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   Abstract
  Introduction
  Literature Review
  Aims and Objectives
   Materials and me...
  Results
  Discussion
  Conclusion
   References

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  Table of Contents 
BRIEF COMMUNICATION
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 153-161
 

Job satisfaction, job stress and psychosomatic health problems in software professionals in India


Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication12-Dec-2014

Correspondence Address:
Sahukar Madhura
Sorab Road, Anavatti, Shivamoga Dist, Karnataka- 577 413
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5278.146917

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  Abstract 

This questionnaire based study investigates correlation between job satisfaction, job stress and psychosomatic health in Indian software professionals. Also, examines how yoga practicing Indian software professionals cope up with stress and psychosomatic health problems. The sample consisted of yoga practicing and non-yoga practicing Indian software professionals working in India. The findings of this study have shown that there is significant correlation among job satisfaction, job stress and health. In Yoga practitioners job satisfaction is not significantly related to Psychosomatic health whereas in non-yoga group Psychosomatic Health symptoms showed significant relationship with Job satisfaction.


Keywords: Job satisfaction, job stress, psychosomatic health, Indian software professionals, yoga, psychological stress, occupational stress


How to cite this article:
Madhura S, Subramanya P, Balaram P. Job satisfaction, job stress and psychosomatic health problems in software professionals in India. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2014;18:153-61

How to cite this URL:
Madhura S, Subramanya P, Balaram P. Job satisfaction, job stress and psychosomatic health problems in software professionals in India. Indian J Occup Environ Med [serial online] 2014 [cited 2019 Sep 22];18:153-61. Available from: http://www.ijoem.com/text.asp?2014/18/3/153/146917



  Introduction Top


Hundreds of research studies have been conducted on the stress associated with job satisfaction and jobstress working in various occupations around the world. Studies on muscular skeletal disorders in information systems occupation has also been studied around the world and also in Indian computer professionals. Individual Spirituality at Work and Its Relationship with Job Satisfaction has been studied among sales professionals. However, the effect of spirituality (recent growth in the field of Yoga) on job satisfaction, stress, and health in software professionals in India has not been included in these studies.

Retaining an adequate and qualified workforce is a prerequisite for a well-functioning organization, but is sometimes difficult to realize when conditions, such as a good economic situation, a tight labor market and an aging workforce, tend to increase the turnover of the workforce. It can be hypothesized that job satisfaction could function as a buffer against conditions favoring a high turnover, because a small but significant relationship exists between a low level of job satisfaction and turnover. Moreover, job satisfaction could also buffer against other negative influences in the workplace, such as occupational stress. For these reasons, attention paid to job satisfaction of employees may prevent staff shortages in the future and may even cut costs.

Several studies have tried to determine the link between stress and job satisfaction. Job satisfaction and job stress are the two hot focuses in human resource management researches. It has a direct impact in employee's health and consequently impacts work performance. Stress leads to psychosomatic disorders such as asthma, diabetes mellitus, back pain, hypertension, anxiety and depression and arthritis. These are referred as Adhija Vyadhi in yogic texts. Most of the software engineers suffer from back pain, eye disorders, headache, breathing problems and so on. Indian software professionals are exposed to the new culture of work, employment, organization, and management. With globalization, there are transformations in their lifestyle, sociality, and identity. At the same time, most Indian software professionals have the strong influence of Indian culture and values.

Many software professionals have realized the impact of change in their lifestyle and its implications, which has attracted them to yoga and other spiritual practices. The aim is to analyze the impact of these practices on job satisfaction, stress, and health of software professionals.


  Literature Review Top


Review of studies on job satisfaction and stress

Stress, Job Satisfaction, and Customer Satisfaction in a Transport Company has been examined [1] and the results show that there is an opposite relationship of stress and job satisfaction among bus hostesses. This negative relationship ultimately effects the customer satisfaction. The study of relationship between employee motivation, job satisfaction and corporate culture in marketing Research Company in South Africa [2] found linear relationships. A study has been made on association between job stress, social support, job satisfaction, and absenteeism among offshore oil personnel. [3] Results of the study of relationship between Job Stress and Job Satisfaction among University Staff in Malaysia [4] show a negative relationship between the two.

A survey of job satisfaction, sources of stress, and psychological symptoms among general practitioners in Leeds [5] has identified low job satisfaction and significant problems in the physical and mental wellbeing of general practitioners. Findings of examination of employee's Work Stress, Job Satisfaction, and Organizational Commitment among Public Employees before Privatization [6] indicate that satisfied and committed workforce is not a guarantee to have low level of work stress and vice versa.

