OCCUPATIONAL STRESS INFLUENCE ON EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION
: CASE OF AYRSHIRE MINE (PVT) LTD.
CHAPTER 1 PROBLEM AND ITS SETTING
Occupational stress is a growing problem in present-day organizations. It is an incessant issue crossway over the occupations, and it impacts directly on the execution of work. The problem of occupational stress is predominantly relevant for evolving nations and regions undergoing enormous economic development and social transformation (Leka and Jain, 2010). It does not have an emotional impact on work-life only but has a far-reaching impact on the worker’s family life as well. Job stress is a chronic disease which has negative effects on an individual’s performance. Job stress is unswervingly related to performance. The higher the rate of job stress the lower the job motivates a worker to perform it. Nevertheless, work is inevitable in today’s life and it forms the focal point of almost all human life (Kortum, 2014).
The performance of employees, as well as managers, determines, to a large extent, the quality of employee as expressed by Hellriegel and Slocum (2007). They argue that a low job motivation can bring about a costly turnover, tardiness, truancy and even poor intellectual wellbeing. Kreisman (2002) further argues that the most valuable and volatile asset of any organization is a well-motivated and stable workforce that is made up of a competent, dedicated, hard-working and persistent personnel. Lawler (2003) uttered that in the twenty-first century the notion of treating people right is not an alternative but an obligation.
The main purpose of this study is to analyse the phenomenon of occupational stress and employee motivation in the mining industry of Zimbabwe having a vivid look into Ayrshire Mine in the year 2017. This study is worth pursuing because occupational stress is an area which is no doubt being overlooked by a significant number of associations, particularly in the mining industry, yet it has a great negative impact on employee motivation.
The study seeks to scrutinise occupational stress levels perceived by employees at Ayrshire Mine and to explore their effects on the level of employee motivation. The research will correspondingly examine if there is a possible correlation between the occupational stress and the level of employee motivation. The present study seeks to address the specific relation of the two variables, occupational stress and employee motivation since these constructs have not been comprehensively explored in the mining sector of Zimbabwe. This also might be educational on upgrading execution of task and employee performance as well. This is also related to the improvement of job contentment by reducing occupational stress.
1.1 Background of the study
Occupational stress has been defined by Cox (2003) as the response people may have when presented with work difficulties and pressures that are not corresponding to their acquaintance and abilities and which contest their aptitude to cope. Stress is habitually recognized as the most common ailment of the modern age. It is a pattern of an undesirable physiological condition and emotional responses that occur in an individual. When frazzled, individuals feel that their well-¬being is susceptible and at the same time incapable to handle it (Lazarus and Folkman, 1984; Hill, 2001). The occupational strain has its umbilical string in the middle of the nineteenth century where Friedrich Engels first pronounced in detail the physical and emotional health glitches suffered by workers in many trades (Barling and Griffiths, 2011). With time through the cross insemination of ideas from continent to continent, the occupational stress ideology became broadly recognized mainly in the industrialised nations.
Several hypotheses have been brought forward by a lot of researchers and scholars in an effort to try and explicate how stress rises or how it brings about attrition of motivation among employees. A job demand-control model by Karasek (1979) specifies that products of stress such as tension radiated from the consequences of extraordinary job challenges, low social backing, and low self-governance. Job characteristics framework, another model by Hackman and Oldham, (1980) stipulates that employee motivation is determined by work features such as expertise diversity, task uniqueness, task importance, self-governance, and feedback. The theory states that motivation and job contentment rely upon the fit between the employee’s capabilities or essentials and the job and the organizational features. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) presented the transactional theory of psychological stress and coping. It is one of the most prominent and standout theories amongst the major conspicuous theories in the field of stress (Babatunde, 2013). This theory suggests that stress involves the encounter between individuals and their environment and that a stress response depends on an individual’s appraisal of a stressor and their ability to cope with it. These are some of the well-known models which have picked up strength through a considerable length of time in regulating stress research and practice, notwithstanding their difference in popularity and empirical backing.
A quick evolving worldwide scene is increasing the pressure of the workforce to perform maximum output and enhance competitiveness. Indeed, to perform exceptionally on their jobs, there is a prerequisite for workers to perform multiple tasks in the workplace to keep up-to-date with fluctuating technologies (Cascio, 1995; Quick, 1997). The ultimate outcomes of this pressure have been found to be one of the essential elements prompting job stress in their work (Cahn et al., 2000). An investigation in the United Kingdom showed that a larger part of the labour force was unhappy with the existing culture where they are mandated to work prolonged working hours and cope with large workloads while simultaneously meeting production targets and deadlines (Townley, 2000).
Research by Karasek and Colleagues (2002) discovered that the most stressful jobs are those that allow for very little or next to no decision making that places a high mental request on the worker. A case in point of psychological demand is having an immense amount of work. Their study has highlighted the detrimental consequences of high workloads or work overload. Al-Aameri (2003) has revealed in his investigations that one of the six causes of occupational stress is the pressure emanating from the workload. In another study by Kaplan (1991), it is quantified that organizational influences such as the amount of work and operational condition were adversely interrelated with job satisfaction.
The latest study by Brazier cited by Niebuhr (2017), expounds that job stress is a major deal when it comes to unfulfilled objectives and non-existence of ambition in people’s lives. He said that uncomplimentary stress has demonstrated a noteworthy antagonistic effect on the psyche and motivation of employees. Scientists now accepted the truth that will is finite. Its supply can become shattered at the hands of the overabundance of pressure, most remarkably, uncomplimentary stress. In, somewhat, different circumstances an individual is craving to excel. If an individual is compelled to deal with increasing stress that stress can be the foundation of the flickering of employee motivation or else extinguish the motivation completely.
