De-stressing the Down-sized Organisation- Autonomy and Integrity for Survival
This paper continues to report on results emerging from an on-going research project focussed on managerial stress, certain ubiquitous organisational change strategies, and a resultant convergence of hitherto distinct organisational cultures. Evidence in two previous papers given at recent symposia/conferences (International Congress of Applied Psychology, 1998 and ICP, 1999) has strongly suggested certain tendencies. These include the following- that ostensibly disparate organisations, exemplified by their managers stress levels, and their new internal corporate value/belief structures, as defined by internalised corporate change strategies, are now displaying remarkable similarities, a “convergence”. In addition, important countervailing organisational and personal factors that may tend to inhibit the deleterious consequences of this observed trend were preliminarily adduced. Further study has indicated that specifically designed exercises/interventions, derived from a structured analysis of adaptive individual manager behavioural characteristics (the FITness framework), may make it possible to avoid dysfunctional, anomic behaviour and attitudes, following the imposition of massive (harmful?) organisational change strategies. Primarily though, this study will indicate factors which enable managers to survive and thrive, avoiding the adverse impact of stress/anxiety/depression which working within radically and insensitively changing--and objectively unsupportive--organisations now entails. The paper outlines the efficacy/survival value of personal autonomy as measured by job control (a major dimension of “FIT Integrity” within the FIT framework), its impact on life and relationships outside the workplace, and how autonomy as defined and its absence can reciprocally affect organisations both positively and negatively. This would be particularly significant in respect of those organisations that have undermined commitment, continuity, employee support, as well as their own cultural cohesion and uniqueness.