Review of studies on factors of job satisfaction

There have been studies on various factors such as age, salary, and physiological and psychological stress, which impact job satisfaction.

The findings of the study "the effect of age on occupational stress and job satisfaction among managers of different age groups," [7] reveals higher levels of job stress and less job satisfaction among managers of 25-35 years age than their counterparts in the middle age (36-45 years) and the old age groups (46-55 years). The study also found that the age found to be negatively correlated with occupational stress and positively with job satisfaction. A study has examined the relationship between physiological stress and job satisfaction and the relationship between psychological stress and job satisfaction. [8] Statistically, the result demonstrates that the level of physiological stress has decreased job satisfaction, and the level of psychological stress has not decreased job satisfaction. Furthermore, the study confirms that occupational stress does act as a partial determinant of job satisfaction in the occupational stress models of the organizational sector sample.

A study explored the relationship among job performance, satisfaction, and stress: A conceptual framework of Malaysian higher learning institutions, [9] which provides some ideas on how these three theories or relationships will influence one another. There are three suggestions highlighted here. The first is that lower level of job stress will lead to a higher level of job satisfaction and job performance among the employees. Second is a greater emphasis on a higher level of job satisfaction, such as lower level of job stress will lead to a better employee's job performance. Finally, these are the vital roles played by the proposed moderators in each of the relationships in the quest to enhance employee's job performance, which will ultimately lead to an improved organizational performance.

Review of Studies on Health

A study investigated occupational stress, Type A behavior pattern, work attitudes, health symptoms, and health behaviors among information systems personnel [10] Type A behavior pattern was found to be a significant moderator for some of the stressor-criterion associations. The findings suggest that more managerial understanding of person-environment fit in general and the individual employee's predisposition toward the Type A behavior pattern specifically may be beneficial in attempting to initiate, nurture, and sustain a productive and healthy work atmosphere.

Stress causing psychosomatic illness has been examined among nurses [11] and results imply psychosomatic disorders, such as acidity, back pain, stiffness in neck and shoulders, forgetfulness, anger, and worry, significantly increased in nurses having higher stress scores.

Review of studies on Indian software professionals

A Comparative Analysis of Stress and Management Problems with Reference to Gujarat State has been done, [12] which proves a positive correlation between stress and managerial problems. "Role stress among women in the Indian information technology sector" [13] investigates the intensity of organizational role stress among women informational technology professionals in the Indian private sector. The research finds differences in the level of stress between married and unmarried employees on several role stressors. However, level of education does not emerge as a significant differentiator of stressors.

The impact of different dimensions of pay satisfaction-related issues of software professionals in India on intent to leave has been explored. [14]

Review of studies on Indian software professionals and health

A study on Occupational Stress and Psychological Fitness in Information Technology Sector in Mumbai Area [15] reveals that occupational stress affects the mental fitness of employees working in the IT sector and creates hazard for organizational and employee productivity. However, no statistical techniques are used to analyze the data. The findings recorded are mere assumptions/perceptions of the respondents about relationship between corporate stress and psychological fitness.

An examination of Work style Risk Factors for Work Related Musculoskeletal Symptoms among Computer Professionals in India [16] concluded that Work style seems to be a mediating factor for musculoskeletal pain, discomfort, and loss of productivity.

The Effect of New Technologies on Job Satisfaction and Psychosomatic Complaints [17] investigated the effects of new technologies, specifically visual display units, on psychosomatic complaints and job satisfaction. Attention was focused on the influences of the work situation (job contents, employee participation) of attitudes and individual differences.

Review of studies on the impact of Indian culture and spirituality

The results of "Exploratory study among sales professionals' individual spirituality at work and its relationship with job satisfaction, propensity to leave, and job commitment [18] reveal that sales professionals' spirituality at work is positively related to job satisfaction and job commitment, and negatively related to propensity to leave.

The study paper "Work, culture, and sociality in the Indian IT industry: A sociological study," [19] documented the social and cultural transformations that have been set in motion by the rapid growth of the IT and ITES industries in India, and through this to shed some light on wider processes of globalization. The study focused on the creation of the IT workforce; the new forms of work, employment, organization, and management, and the new cultures of work that have emerged in this industry, and on the transformations in lifestyle, sociality, and identity that are taking place within this new global workforce.

A qualitative Research on Advantages of Vipassana Meditation on Psychosomatic, Professional, and Managerial development of Business Graduates [20] concludes that Vipassana Meditation Process has high importance in orientation of students with better physique, psychosocial state that helps them to become good professionals with focused managerial aptitude.

