenteeism is evident among mid-level and top managers who opt for coping strategies that focus on the emotions.

Based on the findings of the above study, the researchers recommended problem-focused approaches in the management of stress among senior workers in organizations, largely because such approaches are friendly to workers and do not lead to major cases of absenteeism in the workplace.

Miles, M. B., Huberman, A. M., & Saldaña, L. (2014). Qualitative data analysis: A methods sourcebook (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Purpose

The methods used in qualitative data analysis are the main purpose of this publication. The most outstanding classical research methods have been expounded.

Research Design, Methods, and Statistics

Data management and fundamentals of research are covered in this particular study. Various analytical methods have been used by the authors to explore qualitative data analysis. For instance, various analytical tools for research studies have been explored throughout the book. Ordering and describing have also been used by the researchers to attain the objectives of the study material. It is vital to mention that this research study has been profiled in a similar manner as in the previous edition. Estimates and predictions are part and parcel of statistical procedures used in the book.

Thoughtful Evaluation

Verifying conclusions of any research study is a fundamental step in any type of research study. Regardless of the type of research activity carried out, results and conclusions should be verifiable. In addition, the methodologies used to write qualitative research are expected to be unique from those used in empirical studies. Fortunately, this study book has met the requirement.

Milton, C. l. (2013). The ethics of research. Nursing Science Quarterly,26 (1), 20-23. Web.

This science journal examines the issue of ethical research practices in all disciplines. The main purpose of the journal study is to explore the key tenets of ethics while conducting research. The author dwells on the aspect of formal research inquiry. In essence, ethical concepts are usually embedded in inquiry methods and processes used in research studies. When it comes to the professional desire to maintain ethical discipline, it goes without any debate that straight thinking ethos, coupled with the significance of living, ought to be part and parcel of professional practice for any other healthcare expert. In any case, the integrity of a discipline cannot be fortified in the absence of ethical practices. Better yet, the best way of expanding disciplinary knowledge is by embracing ethics.

The study keenly explores nursing ethics in relation to the expected professional and ethical norms. Needless to say, aspects such as generating evidence for nursing practice and protecting human subjects, as well as the integrity and scientific merit of research studies are among the epitome of nursing ethics when conducting research studies. As it turns out in the above study material, an ethical perspective can be equated to human in nursing research so as to curtail the impacts of potential implications of any given scientific or non-scientific study.

Ethics can be defined as the “science ethos,” which is related to human behavior. The Greek word ethos in the plurality of this concept can also mean a “set of habits or basic customs” of certain companies.

Kant sought to give a solid foundation to the conviction that exists in the transcendental field as a higher order that is capable of meeting the moral demands of human beings. Such a plea would be the ethics of law, autonomous and independent, immune to the criticism of the narrow field of science. Ethics in the Kantian view does not need the sensitivity of data, and the “moral conscience” is guaranteed. This is the reason why ethics should be applied to human practice, according to the author of this study.

Naqvi, S., Khan, M., Kant, A., & Khan, S. (2013). Job stress and employees’ productivity; case of Azad Kashmir public health sector. InterdisciplinaryJournal of Contemporary Research in Business, 5(3), 525-543. Web.

The study aims to identify and explore numerous and diverse causes of job stress among employees. Moreover, effects of said job stress are also analyzed in the study. It is common knowledge that the output of employees is grossly and directly affected in the event of job stress. While some managers in organizations may attempt to delink productivity and workplace stress, the truth of the matter is that work-related stress is the main cause of reduced employee productivity.

Participants, Research Design, Methods, and Data Analysis

Healthcare organizations do understand the need to identify and handle stress among employees. The healthcare sector vividly understands that job stress is a common occurrence that in some instances cannot be avoided by workers.

SPSS version 20 was used to analyze the data. In addition, Pearson correlation and regression was instrumental in the analysis, in the sense that it assisted in exploring and making solid conclusions about workplace factors, such as poor control of workplace, personal employee issues, lack of flexible hours of work, and total and complicated control by the management. All of the aforementioned factors negatively impact the productivity of employees in organizations.

According to a report released by the World Health Organization, stress symptoms in the workplace differ widely, but typically include an initial state of stunning, with decreased attention, inability to comprehend stimuli, and disorientation. This state may be followed by withdrawal, agitation, and hyperactivity.

