Work stress and employee performance

  • Oluwaseyi Josephine Awotinde

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

Recent developments and changes within the educational structure of higher education institutions across the world have had some negative as well as positive effects on Academic Employees. The negative effects consist of the mounting pressure of teaching, research commitments as well as managing administrative duties which together pose a threat on physiological and psychological wellbeing of many academic employees. Coupled with these new challenges being associated with the academic career, academic employees in developing nations and various African countries such as Nigeria are faced with other primary stressors emanating from unfavourable working conditions and dilapidating infrastructural facilities. Overall performance within the higher educational sector in Nigeria has declined over the years resulting in lower standards both nationally and within the international frontier. However, amidst a plethora of challenges present within the African continent, the higher education sector in South Africa and Egypt have exhibited a remarkable level of growth and success despite these existing challenges. This is evident in their consistent representation in two prominent world university ranking bodies over the last decade. Therefore, as well as investigating the impact of work stress on employee job performance of academic employees in Nigeria, this study will also examine and identify good practices that is operational in these two African countries and how these practices can be used in conjunction with other findings in this study to develop an employee performance framework in Nigeria higher education. To fulfil the aim of the investigation, the methodology employed in this study is a sequential exploratory mixed method approach, this would enable the rich contexts to be uncovered as well as measures of employee job performance developed. Data was collected using semi structured interviews and questionnaires respectively. Whilst the interview phase aimed at investigating the primary sources of stress plaguing the Universities in Nigeria, the questionnaire focused on investigating the relationship between work stress and employee job performance. Interview transcripts were analysed using qualitative content analysis whilst multiple linear regression analysis was employed to investigate the relationship between work stress and employee performance constructs. The findings indicate that role ambiguity, working conditions and working relationship or interpersonal work relationships had the most significant impact on task and contextual performance of Nigerian academic employees. The thesis concludes with a discussion of results, recommendations, limitations and a suggested practical guide which might be useful in the implementation of the proposed employee performance framework.
Date of AwardMay 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Solent University

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