As one gets more and more established in the practice of meditation, there are fewer mental problems, and even psychosomatic disorders such as hypertension, peptic ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, and eczema get ameliorated Dileep Kumar M. (2005). Vipassana meditation, therefore, leads to better health and a happy, blissful mind. There is less mental tension and confusion, and with such a clear and calm mind, one is able to deal easily with one's problems, thus living a merry and joyful life.

A study on workplace spirituality, organizational emotional ownership, and job satisfaction as moderators in coping with job stress [21] in information technology professionals in India revealed that workplace spirituality, organizational emotional ownership, and job satisfaction are negatively correlated with job stress. The study also found that workplace spirituality emerged as the strongest predictor to cope up with job stress.


  Aims and Objectives Top


Aims of the study

  • To study the relationship between job satisfaction, job stress, and health in Indian software professionals
  • To compare job satisfaction, stress, and health between yoga practicing and non-yoga practicing Indian software professionals group.


Rationale for selecting the variables studied

Job Satisfaction

Retaining an adequate and qualified workforce is a prerequisite for a well-functioning organization, but is sometimes difficult to realize when conditions, such as a good economic situation, a tight labor market, and an aging workforce, tend to increase the turnover of the workforce. It can be hypothesized that job satisfaction could function as a buffer against conditions favoring a high turnover, because a small but significant relationship exists between a low level of job satisfaction and turnover. Moreover, job satisfaction could also buffer against other negative influences in the workplace, such as occupational stress. For these reasons, attention paid to job satisfaction of employees may prevent staff shortages in the future and may even cut costs.

Stress

Several studies have tried to determine the link between stress and job satisfaction. Job satisfaction and job stress are the two hot focuses in human resource management researches. It has a direct impact in employee's health and consequently impacts work performance.

Psychosomatic Ailments

Stress leads to psychosomatic disorders such as asthma, diabetes mellitus, back pain, hypertension, anxiety and depression, and arthritis. These are referred as Adhija Vyadhi in yogic texts. Most of the software engineers suffer from back pain, eye disorders, headache, breathing problems, and so on.

Software Professionals In India

Indian software professionals are exposed to the new culture of work, employment, organization, and management. With globalization there are transformations in their lifestyle, sociality, and identity. At the same time most Indian software professionals have the strong influence of Indian culture and values.

Yoga And Other Spiritual Practices

Many software professionals have realized the impact of change in their lifestyle and its implications, which has attracted them to yoga and other spiritual practices. The aim is to analyze the impact of these practices on job satisfaction, stress, and health of software professionals.

Hypothesis

  • Hypothesis 1: There is a negative correlation between job satisfaction and job stress
  • Hypothesis 2: There is a positive correlation between job satisfaction and health
  • Hypothesis3: There is a negative correlation between job stress and health
  • Hypothesis 4: There is a relationship between spiritual practices and job satisfaction
  • Hypothesis 5: There is a relationship between spiritual practices and job stress
  • Hypothesis 6: There is a relationship between spiritual practices and health.



  Materials and methods Top


Sample

Indian software professionals living in Bengaluru, India, working with various companies in Bengaluru were randomly selected. Online survey questionnaire was sent to 320 people. One hundred and forty-one (44%) people completed the questionnaire and responded. One hundred and two respondents (72.3%) were male and 39 respondents (27.7%) were female. The mean age of the responders was 30 years (standard deviation = 5.19 years, range 21-years).

Inclusion Criteria

Indian software professionals in the age group 20-55 years living and working in Bengaluru, India, were included. Both service-based and product-based company professionals were included.

Exclusion Criteria

Subjects from India but living and working abroad were excluded.

Ethical Considerations

To maintain ethical neutrality, details about the company are not published. Confidentiality is assured as part of the research process.

Design of the Study

A cross-sectional survey design was used. Email questionnaire survey of software professionals in Bangalore, India, was done. The main outcomes of measures include quantitative measures of job satisfaction, job stress, psychosomatic health symptoms, and effect of yoga and Indian culture.

Measures

Job satisfaction was measured using general job satisfaction survey questionnaire having 10 questions with five-point Likert scale to rate dimensions of job satisfaction. The total score was made by adding the items. A high score indicated higher job satisfaction. Cronbach's alpha = 0.864. A detailed job satisfaction questionnaire is available in Appendix 1.

Job stress was measured using a tailor-made questionnaire for symptoms of job stress, which included 16 questions with five-point Likert scale to rate dimensions of job stress. Total score was made by adding the items. A high score indicated higher job stress. Cronbach's alpha = 0.903. Detailed job stress questionnaire is available in Appendix 2.