O’Keefe, L., Brown, K., & Christian, B. (2014). Policy perspectives on occupational stress. Workplace Health & Safety, 62(10), 432-438. Web.

Many workers go through occupational stress at one time or another during their tenure. Some of the negative health effects of this type of stress include mental health problems, workplace injuries, mood disturbances, musculoskeletal disorders, and cardiovascular diseases. While these health-related complications can be avoided, employers usually incur millions of dollars each year in costs to curtail and/or treat these conditions on behalf of employees. Hence, it is necessary to adopt a preventive rather than a curative approach. Additionally, organizational and management changes should be instituted so that both workers and the leadership of organizations can play bipartisan roles in enhancing occupational safety.

The study article explores and investigates ways and means of improving work life among employees in organizations. In particular, the authors suggest rafts of measures and policies that can be embraced and adopted by organizations, in order to improve occupational safety.

In connection to occupational health and safety of workers, the authors also revolve around the functions of occupational health nurses. According to the propositions laid down in the study, policies can be swiftly designed and implemented by nurses, with the aim of improving the quality of life in different places of work.

Obiora, C. A., & Iwuoha, V. C. (2013). Work related stress, job satisfaction and due process in Nigerian public service. European Scientific Journal, 9(20), 214-232. Web.

From the outset, the above research study insightfully explores the experience of workers in a public sector regarding due process, job satisfaction, and work-related stress. When jobs are self-satisfying, workers definitely gain some sense of belonging. Workplace satisfaction has been debated for many years, and while there are straightforward measures that can be adopted and implemented to improve this scenario, numerous organizations still lose productive workers due to lack of satisfaction. Demoralizing factors like family problems, job burnout, difficult seniors, work overload, poor pay, and low motivation may remarkably lead to gross job satisfaction. Workers who are strained to the limit cannot be productive at all. In the long run, workers facing such conditions may end up under stress and consequent depression if the situation is not arrested at the right time.

The research study offers a succinct discussion and description of stress in the workplace, and how it affects job satisfaction and eventual productivity of employees. The empirical study was carried out in a segment of the Nigerian public service.

Data, methods and analysis

Much of the data used in the study was obtained from relevant secondary academic sources. Moreover, the study employed the Affect theory to expound elements of job satisfaction and workplace productivity among employees affected by stress.

With regard to key findings, work-related stress can hardly allow employees to enjoy performing their duties. In other words, stress impinges negatively on job satisfaction. Second, the Nigerian public service should improve the working conditions of workers because current conditions are appalling. There are identifiable and visible cases of work-related stress in the Nigerian public service, and due process is also being breached. No breaches should be tolerated.

O’Sullivan, E., Rassel, G. R., & Berner, M. (2008). Research methods for public administrators. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. Patel, C. (2013). The complete guide to stress management. New York, NY: Springer.

The book has been specifically prepared for public administrators who wish to pursue research methods in administration. All the relevant watershed aspects of techniques used in research studies have been addressed in the book. Hence, the main purpose of the book is to shed light on research, and deeply engage the readers in how various research techniques can be used.

While the topic of research methods is obviously expected to fill a weighty tome, the book does not appear to obey that rule. Nevertheless, it is worth pointing out that the study was largely meant to be an introductory package for administrators pursing research methods. This explains why most concepts have been handled briefly. Numerous stepwise instructions and engaging texts have been incorporated within the study. Common research methods have been expounded upon.

Common statistical terms have also been interpreted and applied. A case in point is linear regression.

Thoughtful Evaluation

The book’s general purpose is to create effective and accurate research techniques for administrators. This is necessary, because after acquiring research skills, public administrators will be in a position to make valid policies. The development of ethical concerns with regard to research methods in the study is also another critical area of the book, because no single research study can be conducted without exercising due diligence in ethical practices. There are two dominant methods of investigating research activities: quantitative and qualitative. The nature of the problem and its depth will determine the choice of method.

The quantitative method is characterized by the use of quantification in information collection procedures. The gathered information is also treated using statistical techniques. The quantitative method is intended to ensure the accuracy of results, in order to avoid distorted analysis in interpretation. The qualitative method is often justified as an appropriate way of understanding the nature of a phenomenon.