Numerous studies have attempted to determine the link between occupational stress and employee motivation. Work-related stress and employee motivation are some of the burning centres in human resource management researches. As stated by Stamps & Piedmonte (1986), job satisfaction has been established to have a noteworthy relationship with work-related stress. One study by general practitioners in England acknowledged four occupational stressors which were foretelling of job displeasure (Cooper, 1989). Studies of Landsbergis (1988) and Terry (1993) exhibited that high levels of work-related stress are connected with low levels of job inspiration.
There has been an array of diverse methodologies which were utilized in an effort to motivate employees. According to Mukhalipi (2014), it took more than a great employer to construct and manage work in a manner which withholds common risk factors for stress and thwarts predictable glitches as much as possible. This will permit workforces to be more productive at all times as they will feel esteemed and cared for. There are ultimately three approaches for claiming the motivation of employees. Mukhalipi (2014), suggested that the main path is primary prevention where stress is lessened through ergonomics, work and natural design, organizational and administration improvement.
The second technique of inspiring employees is through secondary inhibition where you lessen stress through worker education and training. Lastly, the third technique is the tertiary prevention technique where the impact of stress is diminished by creating a more considerate and responsive management structure (Kendall, 2000). Occupational stress has been shown to have negative implications on the motivation of employees and has a damaging impact on workplace output and profits as well. Nguwi (2014) put forward that about 40% to 45% of Zimbabweans suffered and are suffering from occupational stress which is arithmetically way higher than that of the mediocre of developed countries which are ranging between 17% and 26%. The thrust of this research is to explore the effects of occupational stress on employee motivation by examining different areas, describing common patterns of stress experienced by workers at Ayrshire Mine and investigating the main issues of concern.
1.2 Purpose of the study
Ayrshire mine has invested a lot of money in implementing good human resources practice in the effort to reduce occupational stress which will, in turn, boost employee motivation. Despite all the efforts that have been made by the organization on its employees, the organization is still battling to motivate its employees. It is the quest of this research to unravel the reason(s) why is there a negative relationship between occupational stress and good human resources practice in most mining companies.
1.2.1 Justification of the study
Occupational stress is one of the most persistent problems being faced by many organizations. Stress Management is vital in necessitating the healthy functioning of organizations. It seeks to enhance employee motivation. Through proper management one can clearly focus on tasks by having an enriched immune system and improved cardiovascular co-ordination. Job stress prompts absenteeism, diminishes employee’s effectiveness and increased turnover. For the affluence of an organization, it is a prerequisite that its employees work in a stress-free environment. In Zimbabwe, occupational stress is not being appropriately provided with the finest attention it deserves. Very little has been done in as far as assessing the role of stress with respect to job performance within organizations is concerned.
This study is crucial as healthy, motivated and less stressed employees are more dedicated to offering their services and performing their obligations than unhealthy, demotivated and stressed employees. It is in the light of this that this study is considered significant as it will; fashion conscious mindful thoughts among managers on the necessity to deliver a desirable platform to help and thwart manifestation of occupational stress. Secondly, it will help human resources practitioners to have an exceptional understanding of issues of motivation and employee performance. Lastly, the study has the possibility of fuelling an interest among scholars and students to study the effects of stress among workers in Zimbabwe.
1.2.2 Objectives of the study
1. To identify the springs of occupational stress which affect employee motivation.
2. To identify the level of occupational stress at Ayrshire mine.
3. To identify the level of employee motivation at Ayrshire mine.
4. To relate occupational stress and employee motivation at Ayrshire mine.
5. To examine coping methodologies embraced to motivate employees at the mine.
1.2.3 Key questions to be answered in the research/Hypothesis
1. What are the sources of occupational stress which affect employee motivation?
2. What are the levels of occupational stress at Ayrshire mine?
3. What are the levels of employee motivation at Ayrshire mine?
4. What is the impact of occupational stress on employee motivation?
5. Are there any strategies which can be embraced to heighten the motivation of employees?
1.3 Scope of the study
For the purpose of this study, the researcher has selected Ayrshire Mine Private Limited which is situated on Ayrshire Farm in Banket, Mashonaland West province of Zimbabwe. Ayrshire Mine Private Limited is a gold mining company in Zimbabwe. The research is limited to a single case study which is carried out at Ayrshire Mine, the reason being that it allows the researcher to have an in-depth understanding, detailed and reliable facts of the study.
Figure 1.0: Location of Ayrshire mine
1.4 Structure of the dissertation
The entire study is divided into six (6) chapters. Chapter one gives a general introduction about the study. The main purpose of the chapter is to describe the context of the research, highlighting the problem under investigation and explaining what the study is all about. It forms the skeleton and framework of the study. The second chapter reviews the literature of past work done, narrowing the research to the essentials and broadening knowledge on the fundamentals. The chapter provides the reader with the objective and content map of the study. Chapter three presents the methodology used in data collection. Chapter four seeks to present the outcomes of the research that is the evidence and results of the data collected from the field to answer the research questions. Comparative analysis of past findings is also necessitated in this chapter where possible. Chapter five focuses on the discussion of the findings. The last chapter concludes the research with the summary of all the chapters.
1.5 Definition of Terms
There is no autonomous agreement over the meaning of stress and for that reason countless scholars have come up with numerous definitions to suit diverse situations. For a finer understanding of the definition of occupational stress, the maternal definition of stress was swotted. Shirom (1982), defined stress as a person’s perception that stressors surpass his or her aptitudes and resources, and thus, prompting undesirable outcomes. Stress is also defined in connection with the actual demands which are placed on humans; and which are referred to as stressors.