Psychosomatic health symptoms Questionnaire was designed with five-point scales of symptom severity. A detailed health symptoms Questionnaire is available in Appendix 3. Total score was made by adding the items.

Questions related to the belief in God, leisure activities (visits to temples, charity work, meeting family friends, bhajans, and so on). Type of any practices such as yoga, meditation techniques, or relaxation techniques were asked. Software professionals who practiced one or more of yoga practices among asanas, pranayama, breathing awareness, meditation, and any relaxation techniques were grouped as yoga group. Similarly, those who spend their leisure time with one or more spiritual activities among reading books on philosophy and/or religion, participate in Bhajans or Satsang, visiting temples or pilgrimage, charity work or selfless service or helping the needy, and meditation were grouped as spiritual leisure group.

Data analysis

The data analysis was carried out with the SPSS 18.0 program. First, descriptive statistics (eg, means, standard deviations, and mode) were used to explore the data.

Normality of Data-This study involves a relatively large sample (141) and therefore, the Central Limit Theorem could be applied and hence there is no question on normality of the data.

Reliability-Cronbach's alpha coefficients (α) were used to assess the internal consistency of the measuring instruments [22] for job satisfaction and job stress.

Correlation - Pearson's product-moment correlation coefficients were used to specify the relationships between the variables.

Independent sample t test was used to compare yoga and nonyoga group scores on variables. The differences among yoga and nonyoga software professionals on job satisfaction, job stress and health variables were investigated through independent sample t test. Also, differences of variables on spiritual leisure activity and nonspiritual leisure activity were calculated through independent sample t test.


  Results Top


One hundred and forty-one people completed the questionnaire and responded (44%). One hundred and two respondents (72.3%) were male and 39 respondents (27.7%) were female. The mean age of responders was 30 years (standard deviation = 5.19 years, range 21-51 years).

One hundred and twenty-one people believed in the existence of God or supreme Power (85.8%). Twenty (20) people did not believe in God (14.2%).

Acceptable Cronbach's alpha coefficients were obtained on all measuring instruments. Cronbach's alpha for the questionnaires used are in [table 1].{Table 1}

Hypotheses 1, 2, and 3 results

Pearson's product moment correlation coefficients are listed in [table 2].{Table 2}

  • Hypothesis 1 Job stress showed significant negative relationship with job satisfaction (t = −0.486, N = 141, P = 0.001). That means that employees who were more satisfied with their organization are less stressed. The ability to cope with stress and meeting the challenges of this competitive business environment can be enhanced by increasing job satisfaction
  • Hypothesis 2 Psychosomatic health symptoms score showed significant negative relationship with job satisfaction (r = −0.328, N = 141, P < 0.001). That means employees who were more satisfied scored less psychosomatic health symptoms score, which means they were healthier. Psychosomatic ailments are better managed with increased job satisfaction
  • Hypothesis 3 Job stress showed significant positive relationship with Psychosomatic Health symptoms (r = 0.506, N = 141, P = 0.000). With increased job stress, employees showed higher psychosomatic health symptoms score.


Hypotheses 4, 5, and 6 results

[Table 3] and [Table 4] provide descriptive statistics for the two pair of groups that were compared.

Yoga Group Versus Nonyoga Group

Seventy-six respondents were in the yoga group (54%) and 65 were under nonyoga group (46%).

  • Hypothesis 1 Both in yoga group and nonyoga group, job stress showed significant negative relationship with job satisfaction (yoga group r = −0.369, N = 76, P < 0.01 and nonyoga group r = -.596, N = 65, P < 0.01). However, mean of job satisfaction score of yoga group (33.23) is slightly higher than the nonyoga group (31.41)
  • Hypothesis 2 In yoga group, job satisfaction is not significantly related to psychosomatic health (r = -0.188, N = 76, P > 0.01), whereas in nonyoga group stress psychosomatic health symptoms showed significant relationship with job satisfaction (r = −0.445, N = 65, P < 0.01). That possibly means psychosomatic disorders are well managed in yoga group irrespective of job satisfaction
  • Hypothesis 3 Job stress showed significant positive relationship with psychosomatic health symptoms in both yoga (r = 0.554, N = 76, P < 0.01) and nonyoga groups (r = 0.433, N = 65, P < 0.01). However, psychosomatic health symptoms score in yoga group (4.59) is slightly lesser than that in the nonyoga group (6.26)
  • Hypothesis 4 There was no significant difference between the two groups on job satisfaction (f = 0.159, P = 0.690). Also, the mean of job satisfaction score of yoga group (33.23) is slightly higher than nonyoga group (31.41)
  • Hypothesis 5 t Test showed that yoga practice found to have significant difference in job stress (f = 0.585, P = 0.446). That means yoga group were coped up with stress better than nonyoga group
  • Hypothesis 6 t- Test showed that yoga found to have significant difference in psychosomatic health symptoms (f = 4.217, P = 0.042). That means psychosomatic ailments are managed better with yoga.