Patel, C. (2013). The complete guide to stress management. New York, NY: Springer.

Purpose

Stress is a common occurrence, bearing in mind that both creativity and activity can be stimulated by it. The author of the book maintains that excessive stress can be hazardous to our lives and therefore, it is necessary to keep it under control. As a matter of fact, our various health domains can be affected negatively by stress.

The book is geared toward identifying causes of stress, managing stress, and possible ways of preventing stressful situations. The manner in which individuals respond to stress varies significantly. In the study, the author widely discusses how stress can lead to or trigger illnesses. Examples of life-threatening medical conditions that can be fueled or worsened by stress include hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

A number of relaxation techniques may also be helpful in alleviating stressful situations. The author emphasizes that quality of life can be significantly improved if elements of stress are minimized.

The author explores aspects such as the meaning of stress, causes, and management. Even though stress may be a positive attribute in our lives, it becomes harmful at some point.

Palinkas, L. A., Horwitz, S. M., Green, C. A., Wisdom, J. P., Duan, N., & Hoagwood, K. (2015). Purposeful sampling for qualitative data collection and analysis in mixed method implementation research. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 42(5), 533-544. Web.

Purpose

The study journal offers an expository exploration of mixed research methods, along with sampling methods required to produce valid research papers. Qualitative research often utilizes purposeful sampling in order to yield the most credible outcomes.

Sampling and Data Analysis

Purposeful sampling strategies are of different types. However, implementation research projects mostly employ criterion sampling method. Nonetheless, it is highly recommended for researchers to use more than one type of sampling technique, in order to produce the most accurate results. The latest changes in quantitative methods of research have led to the introduction of myriad changes in the wider body of research. Purposeful sampling has been reviewed in the journal article. The researchers have also made attempts to summarize various classifications of purposeful sampling.

Key Findings and Thoughtful Evaluation

From the research journal, it is definite that mixed sampling techniques produce the best and probably more accurate results when compared to applying a single type of sampling technique. Therefore, researchers should be encouraged to use the multi-sampling technique, especially when handling large volumes of data for analysis.

Prater, T., & Smith, K. (2011). Underlying factors contributing to presenteeism and absenteeism. Journal of Business & Economics Research, 9(6), 1-14. Web.

Purpose

Lost productivity can be avoided by employers if appropriate measures are put in place. The modern workplace has massively transformed over the years. When it comes to presenteeism and absenteeism, employers should ensure that workers are available at their workstations the highest number of times. The ability to report to workplaces regardless of ill-health is referred to as presenteeism, as indicated by the American Heritage Dictionary. If employees can report to work regularly, in spite of other interferences, then productivity can be sustained at an all-time high. However, when employees habitually do not appear in their respective workplaces, it is referred to as absenteeism.

Key Findings

Past studies reveal that sickness used to be the main reason for presenteeism and absenteeism. Nonetheless, the trends have completely changed with the passage of time. There are other reasons that may compel workers to either report or fail to report for duty. For example, lost productivity may be occasioned by employees who do other private businesses on the side. By applying the Chi-square test, a number of variables are found to be depending on each other.

RAND. (2015). Health, wellbeing, and productivity in the workplace. Web.

The report seeks to investigate factors that drive productivity in the workplace. Much of the data used in the report was obtained from the Britain’s Healthiest Company contest that was carried out in 2014. The organizations that took part in the competition were rated in terms of best practices. The key area of focus in the competition was the manner in which the organizations were handling the health and general wellbeing of employees. The assessed staffs were also examined in terms of their individual levels of productivity.

The wellbeing and productivity of employees in relation to productivity are determined by two main factors, namely presenteeism and absenteeism. These two factors are capable of interfering with the work environment. For example, intervention programs that emphasize promoting health and alleviating stress should be crafted. Additionally, personal aspects, such as the consumption of alcohol, smoking, and risky lifestyle behaviors can also interfere with the productivity of employees.

Evaluation

Among the factors that contribute to absenteeism is poor infrastructure, or lack of adequate infrastructure that supports employees in performing their duties. Other factors include intangible goals, poor communication, and organizational climate.

Roelofsen, P. (2012). The impact of office environments on employee performance: The design of the workplace as a strategy for productivity enhancement. Journal of Facilities Management, 1(3), 247-264. Web.