1.5.2 Occupational stress
Occupational stress has been defined explicitly by Rohan (2003), as anything concerning the working atmosphere or nature of work itself which causes an individual perceived stress. Leka (2003), complementarily stretched out the definition of job stress as the reaction people may have when presented with work demands and pressures which are not corresponding to their capabilities and acquaintance and which challenge their capacity to cope.
Hornby (2010), characterised an employee as an individual who is remunerated to work for somebody. The International Labour Organization further elaborated the definition by uttering that employees are persons who engage to work for a public or private establishment and get remuneration in form of wages, salary, commission, tips, piece rate, and or pay in kind. It is essential to have an understanding that an employee is one who, under the contract of employment, is engaged by an employer in either a private or public entity, with a reward at the end of the work.
There have been several definitions of motivation crossways through different disciplines in the academia stretching from the field of management and psychology to allied sciences. As stated by Page (2008), motivation is defined as the process that accounts for an individual’s passion, path, and persistence of efforts towards accomplishing an objective. Robbins (2005), defined motivation as the enthusiasm to exert high levels of determination towards organizational objectives, habituated by the effort’s capability to satisfy some individual desires.
In a basic manner, the first chapter is a preliminary chapter which conveys the objectives, background, problem statement and research questions of the research on occupational stress influence on employee motivation. Limitations and delimitations of the research are also underlined in the first chapter. With a smooth shift from the first chapter, we move into the second chapter which encompasses the literature review of the research. The second chapter provides the ample review of the literature related to the problem which is being investigated. The chapter should contain the theoretical and conceptual frameworks. It should also contain the historical overview of the problem plus contemporary trends related to the problem and important research data that has been published about the problem.
CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter will review the literature with respect to the study. It will be focusing on the empirical studies related to the study, its conceptual framework, current trends related to the problem as well as the knowledge gap. Henceforth the chapter is meant to ensure that the reader gains a sense of direction and a clear understanding of the study at hand.
2.1 Types of stress
Taylor (1995), cited in Ekundayo (2014) came up with four types of stress namely, acute, traumatic, chronic and episodic acute stress. Acute stress is the most common type of stress and is easily diagnosed. In this case, the individual is very clear about the causes of his or her stress. Its effects are short-term and recovery is ordinarily swift after the eradication of the stressor and then life gets back to being normal. Traumatic stress, on the other hand, is a y severe stress reaction stemming from a devastating event or extreme experience. Examples include events such as natural disasters, sexual assault, and near death accidents.
Chronic stress is the type of stress which wears down the individual daily and a normal working day seems absurdly unending. This goes for a long period of time or even years without any interventions. It would give the impression that there is no visible escape because of the relentless demands and pressures. The consequences are emotional attrition and eventually a breakdown. Lastly, there is episodic acute stress which is generally experienced by the people who are workaholic, very competitive, intolerant, always in a rush and easily get angry and forceful in speech (Ekundiyo, 2014). These kind of people are always chaotic, late and want to handle much work than they can. Their lifestyle will be stimulating stress and they find it difficult to change their habits until they suffer catastrophic physical symptoms.
2.2 Occupational stress and employee motivation
2.2.1 Effects of role conflict on employee motivation
Role conflict is generally regarded as disputes which arise due to the mismatch between anticipations conveyed into an individual within the organization with others inside and outside the organization (Tsui and Shis, 2005). The probable consequences of role conflict are very sensitive, both for individuals or the organization in the sense of emotional complications, such as high work pressure, job satisfaction, and low performance (Fanani et al., 2008). The complex the impact of role conflict, the lesser the employee is motivated to execute his/her duties.
2.2.2 Effects of colleague support on employee motivation
Every single employee cannot keep up on his own, henceforth, backing from others is essential so that the engagement and commitment of an individual will be heightened. Kwok and Wai (2005), said that the writings on social support that has accumulated over the past two decades suggest that social support can have a direct impact on the psychological well-being of employees. In an environment where co-worker support is high, employees are able to converse ideal more openly and honestly, and there is a constructive relationship to job satisfaction (Elloy and Patil, 2012). Social interactions are essential in maintaining an individual’s self-esteem, as it fosters a sense of connectivity with others.
However, there are conflicting views regarding positive effects of co-worker support on employees, where co-worker behaviours may be viewed as political or self-enhancing, and therefore, it may not always be connected with productive work attitudes (Elloy and Patil, 2012). Regardless of this, the is evidence that social relationships have many positive effects on the workplace, for instance, situations in which successes in jobs or solutions to problems are found when employees’ ideas are accepted and when employees are praised, helps to overall job satisfaction. When these motivation benefits are not experienced by an employee then an employee will not be satisfied.
2.2.3 Effects of workload pressure on employee motivation
Early interpretations of work-related stress preserved the concept and human creature in mechanistic terms. Work-related stress present when demands overweighed resources. The resulting strain on the system was seen as a stress effect. Kantowitz and Simsek (2001) defined workload as “an intervening variable that modulates the tuning between demands of the environment and the capabilities of an individual”. Schaufeli and Bakker (2009) Suggest that workload pressure usually disturb the job holder to the extent that health problems can start to manifest. Whereas if the workload decrease or balanced to the employee’s abilities, contentment and satisfaction can be a dominant state of well-being. Even if, or when, there is no effect on employees, work-life balance is often associated with improved organizational performance (Beauregard and Hendry, 2009).
Several researchers have attempted to side-step the inter-relationship between direct and indirect effects relying on descriptions of workload alone, ignoring potentially related psychological stress (Hancock and Desmond, 2001). In doing so, they have circumvented a direct discussion of stress and its role in employee motivation degradation or enhancement.