  Discussion Top


A moderate level of stress or "Eustress" is an important motivating factor and is considered normal and necessary. If stress is intense, continuous, and repeated, it becomes a negative phenomenon or "Distress," which can lead to physical illness and psychological disorders. [23] Matter-based approach and increased dependency on science and technology for modern lifestyle among software professionals has increased stress, which is expressed as social unrest, increasing health hazards, and so forth. [24]

This study of stress level and job satisfaction among Indian software professionals confirms the negative correlation between job stress and job satisfaction. This result is consistent with similar studies by Ahsan et al. among University Staff in Malaysia, study by Ismail, et al. (2009) in Malaysia, [8] Roos and Van Eeden (2008), and a study by Appleton et al. (1998).

This study evaluated relationship between psychosomatic health symptoms and job satisfaction and seen significant relationship between the two.

Psychosomatic health symptoms showed a positive correlation with job stress. This result is in consistent with earlier research by Kane (2009) titled "Stress causing psychosomatic illness among nurses in India." Increasing stress and lesser job satisfaction can negatively influence software professionals' emotional and physical health.

Stress management techniques can help individuals manage their physical and emotional health. A study by Chawla, et al. (2010) shows a positive relationship between job satisfaction and spirituality at work among sales professionals, which provide the relevance of spirituality at work to salespeople. Kumar's [20] study reveals the importance of Vipassana meditation to orient the students with better physique and psychosocial state that helps them to become good professionals with focused managerial aptitude.

Yoga being holistic approach for stress management not only brings fitness and vigor to the physical body but also harness our emotions and expands our power of insight, vision, and analysis. [24] The main focus of this study was to evaluate the influences of yoga, spiritual and cultural aspects of Indians on job satisfaction, job stress, and psychosomatic health.

In the nonyoga group, job satisfaction, stress, and psychosomatic symptoms were correlated. In the yoga group, job stress showed significant negative relationship with job satisfaction and positive correlation with psychosomatic health symptoms. However, yoga group showed no significant relationship between job satisfaction and psychosomatic health symptoms. Also, yoga group scored significantly low in job stress and health compared with nonyoga group. Further study needs to be carried out with a detailed questionnaire, which evaluates various factors of yoga practicing such as the duration and frequency, the techniques practiced, and mindfulness during working hours and leisure activities, spiritual aspects, belief, and values to determine which factors of yoga have a relationship with job satisfaction.


  Conclusion Top


The study was set out to explore the correlation among job satisfaction, job stress, and health and to compare yoga and nonyoga practicing groups score of job satisfaction, job stress, and health. The study also sought to know how the Indian spirituality influences these parameters. The study sought to answer the following questions:

  1. Does job satisfaction have an impact on job stress and psychosomatic health?
  2. Does yoga have an impact on job satisfaction?
  3. Do software professionals practicing yoga cope better with stress and have better health?


The findings of this study have shown that there is a significant correlation among job satisfaction, job stress, and health. Job stress is negatively related to health and job satisfaction. Software professionals with higher job satisfaction scored less job stress score and psychosomatic ailments score.

This study found out that yoga did not show a significant impact on job satisfaction. However, in yoga practitioners, job satisfaction is not significantly related to psychosomatic health, whereas in the nonyoga group psychosomatic health symptoms showed a significant relationship with job satisfaction. That means psychosomatic disorders are well managed in yoga practicing software professionals irrespective of job satisfaction.

The yoga group had scored significantly lower in job stress and psychosomatic symptoms score compared with the nonyoga group. That implies yoga is a tool for software professionals to cope up with their stress and psychosomatic disorders.

This study encountered limitations in assessing spiritual beliefs of Indian software professionals. The study could not evaluate impact of spiritual leisure activities. Influence of confounding variables were not controlled. The study considered practices among asana, pranayama, breath awareness, meditation and any relaxation techniques. Further work needs to be done to look into other aspects of yoga practicing, including duration and frequency of the techniques practiced and mindfulness during working hours and leisure activities, spiritual aspects, belief and values.

Taken together, this study recommends software professionals to manage their stress and health by practicing yoga.



 
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