A conducive and more comfortable working environment that enhances the working capacity of employees is a crucial requirement and ingredient in the success of organizations. This implies that management teams in organizations are supposed to work hand-in-hand to provide employees with a more human workplace environment, so that they can optimally deliver their duties. Most studies of employee performance concur that the office environment plays a momentous role, as far as productivity is concerned.

The above study aims to set key environmental paradigms that employees should be provided with in the workplace. For example, the nature of the buildings, as well as indoor facilities such as air conditioning systems, is of great value in the wellbeing of workers. Both the indoor and outdoor facilities should be designed in such a way that they provide the basic comfort level required by employees while they are discharging their duties.

In particular, the journal article explores the impact of comfort level available in the workplace. Office environments for employees should at least be well equipped with the basic necessities. This implies that the right choices should be made when setting up office or workplace environments. For instance, the facility management process should be put under consideration. A case in point is the thermal condition of the room being used by workers.

The author is also emphatic that happy productive employees should be sustained throughout the lifetime of an organization. A great work environment, according to the study journal, does not merely mean the physical environment. Management techniques and company culture also contribute significantly toward the wellbeing of employees in the workplace. A beautiful physical office environment with a poor company culture may not make any positive impact in the overall productivity of workers.

Roller, M. R., & Lavrakas, P. J. (2015). Applied qualitative research design: A total quality framework approach. New York, NY: The Gilford Press.

Purpose

The book offers a comprehensive framework required in developing, handling, and interpreting descriptive research studies. The main purpose is to produce a valid research document that can be useful to other quotas or professional disciplines.

Qualitative Methods

The text dwells on the application of qualitative methods when conducting research studies of various natures. For example, the authors have drawn the strengths and weaknesses encountered in qualitative methods. In the case of focus group discussions, the authors observe that it might be cumbersome to obtain a harmonious group that can purposefully deliberate as a unit. In addition, content analysis may be understood differently by various focus groups addressing the same subject matter.

Research Paradigms

Narrative research, case study research, and Total Quality Framework are among the key research paradigms addressed in the book. It is crucial to mention that each paradigm is implemented uniquely. The format of implementation is also different.

Pedagogical Features

The authors explore a number of pedagogical features to help the target audience obtain the gist of the study. These include illustrations, case studies, and deliberations for group discussions at the end of respective chapters. Finally, glossary features are included to assist readers.

Seidman, I. (2005). Interviewing as qualitative research: A guide for researchers in education. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Purpose

The objective of the book is to offer an incisive exploration of interviewing techniques in qualitative research. The book largely focuses on the pros and cons of interviewing participants in a research study.

Participants, Methods, and Designs

Participants in an interview process are considered to be both the interviewer and interviewee. Various interviewing approaches exist. The author employs solid examples of methods that can be effectively used to obtain vital information from interviewing participants.

The roles of the Institutional Review Board have also been discussed in the book. The origin of the board, its history, and current mandates are clearly brought out in the text. When it comes to informed consent, qualitative research study and the interviewing process cannot be separated. The author restates that an informed consent should be obtained from the persons being interviewed or who may be affected by the interviews before the process can proceed. This aspect goes hand in hand with the rights of participants either to be interviewed or not.

Evaluation

The book addresses interviews in qualitative analysis and also expounds on the functions of the key tenets of ethical research operations. The ethical issues pointed out in the book are indeed worth discussing. A call for future research to build the current body of knowledge is also highly commendable.

Sherridan, C., & Ashcroft, K. (2015). Work-related stress – what is it, and what do employers need to do to address it.NZ Business, 29(4), 4-5. Web.

Purpose

Workplace factors are capable of inflicting great stress on employees. While some employment experts argue that workplace stress is a creation of labor movements, the researchers in this study swiftly point out that work-related stress is a reality that employers should learn to confront and tackle.

Participants, Research Design, Methods, and Data Analysis

It is possible that labor unions have used the concept of workplace stress to leverage support while bargaining on behalf of their members. However, the public domain is well aware that employees who are overworked and probably underpaid may not be the best of workers in any given organization.