2.2.4 Effects of role ambiguity on employee motivation
Role ambiguity occurs when an individual employee has inadequate information to select the most effective job behaviour or when duties, authority, and responsibilities are unclear (Tubre and Collins, 2000). It is also referred to as the inconsistency between information needed to perform a task and existing information (Burney and Widener, 2007). Stress is created where the employee lacks information regarding his authorities, task to be performed, duties and power. Role ambiguity leads to such negative outcomes as reduced employee confidence, a sense of hopelessness, anxiety and depression which altogether impacts employee motivation.
2.2.5 Effects of time pressure on employee motivation
Work plays an essential role in the lives of most people. After all, a rewarding job pays the bills and enables us to survive. Work, be it paid or voluntary (unpaid), also helps us to profile our identity, gives a determination to our existence, permits us or forces us to structure the way we spend our time, gives us useful way to spend our days, contributes to our social status, and finally, gets us in connection with others (Siegrist, 2010).
When the employee is incompetent enough to meet the demands of work within the time offered, a work pressure problem ascends, which can lead to work stress. Occupational stress can sooner or later cause the employee to feel excessively tired, drained, and depressed, as well as to suffer physical ailments. The employee can become overstrain or, if the situation persists for a lengthy period of time, employees will start to suffer from burn-out which have a negative impact on employees’ motivation to continue doing the work.
2.2.6 Effects of salary on employee motivation
Alexandros-Stamatios et al (2003), argued that “factors intrinsic to the job” meaning explored workload, a variety of tasks and rates of pay are sources of occupational stress. The combination of high effort and low rewards at work has been found to be a risk factor for cardiovascular health, illness, absenteeism as well as high rates of employee turnover (Tsutsumi and Kawakami, 2004).
Money is an extrinsic incentive and it can be used in stimulating noble employee behaviour (Darmon, 2004). Organizations that reward their employees in accordance with performance will typically experience fewer problems than organizations that do not (Muczyk et al., 2004). Bonuses, as extrinsic rewards, can be a worthy instrument to motivate workers for better performance.
2.3 Stress management at the workplace
Occupational stress needs to be appropriately managed before there are calamitous consequences which may disadvantage the worker’s performance and or the company productivity. During the development of the discipline from the mid-20th Century, quite a lot of scholars have come up with different angles to solve this menace.
Richardson and Rothstein (2008), classified intervention and management strategies into three categories namely primary, secondary and tertiary. A primary intervention strategy placed emphases on modifying the source of stress giving attention to the worker, his or her workplace and the inter-link between the worker and her workplace. It can be either pre-emptive or reactive. A good example is job redesigning and restructuring to eliminate work stressors or to increase worker sovereignty in the decision-making process. However, these kinds of strategies are often said to be very expensive and interrupt production schedules hence are rarely adopted (Kendall et al., 2000).
Secondary intervention strategy which can be at times referred to as preventative tries to decrease the magnitude of stress symptoms before they result in life-threatening health complications (Murphy and Sauter, 2003). Tertiary intervention strategies generally deal with case management where a particular case of an identified ailment is treated to ensure full rebuilding or full recovery to health in a worker (Kendall et al., 2000). An example of a tertiary strategy can be the treatment of depression in a worker till s/he can be considered stable and come back to work full time as before.
Instead of grouping stress management into primary, secondary and tertiary interventions; other scholars have further categorized these strategies as either individual or organizational strategies (Robbins, 2004; Mitchie, 2002).
According to Stoica and Buicu (2010), an organizational approach embroils the establishment of a pleasant work environment which has favourable job characteristics, labour relations, a healthy organizational structure and culture. An individual approach is fundamental since the success of the organization’s anti-stress programs is determined by an individual (Stoica and Buicu, 2010). Personal measures include effective time management, organizing personal space, understanding organizational policies, proper communication and enhancing inner balance as well as developing confidence and maintaining a healthy lifestyle (Ekundayo, 2014; Robbins, 2004).
2.4 Theoretical framework
Theories help us to comprehend the underlying process and on that basis, helps decide on the effective course of action. According to Stoner and Freeman (2000), “a theory is a coherent collection of assumptions put forward to explicate the relationship between two or more observable facts”. Valid theories enable us to forecast what will take place under certain situations.
A number of theories have been brought forward by numerous academics in an attempt to elucidate how stress rises and or, how it brings about the attrition of motivation among employees. According to Pisaniello (2010), there is no theory as yet which is able to completely explain occupational stress. For the purpose of this study, however, it is found more appropriate to focus more on transactional versus interactional theories and environmental versus individual emphasis.
2.4.1 Person-Environment Fit
The theory scrutinizes the degree of misfit existing between an individual (the person) and the environment (Edwards et al, 1998). Basically, the general idea of the concept is that people have a tendency to be happier and adapt better when they appropriately fit into the environment they are placed in. Stress originates from the relationship between a person and the surrounding environment. This can be considered as an unpleasant emotional situation that the person experiences when occupational related requirements cannot counterbalance with his/her aptitude to resolve them and prolonged stress can have a negative impact on an individual’s mental and physical health (Cooper et al., 2001).
This theory is far and widely recognised as one of the most dominant conceptual forces in the field of industrial psychology (Schnerder, 2001). It involves two major distinctions, as outlined by (Le Fevre et al., 2006), which are; (i) the distinction between the person, their abilities and needs, their environment, and the demands it makes on them and that which their environment offers them. (ii) The distinction between the subjective and objective representations of the person and their environment.
According to Pisaniello (2010), the theory proposes that “perceived job stress is a measure of the degree of fit or congruence between the individual and the environment.” In other words, the deviation, balance or satisfaction between the individual worker and his/her working environment depicts the level of perceived stress. If there is satisfaction between the two, the perceived level of stress will be low and the opposite is true. Further, environmental demands and the person’s ability to deal with stress are the two factors which influence motivation in this theory.
