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Study on Karaseks theory of job demand control

Karasek's theory of job demand-control (JD-C) about work stress has had a great effect on the academic literature and job redesign (Bright, 2001). According to Kompier (2003) the JD-C model is currently one of the very most influencing types of stress in occupational health. In criticism, writers like Cox & Griffin (1995) state that the JD-C model highlights the characteristics of the employee's environment and his/her discussion with the surroundings. They say the theory does not explain the procedure of what occurs during this interaction.

JD-C model identifies stress as product of how demanding a person's job is and exactly how much control they can exert over their duties within that job. This process creates a quadrant with four types of jobs; passive, dynamic, low-strain and high-strain.

There are two factors in this quadrant model that influence the stress levels of working individuals. First, Job demands constitute the stressors (stress) brought on by the environment of work. These stressors can be; time stresses, demands, pace of work, issues at work, amount of work etc. Second, Decision latitude is thought as the control an employee has over their responsibilities and how they wish to perform these jobs assigned to them. Decision latitude branches into two concepts (i) skill discretion: which is described as the extent of variety and flexibility employment has for example; a job having multiple volume of tasks, chance of ingenuity, space for personal expansion and skill development, how much do the obligations repeat themselves over the period of time etc. (ii) decision specialist: which is defined as an employee's probable of earning decisions and influencing people, departments and company as a whole.

As mentioned previously, this model brings about four kinds of stress for careers. This newspaper will discuss one of the types in detail, the following:

(i) Passive careers: Passive jobs are created when there is low decision latitude and low pressure. Having personal work experience as an office manager, a great example would be of an office administrator. When the job is to predict and tackle conflicts and disruptions the passivity of the work raises, but is also gratifying. When this happens, and latitude is low, understanding that the disturbing factors are workable can assimilate components that can vary in an organisation stopping them from going into disarray, escalates the satisfaction of the employee. When in the same job, passivity root base credited to uninteresting duties like making sure the tea-boy cleans the kitchen, it is not satisfying. Karasek and Theorell consider unaggressive jobs as the next major mental health problem. When passive jobs are in comparison to high strain careers, passive careers can result in various harmful results on health (T. Theorell, 1990). The authors hypothesize that unaggressive jobs that do not have challenges cause negative learning or loss of skills. If the environment does not promote using one's own ideas, the work can appear demotivating and lead to a permanent loss of work performance and because of the low needs of the work less stressors are confronted (T. Theorell, 1990). This newspaper agrees with the authors, the knowledge of the office supervisor for each year resulted in thoughts of less or no potential to face problems when given any, reduced self-efficacy, increased emotions of despair to the point of resignation and once in a while discovered helplessness. Landsbergis et. Al (1998) in their work about health risk behaviours that business lead to cardiovascular diseases researched on employees who had been involved in behaviours like smoking, high liquor intake, insufficient exercise and were overweight, they found that passive careers lead to thoughts of unhappiness and discovered helplessness (Landsbergis, Schnall, Deitz, Warren, Pickering, & Schwartz, 1998).

Karasek and his peers have been focusing on this subject since 1979 and have conducted many researches. There is much academic literature on this model that it requires to be classified. Many researchers have also analyzed this model which divides the sorts of studies conducted into four types (Ganster & Schaubrock, 1991; Jones & Fletcher, 2004). The first kind is the sort of studies conducted on transmitting and control of diseases. These studies mostly focused on cardiovascular diseases, they examined the long-term effects of psychological stress and latitude on employee's health. Second, this kind of studies explored on similar or different occupational groups, such studies were generally cross-sectional and they focused on either behavioural or physiological results. For instance; Parkes, Mendham and Von Rabenau (1994) caused health care employees and hypothesized that almost all of the physiological symptoms were when there was high tension and less decision latitude. Third, this type of studies focused on short-term effects of job requirements and decision latitude (Jonge & Kompier, 1997). Fourth, this kind focused on bettering the health by changing the task environment and promoting behaviours (Landsbergis, Schnall, Deitz, Warren, Pickering, & Schwartz, 1998). Schnall and co-workers (2003) say that 17 out of 25 studies done on cardiovascular indications lead to a hypothesis of high job pressure and low latitude. This paper argues by declaring that decision latitude and job demands can result in powerful reactions like somatic symptoms and may also increase drive in a few, as there are specific differences, additionally it is possible that these two factors elicit different results so it shouldn't be assumed that they both reinforce each other by effecting results in the same way.

Karasek's model was widened by Johnson & Hall (1988) further added a communal aspect to this model. He figured support can act like a buffer in high job demand situations (T. Theorell, 1990). Truck der Doef and Maes (1999) in their work discovered that there is certainly significant research when relating health outcomes with control, requirements and support. They worked with the literature available of both JD-C model and Job demand - control support model in a number of populations. They described that job-related emotional well-being is damaged by 87. 5% if stress is high and 50% can be buffered if control is high. On the contrary, Warr (1990) claims that there is a romantic relationship between demand and control but there is no evidence of connection between decision latitude and requirements. Even though this model has been analyzed many times and revised with a cultural support aspect, it lacks to consider the modern-day world of work today and does not take into account the characteristics of modern jobs, where the requirements and environment is multi-stressor. This model also lacks to keep in mind, individual differences. Different people perceive stress in another way, for some a stressor may appear to be always a motivator while for others it might be an strong stressor. That is why two people in the same job (same environment and same requirements) can have different health benefits, different behaviours and different psychological tension levels. Perrewe and Zellars (1999) said that the model had good validity at macro level but not at micro level as it generally does not ingest to account individual differences and personality factors. Cox et. Al (2000) criticise this model by declaring that it identifies demands as tasks only related to work-load and will not consider the other types of needs that are present at work. The model jobs that high control is often a positive express and may buffer all negative needs, however this paper argues that some employees might not think job control as a positive thing and could also understand it as a stressor. For example; a person with a low sense of self-efficacy and low self-esteem wouldn't normally desire to be in charge instead would want to be led by people they can follow. The JD-C can be an influential model and literature has shown that it has validity, however it has its brief comings as it does not target of the complicated process of stress. This model could be utilized with other models including individual differences by occupational medical researchers to reach maximum results.

To summarize, this article discussed the JD-C model. JD-C model has been an influential part in empirical research, it offers encouraged many experts to create studies regarding raises work performance through the elimination of stressors. This paper shed light of the kinds of research which have taken place regarding the JD-C model and figured the tests done on cardiovascular signals support the models assumptions. It also concluded that the way the process of discussion of needs and control are not within empirical research. How modern workplaces have multi-stressor environments and that each differences are not taken into account. Factors like personality, socioeconomic background, prior experience, belief, coping styles may all affect the worker and his/her stress levels. Despite the fact that there is extensive books that criticises the model, it still holds. The model predicts the center known reasons for stress at the place of work which helps occupational health professionals to understand work area stress better.

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