Any symptoms of stress that emanate from workplace are roughly known as work-related stress. The study highlights the 1992 Health and Safety in Employment Act that brought to light the issue of employee comfort and safety in the workplace. This piece of legislation describes stress as any entity that may cause either physical or psychosocial harm to an employee. The Act calls for active participation by employers in protecting the welfare and overall wellbeing of workers, in order to avoid elements of stress. In any case, stress should be considered a workplace hazard in the light of occupational safety.

With regard to a workplace hazard, the authors of this study point out that stress may be triggered by other workplace hazards that are not necessarily connected to familiar employer issues. For example, negative relationships among employees in the workplace are a major cause of stress in most organizations.

Thoughtful evaluation

As much as most employers are usually blamed for the majority of workplace stress concerns, the existence of poor employee relationships is far from it. Other factors aligned to workplace stress include poor control, lack of variety, limited feedback, inadequate training, and issues with tasks.

Sunal, A., Sunal, O., & Yasin, F. (2011). A comparison of workers employed in hazardous jobs in terms of job satisfaction, perceived job risk and stress: Turkish jean sandblasting workers, dock workers, factory workers and miners. Social Indicators Research, 102(2), 265-273. Web.

Purpose

This study aims to draw the relationship between job satisfaction and employee perception of various risks in the workplace. In addition, the journal study compares symptoms of stress and the degree of vulnerability of employees from different workplace environments.

Participants, Research Design, Methods, and Data Analysis

Specifically, factory workers, jeans sandblasting workers, dock workers, and mine workers were assessed in this study, in order to compare and contrast their stress levels.

During the survey, a total of 220 workers were interviewed. The researchers considered this number to be representative of the segment of workers from various workplaces. From the results of the study, it was established that the jeans sandblasting and dock employees felt that they were in a very risky workplace environment, unlike other employees. In regard to job satisfaction, jeans sandblasting workers recorded the lowest scores. Some of the key workplace paradigms considered during the survey included wage levels, workplace autonomy, individual factors, interpersonal relations, physical conditions, and policies embraced in organizations. Moreover, the aspect of total job satisfaction was factored in during the analysis

Job satisfaction levels were lower for dock workers, in comparison to those working in the mines and factory establishments. Additionally, stress symptoms and job satisfaction levels showed no gap for factory workers and miners. Workers in the docks and sandblasting departments were among the most stressed individuals.

Likewise, vulnerability to stress was conspicuously recorded among the jeans sandblasting workers compared to other employees from other workplace environments. From the findings of this study, it can be concluded that job satisfaction comprises several elements that must be put into consideration by employers who desire to boost the productivity of workers.

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. (2014). Calculating the cost of work-related stress and psychosocial risks. Web.

The aim of this study is to explore psychological risks and work-related stress in a number of European workplace establishments. There are numerous psychological risks faced by employees in various workplaces. The risks are a major cause of stress to workers, and unless the productivity costs of the two are calculated and determined, employees may continue to endure hardships and considerably lessen their productivity levels.

Over the past few decades, myriad positive changes have taken place for improving the state of employees at different workplaces. For instance, the current occupational safety and health standards in most European labor markets have been remarkably transformed. Significant demographic changes, unique working time arrangements, new types of contractual arrangements, progress in information technology, establishment of free markets, and increasing globalization and social-political developments in the international arena have greatly transformed most workplace environments and the welfare of employees.

The study posits that the pace of life has been vastly accelerated, coupled with constant time pressure and major contributions to job intensification. Both workers and employers are currently under high pressure to remain relevant and competitive, due to the numerous societal changes that have taken place over the past few decades.

Global labor changes are rife. Even in cases where trade unions have weak bargaining powers, when it comes to employee welfare, as well as working terms and conditions, individual employers are striving to make sure that job satisfaction is realized every single day, so as to boost and sustain productivity. Although most of the labor changes offer massive opportunities for economic growth and development, the study shows that psychological risks may be exacerbated owing to uncontrolled developments. Eventually, such risks may culminate in other unprecedented psychosocial risks and health outcomes.

Trivellas, P., Reklitis, P., & Platis, C. (2013). The effect of job-related stress on employees’ satisfaction: A survey in health care. Procedia–Social and Behavioral Sciences, 73, 718-726. Web.

Purpose

This research study investigates the effects of work-related stress on employment satisfaction among nurses deployed in healthcare institutions. As a crucial workplace health risk, job stress may jeopardize the wellbeing and productivity of workers. The provision of best quality services in hospitals is largely dependent on the overall condition of both nurses and doctors.