2.4.2 Demand-Control Model
Karasek projected this model in the late 1970s. The demand-control model has the most important influence on the research of occupational stress. In the model, work-related stress is a function of how challenging a person’s job is, and how much control the person has over their own duties and responsibilities. The model gives much prominence to the working environment. It is an example of interactional theories, which are generally concerned with a person’s crossing point in their working environment (Dollard, 2002). The central argument in this theory is that the products of stress such as tension emanate from the consequences of high job demand, low social support and low autonomy (Yusoff, 2013). The research has shown that demand-control interaction is stronger among employees who lack social support from others. This model was later refined by Theorell and Karasek (1996), as they introduced other variables such as insecurity, physical exertion and hazardous exposure (Pisaniello, 2010).
2.4.3 Transaction theory
This theory was introduced by Lazarus and Folkman in 1984. It is one of the most prominent theories in the field of stress according to Babatunde (2013). The theory is fixated on the emotional reactions of the person and how they manage the stress. Lazarus (1999), states that stress rises when there is a conjunction between a certain person and a certain environment which leads to a threat appraisal.
According to Dewe et al (2012), the authority and power of transaction lie in the process of appraisal which binds the person with the environment. Lazarus (1999), suggests that there are two forms of appraisal namely primary and secondary appraisal. Primary appraisal is when a person admits that there is something at stake, and it could be a harm, threat, challenge or a benefit (Lazarus, 1999). The secondary nature of appraisal focuses on the steps that can be taken to conquer the potential threat.
However, the notion of appraisal has been criticised for being too simplistic and for not always considered an individual’s history, future goals and identities (Harris, et al., 2004). The theory overlooks the physiological perspective in response to a stressor. Additionally, the later work Lazarus stressed that his transactional theories of stress failed to acknowledge the outcomes associated with coping in specific social contexts and during interpersonal interactions (Lazarus, 2006).
2.4.4 Effort-Reward Imbalance
The theory was proposed by Siegrist and it is based on the notion that stress is a result of inequity between the amounts of effort required to get a job done and the reward gained from the job done (Siegrist, 2002). Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI) theory speculates that effort at work is spent as part of the psychological contract, based on the norm of social reciprocity, where the effort at work is remunerated with rewards and opportunities (Siegrist, 2002). According to the theory, people evaluate their work situation in terms of the effort they put into it in relation to the rewards they receive from it. In stressful situations, employees feel as though they are putting a great deal into their job or doing a great deal for their organization yet feel as though they are not receiving rewards that are commensurate with their efforts (Siegrist, 2002).
Figure 2.0: The effort-reward imbalance model according to Siegrist
Source: Siegrist (2002)
It is the imbalance in this contract that can result in stress or motivation of employees. Pisaniello (2010), gave examples of reward such as money, recognition, esteem and job status control. She further described the inequalities giving a new view that the imbalance maybe between a worker’s characteristics of coping and the job demands. In other words, individual differences are very crucial in this model.
2.5 Conceptual framework
The model below illustrates some of the factors which affect employee motivation. These factors will form the independent variable of the study and will be manipulated to positively or negatively affect the dependent variable, which is employee motivation.
Figure 2.1: A schematic diagram of the conceptual framework
The above diagram shows that employee motivation is influenced by role conflict, relationship with others, workload pressure, role ambiguity, salary and time pressure. At a certain level, the independent variable causes the employees to be in a stressed mode which hinders their performance. This framework shows the relationship between occupational stressors and their influence on employee motivation.
2.6 Related studies
2.6.1 Study 1
In India, Alamdari and Mehrabi (2009), carried out a research was established in order to examine the relation of occupational stress and motivation among managers of the social welfare organization in Tehran. The obtained results indicated that there is a negative correlation between the managerial motivation and occupational stress.
Their study indicated that high levels of ambiguity and role conflict are two important occupational stress factors that led to low levels of occupational satisfaction. High levels of stress lower the level of employee motivation and increase the intention of leaving the job. They announced that there is a high rate of correlation between the ambiguity and role conflict with the satisfaction of supervisors. The results of this research indicated that the higher the level of stress, the lower the level of motivation and lack of occupational satisfaction.
2.6.2 Study 2
Showkat (2013), carried out a study on job stress and its impact on employees working in a commercial bank. His research painted that occupational stress is a key problem in the present day organizations. The core purpose of the research was to explore the numerous physical and mental symptoms which vary according to each individual situational factors.
The findings of the study exposed that low-grade employees are more stressed than those holding higher posts. He further indicates that increased level of stress leads to a decrease in motivation level of employees. Lesser cope for personal growth, under-utilization of abilities, uncongenial working environment, ambiguous organizational policies were other findings that led to stress and reduced motivation of employees. Therefore, in order to increase the motivation of employees and decrease the level of stress, the organizations must consider the personal growth of employees, improved working environment and policies that are realistic.
2.6.3 Study 3
Niebuhr (2017), discovered that job stress is a major deal when it comes to unfulfilled objectives and non-existence of ambition in people’s lives. He said that uncomplimentary stress has demonstrated a noteworthy antagonistic effect on the psyche and motivation of employees. If an individual is compelled to deal with increasing level of stress, that stress can be the foundation of the flickering of employee motivation or else extinguish the motivation completely.
2.6.4 Study 4
The study conducted by Lawson and Luks (2001), has investigated the relationship between empowerment, job satisfaction and reported stress levels. They have favoured the idea of empowering employees in order to reduce stress level. In their study, they have concluded that, if the influence of employees on their areas of work is more, then there is a greater level of satisfaction and eventually decrease the level of stress. In this study, the inverse relationship between empowerment and stress has been focused on the positive relationship between empowerment and job satisfaction.
