Stressed organizations and organizational stressors: A systemic analysis of workplace injury

Research paper by Dianna T. Kenny

Indexed on: 01 Oct '95Published on: 01 Oct '95Published in: International Journal of Stress Management


The experiences of five injured workers from one workplace which had been identified as having a very poor workers' compensation claims experience were analyzed using a systemic theory framework. It was predicted that the fundamental stress-producing conflict between safety and profit that exists in industry between workers and their employers is exacerbated when a worker is injured; furthermore, the degree of stress experienced by both the injured worker and the employer is related to the impact of the injury on the organization and on the productivity of the workplace. The increased stress in both the injured worker and the employer results in increased rigidity in responding to the change or threat in the organization caused by workplace injury. A systemic approach to rehabilitation was recommended in which the employer as well as the injured worker were viewed as clients who required varying levels of support and intervention in managing workplace injury.