Participants, Research Design, Methods, and Data Analysis

Hospitals are expected to deliver superior performance to patients. As custodians of patients’ health, hospital nursing staffs are supposed to be always in their right state of physical and psychosocial wellbeing.

The better part of this paper documents a field experimental study. During the experiment, a total of 271 nurses took part as the sample population that was surveyed. All the nurses were working at Greek hospitals at the time of the survey. The researchers closely investigated the degree of impact of various stressors in the workplace.

The findings revealed that job satisfaction dimensions are negatively affected by factors such as inadequate job autonomy, heavy workload, and conflict. On the other hand, job security, rewards, and employees’ satisfaction are positively related to poor feedback and inadequate access to information.

Key findings

The healthcare industry treats human resources with utmost care, because it depicts the nature and quality of services offered on any single day. However, the quality of care services offered to patients largely relies on the right deployment of staff members who are also motivated and ready to offer the much-needed care services.

Thoughtful evaluation

At this point, it can be seen that any nursing shortage plays a major subversive role in the delivery of high quality healthcare services to patients. Lack of job satisfaction among nursing staff is in fact exacerbated by excess workload that is by far and large worsened by nursing shortages.

Vainio, H. (2015). Occupational safety and health in the service of people. Industrial Health, 53, 387-389. Web.

The peer reviewed journal article purposes to discuss the importance of occupational safety and health, as well as the role played by medicine in the wider context of health and safety in society. As much as technological advances are rapidly being embraced in most workplace environments, the raw human input is still of great import. As the author points out, work is an essential ingredient in human property, and so are workers. Through work, we can access broad and improved opportunities, reduce health inequalities, and generally raise the standard of living. Nevertheless, with changing demographics in most societies, increasing the number of workers in various industries is necessary.

A working population can improve its standard of life despite the many challenges. Hence, the overall health and wellbeing of workers should be taken seriously by both employers and employees alike. This study material also offers a succinct definition and description of classical epidemics and their causes and prevention, as well as curative measures. The natural agents that cause most of these ailments and communicable diseases have also been discussed widely in the article.

Xanthopoulou, D., Bakker, A., Demerouti, E., & Schaufeli, W. (2007). The role of personal resources in the job demands-resources model. International Journal of Stress Management, 14(2), 121. Web.

Purpose

This empirical study examined factors that either impede or enhance job satisfaction using the model referred to as Job Demands-Resources. Optimism, firm-based self-esteem and self-efficacy are the three main personal resources that affect the functionality of the above model.

The researchers hypothesized that individual resources perform a number of functions. The functions include creating a link between exhaustion and work demand, relates the well-being of workers and resources available to execute work, and employees’ perception of the workplace and their overall wellbeing in terms of occupational health and safety.

Participants, Research Design, Methods, and Data Analysis

A total of 714 Dutch employees were used as the study sample, in order to test the hypothesis. The findings indicated that personal resources hardly compensate the connection between exhaustion and job demand. In fact, personal resources arbitrated the association between engagement/exhaustion and job resources. Personal resources also affected the general feeling about job resources.

Yin, R. K. (2013). Case study research: Design and methods (5th ed.). London, UK: SAGE Publications.

Purpose

The book purposes to offer a guide through design and methods that may be used in case study research.

Background, Methods, and Research Design

The study material begins with a definition of problem at hand, followed by different methods of collecting and analyzing data. The proposed research design is also viable, in the sense that it can be used in most research study applications. The author is also emphatic about composition and reporting of research data.

While other viable data collection and analysis methods exist, the author introduces the audience to the issue of case studies in research studies. Much emphasis has been placed on the relevance of case studies from various disciplines. For example, the fields of education, social work, and the business world have ample case studies that can be employed when analyzing components of research studies.

Randomized field trials also come in handy in this discussion. Moreover, the coding techniques used by computers and study screening techniques have been given due attention in the book.

Key Findings and Thoughtful Evaluation

Multi-method studies are comprised of case studies as part and parcel of the analysis. This shows the importance of case studies in either qualitative or quantitative studies. Although the book discusses five major analytical techniques, the list cannot be exhausted. Guiding analysis using logic models is an example of analysis that can be used to explore case studies.

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