2.7 Knowledge gap
The field of occupational stress has been researched for more than half a century now. Some studies have been interested in knowing the sources, as well as the management of stress in different industries such as the education sector, medical sector, and managerial position, the list is endless. However, it has not yet been fully explored or researched in Africa and Zimbabwe included in the statistics. Some occupations, however, are better off, for example, the health and education sector. Most industrial occupations have been side-lined like the mining industry. No research has been undertaken to fully investigate the field of occupational stress in the industry which are characterized by a majority of general workers with no specific qualifications.
As such, this study seeks to avail the occupational stress situation in such an industry in Zimbabwe. This study reveals the influence of occupational stress on employee motivation, examines the extent to which an individual’s desire and persistence of efforts towards accomplishing organizational goals is affected. This study aims to, Help human resources practitioners to have an exceptional understanding of issues of employee motivation and performance and also to fashion-conscious mindful thoughts among managers on the necessity to deliver a desirable platform to help and thwart manifestation of occupational stress.
The chapter managed to review the literature with respect to the study, focusing on the empirical studies related to the research, its conceptual framework, current trends related to the problem as well as the knowledge gap. The following chapter will be focusing on the methodology of the research.
CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Research methodology is the roadmap or itinerary used by any the researcher to achieve the objectives of the study. In the prior chapter, the researcher reviewed the literature of the study which included theoretical framework, conceptual framework, related studies and the knowledge cavity which made the researcher embark on the study. In this chapter, however, the researcher will be dealing with the research methodology of the study. This chapter will encompass the research approach and design, sampling procedures amongst other methodological concepts which will be enclosed in this chapter.
Williman (2011), defined research as a term used liberally for any kind of investigation which is intended to expose interesting or fresh actualities. A more speculative interpretation by Williman (2011) was that a research involves finding out about the thing that no-one else identified. It is about advancing the frontiers of acquaintance. According to Grinnell sited in Kumar (2011), research is a structured inquiry that exploits tolerable scientific procedure to solve glitches and fashions new knowledge that is largely applicable. Scientific approaches consist of a systematic observation, clarification and interpretation of data. Woody sited in Kothari (2004), defined research as defining and redefining glitches, formulating the hypothesis or suggesting solutions; gathering, organizing and evaluating data; making deductions and reaching conclusions and carefully testing the conclusions to determine whether they fit the formulated hypothesis. Thus, research is a unique input to the existing heap of knowledge making for its expansion.
3.1 Research Approach
Mackenzie and Knipe (2006) articulated a research approach as the way that has been incorporated to conduct the research. There are two leading approaches that form the heart of research in the social sciences, which are the positivist and interpretive (Kumar, 2011). The positivist approach is embedded in the physical sciences, known as a quantitative approach, whilst the opposite, interpretive approach has come to be known as the qualitative, ethnographic, ecological or naturalistic approach (Kumar, 2011). Lincoln (2000), terms quantitative research as a set, objective, systematic process to describe and test relationships and examine the causes and effects of connections between variable. He also defined qualitative research as an explanatory naturalistic approach to the world.
The positivist facet involves quantitative data which was gathered through questionnaires. The interpretivist fragment of the research involved conducting interviews which permitted the researcher to advance a deeper understanding of experiences of the research subjects.
In this research, the researcher unified both quantitative and qualitative research approach in order to increase confidence, reliability, and ground-breaking ways of understanding the social phenomena. The researcher used both qualitative and quantitative approaches because they were applicable in assessing the influence of occupational stress on employee motivation. Use of both approaches gave room for the triangulation of data. According to Morrison (2000), the objective of using mixed approach is to give insight into a phenomenon under exploration and examination, to gather information that the researcher may not be capable to obtain by engaging a solo approach, thus, the use of either quantitative or qualitative approach. For the reasons outlined, a combination of interpretivist and positivist approach was deemed suitable for the research.
3.1.1 Research Design
A research design is a comprehensive plan with a list of stipulations and procedures for directing and controlling a research project (Newman, 2003). The research design empowers the researcher to get answers concerning the questions as well as to test or confirm the hypothesis of the study. It did serve as a guide and much more a plan for this research. According to Flick (2012), the nature of research design signposts the nature of research and lays down the structure of the research.
This research is largely descriptive study, engaging both qualitative and quantitative technique. It recognises the prominence of traditional quantitative and qualitative research but also bids a third paradigm choice that at times will offer the most informative, comprehensive, composed, and valuable research results (Neuman, 2000). Essentially, the descriptive research design was embraced as it empowered the researcher to assess stress and its influence on employee motivation at Ayrshire mine. By this, the researcher had ample space to observe, describe and document various aspects of how occupational stress occurs. This approach was adopted as it allows the researcher to pull together a huge amount of data from a sizable population in a cost-effective way while presenting more accurate of the event at a given time.
The researcher used a solo case research design. The solo case research design refers to those in which the phenomenon of concern is studied using a single subject. Newman (2003) suggests that a case study communicates the in-depth of a single or small number in a unity.
3.2 Study population
The population of the study is the large collection of interest for which a research is relevant and applicable (Furlong et al., 2000). According to Collins et al. (2000), a population is the entire group of persons or a set of objects and events the researcher wants to study. Even though the entire population will not participate in the research, the conclusions of the study will be generalized to the whole populace. The populace which will be researched is known as the target population, which is a set demarcated by a researcher’s explicit attention. The target population constitutes the managerial and non-managerial employees at Ayrshire mine. The total population of the study was 368 employees from both managerial and non-managerial as publicized in the table below.
Table 3.1: Population size drawn from management and general employees
General Employees 360
3.2.1 Sampling approach
Figure 3.1: The concept of sampling
Source: Kumar (2011)
From the concept illustrated in the above diagram, Figure 3.1, sampling is a process of picking from the whole population of interest, the subject which can be used to draw conclusions about the population. According to Saratankos (2005), the use of sampling is very important in research because it enables the researcher to select a portion or section of the population to represent the entire population from which s/he obtains relevant information with the use of appropriate sampling techniques. The researcher used systematic and purposive sampling methods.
