The purpose of this paper is to describe the relationship between project work and stress. It examines how the conditions of project work negatively impact on an individual’s mental and physical state of well-being, consequentially reducing organisational performance.
The authors systematically review the project management literature for sources of stress or stressors as it relates to Cooper and Marshall’s (1976) model of stress at work. The authors perform a thematic analysis on these stressors to reveal the “sub-stressor” conditions of project work.
A “model of projects as a source of stress at work” is developed. It shows the relationship between the sub-stressors of project work and the ill effects they have on mental and physical well-being of the project workforce.
The findings of this study are constrained by the limits of a literature review process. This study has implications for research on stress in project work, as studies can benefit from the “model of projects as a source of stress at work”, which can be continually advanced to gain insights on the minimisation of physical and mental distress.
Many sectors including health, education, policing, aviation and military provide scenario-based training. In project management, a greater understanding of stressful scenarios and counter measures would improve health outcomes for project staff, human relations and project outcomes.
The study presents a comprehensive model of projects as a source of stress at work. It draws attention to the burden and cost of anxiety and stress placed on the project workforce. It makes the case for organisations and employees to take responsibility for the well-being of project staff.
The authors would like to thank the Editor, Professor Nathalie Drouin and anonymous reviewers for their work and contributions. Special thanks to Dr Bronte van der Hoorn for her time and methodical approach.
Darling, E.J. and Whitty, S.J. (2019), "A model of projects as a source of stress at work: A case for scenario-based education and training", International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 426-451. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMPB-01-2019-0003Download as .RIS
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