220.127.116.11 Sample size
The sample population is a subset of the entire population, and inferential statistics is to be generalized from the sample to the whole population (Furlong et al., 2000). It can be defined as a selected subset of subjects used to draw conclusions about the entire set. The sample was determined using Yamane’s (1967) simplified formula modified to proportion, to determine the sample size of the study. It is defined as;
Where: N = Total population n = Sample size e = Precision
The researcher concentrated on a sample of 78 employees from the two divisions, the management and general employees as from the above table. The sample population was 21% of the total population. This sample involves employees from both genders, all ranks and departments with each given equal opportunity so as to get better results.
18.104.22.168 Systematic sampling
The systematic sampling technique is a method of choosing respondents, which determines how to select members of a population that will be studied from the total population for inclusion in the sample population. The method was used to select respondents who responded to the questionnaires. The researcher found out that it was more useful to use a systematic random sampling technique since it lessens the possibility of human bias in the selection of cases to be included in the sample. As a result, the systematic random sample provides the researcher with a sample that was highly representative of the population being studied, assuming that there is limited missing of data. The calculations made by the researcher to determine the width of the interval are presented below.
Where: k = interval
Table 3.2: Systematic sampling
1 28 55 82 109 136 163 190 217 244 271 298 325 352
2 29 56 83 110 137 164 191 218 245 272 299 326 353
3 30 57 84 111 138 165 192 219 246 273 300 327 354
4 31 58 85 112 139 166 193 220 247 274 301 328 355
5 32 59 86 113 140 167 194 221 248 275 302 329 356
6 33 60 87 114 141 168 195 222 249 276 303 330 357
7 34 61 88 115 142 169 196 223 250 277 304 331 358
8 35 62 89 116 143 170 197 224 251 278 305 332 359
9 36 63 90 117 144 171 198 225 252 279 306 333 360
10 37 64 91 118 145 172 199 226 253 280 307 334 361
11 38 65 92 119 146 173 200 227 254 281 308 335 362
12 39 66 93 120 147 174 201 228 255 282 309 336 363
13 40 67 94 121 148 175 202 229 256 283 310 337 364
14 41 68 95 122 149 176 203 230 257 284 311 338 365
15 42 69 96 123 150 177 204 231 258 285 312 339 366
16 43 70 97 124 151 178 205 232 259 286 313 340 367
17 44 71 98 125 152 179 206 233 260 287 314 341 368
18 45 72 99 126 153 180 207 234 261 288 315 342
19 46 73 100 127 154 181 208 235 262 289 316 343
20 47 74 101 128 155 182 209 236 263 290 317 344
21 48 75 102 129 156 183 210 237 264 291 318 345
22 48 76 103 130 157 184 211 238 265 292 319 346
23 50 77 104 131 158 185 212 239 266 293 320 347
24 51 78 105 132 159 186 213 240 267 294 321 348
25 52 79 106 133 160 187 214 241 268 295 322 349
26 53 80 107 134 161 188 215 242 269 296 323 350
27 54 81 108 135 162 189 216 243 270 297 324 351
22.214.171.124 Purposive sampling
According to Kumar (2011), the prime consideration of this technique is one’s decision as to who can offer the finest information to achieve the objectives of the study. The focal goal of purposive sampling is to concentrate on particular characteristics of a population that is of interest, which best enable the investigator to find answers to the research questions. The sample being studied is not representative of the population, but for researchers pursuing mixed methods research designs, this is not considered a weakness (Kumar, 2011). This type of sampling was extremely useful in this research as it helped the researcher on the selection of interviewees.
3.2.2 Data collection methods and techniques
Figure 3.2: Data collection methods employed in this study
Williman (2011), define research instruments as the apparatuses which are used in collecting data essential for the research. This research employed a concoction of both primary and secondary data. Primary data was collected using questionnaires, interviews and direct field observations, while secondary data was collected from the documents and record found at Ayrshire mine.
A questionnaire is any written instrument that presents respondents with a series of questions or statements to which they will be reacted to by either writing out their answers or selecting from a panel of existing answers (Ong’anya and Ododa, 2009). A self-administering questionnaire was designed in both open-ended and closed-ended questions. Open-ended questions allowed respondents to give answers in their own way, whilst closed-ended questions provided a number of optional answers from which the respondents were instructed to choose from. This was done to collect both quantitative and qualitative data.
A questionnaire is a standard instrument, that is similar questions are asked to diverse respondents. This standardization permitted facts acquired from diverse respondents be interpreted comparatively, and to be generalised to other circumstances (Kumar, 2011). A questionnaire was used as they are effective in collecting descriptive data, especially on a large population. Also, they became logical as they enabled a wide coverage of topics which represented all the objectives in one questionnaire.
A questionnaire was the prime data collection tool as it offered a number of advantages. Firstly, questionnaire gave room for the gathering of large amounts of information within an undersized space of time and in a comparatively cost-effective way. It was possible to use a large sample leaving the results more dependable and reliable. Secondly, the ability of data to be scrutinized using existing inexpensive and readily accessible software such as Microsoft Excel and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Moreover, no question requested respondents’ names, this provided them with anonymity and freedom which can generate more reliable and valid information. The researcher mainly selected questionnaires because they were relatively inexpensive as equated to other instruments. This was very appropriate as the researcher was working within the restrictions of a very constricted budget.
However, the lack of interaction between the researcher and respondents did not give room for classification and verification of facts. In addition, it was depending on the ability and willingness to the respondents to provide the information needed and the researcher had no way of developing participant’s interest.
Kumar (2011), defined an interview as a two-way dialogue initiated by the interviewer to attain information from a respondent. Structured interviews were used, this meant that respondents were questioned following a guide. This was done to keep the interviewees focused on the research topic since occupational stress can be a very emotional topic and hence the need to avoid the respondents getting carried away.
The interview was employed so as to acquire in-depth knowledge on the sources of stress and coping strategies being practised at Ayrshire mine to ensure that their workers are happy and motivated. Another benefit of interviewing employees was that sensitive topics were pursued and probed further, of which it could have been so difficult to address using questionnaire. Key informants are summarized in Table 3.2 Below.
Table 3.2: Interviewees and rationale for choosing them
Mining Manager This individual has the in-depth knowledge and overall understanding of what moves workers and why, since he works closely with them.
SHEQ Manager The person is an expert in workers’ welfare and has immense knowledge on coping strategies that are being implemented by Ayrshire mine.
Human Resources Officer This one knows the challenges being faced by workers on a daily basis and sometimes know the source of the challenges. Has the insight of what should be done to manage such threats affecting workers.
Nurse in Charge This individual was chosen she witnesses workers’ burnout on daily basis. Through counselling sessions, she gets in-depth knowledge of what affects workers.
Workers’ Representative Represents workers and their plights and hence has in-depth comprehensive details on issues affecting fellow colleagues.
However, interviews can be time-consuming; setting up, interviewing, transcribing, analysing feedback and reporting.
126.96.36.199 Field Observations
According to Peter (2011), observations refers to the use of eyes to observe people and their environment, situation, interactions and phenomena and recording what is seen as data. Observational research findings are considered strong invalidity because the researcher is able to collect in-depth information about the particular situation on the ground.
188.8.131.52 Secondary Data
Jewel and Abate (2001), defined secondary data as a collection of data from a source that has already been published in form of reports, books, journals, historical information and census data and collected for purposes other than the original use. In this study, secondary data was used to complement the data acquired from primary sources of data so as to come up with a stealth comprehensive study. Some of the data employed include clinic records, SHEQ Policy and other Ayrshire Mine Private Limited documents.
However, the researcher had no control over the quality of data as it might have been collected for other purposes. To counter the problems, the researcher had to exercise caution when using dated information from the past because outdated researches may have little or no relevance to the current situation.
3.2.3 Ethical Considerations
Ethical consideration is an important part of any research under study. Ethical guidelines and principles need to be considered throughout the study, as the research study should not cause harm to any of the individuals included in the study nor the organization itself (Arrman and Björk, 2017). Research is only deemed reliable and valuable if it is carried out honestly. Ethical consideration falls into three categories which are, during design, the collection of data, and reporting of the data.
This research was conducted after approval from the organisation. A permission to conduct the study was obtained from the Human resource manager at the mining company of consideration in order to carry out the study. The researcher takes full responsibility in conducting the whole research and abiding by the organization’s policies, rules, and regulations as well as the university’s ascribed rules and regulations for carrying out a research study. Oral consent was attained from the interview participants, after being explained the purpose of the study. Informing consent is very important in ensuring that the interviewees understand the meaning of participating in the research study. All participants were informed that the study was voluntary and they were allowed to terminate their participation at any stage of the study without any explanation.
Sharing information about a respondent with others for purposes other than research is unethical (Kumar, 2011). Confidentiality was a concern of the researcher in this study. Stringent level of confidentiality was maintained to ensure that there was no misrepresentation of data. Privacy was issued on the time of data collection and all the participants were advised that the information will be confidential and names will not be taken down.
According to Kothari (2004), the use of information in a way that will directly or indirectly affect respondents adversely is unethical. Data collected throughout the research remained within the scope of this project as a way of ensuring trust.
Bias on the part of the researcher is unethical (Kumar, 2011). Bias is different from subjectivity. Bias is a deliberate attempt to hide what one has found in his/her study, or to highlight something disproportionately to its true existence, it is absolutely unethical to introduce bias into research activity.
3.3 Data Analysis
After collecting data, it must be classified and presented in meaningful forms to have a better insight of the research problem (Panneerselvan, 2006). On completion of data collection and finding results, there was a need to interpret what the results meant and this involved the use of diverse techniques to analyse and present data. These methods facilitated a systematic analysis of the data from which research findings and conclusions were drawn. This study produced both qualitative and quantitative data and each employed suitable technique.
The numerical data adopted from the questionnaires were analysed and summarised to produce trends and establish responses to the research questions. Statistical manipulations were done using SPSS and data generated from it was presented using pie charts, graphs and tables using Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word. Qualitative data from key informant interviewees, direct field observations and those from the questionnaire was also summarised in a manner befitting, adding descriptive flesh to the skeleton provided by quantitative data.
3.4 Reliability and Validity Issues
Reliability and validity are viewed as statistical properties used to evaluate the quality of research. According to Flick (2012), reliability is the method of evaluating the authority and reputation of the source. Validity refers to the degree to which the data collected in a research study actually replicates the phenomena being studied (Blumberg et al., 2008).
In order to maintain the reliability and validity of the data, the researcher conducted a pre-test survey to determine whether the questions were clear to participants and whether they understand the requirements. The preliminary study helps the researcher to identify potential problems with the design especially the research instruments.
This chapter delineated the research methods put forward by the researcher in carrying out the research. The core aim of the chapter was to give a clear description of how the research was steered. This chapter displayed a colourful description of all activities undertaken by the researcher. This research focused on issues such as research approach, design, instruments, research population and sampling procedure. The chapter also dealt with the methods employed in the collection of data and how data was analysed among other methodological components of the research. The following chapter will be focusing on data presentation.