1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
To assess occupational stress and its influence on employee motivation paying attention to workers at Ayrshire Mine.
1. To identify the sources of occupational stress which affect employee motivation.
2. To examine the effects of job stress on employees in the performance of their job.
3. To analyse the relationship between perceived levels of stress and individual differences.
4. To scrutinise the magnitude and patterns of occupational stress on employee motivation.
5. To understand which occupational stress factor plays a crucial role in affecting employee motivation.
6. To examine coping strategies adopted to motivate employees at the mine.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What are the sources of occupational stress which affect employee motivation?
2. How does these effects disturb employees in performing their job?
3. Analyse how perceived levels of stress are related to individual differences?
4. What magnitude of occupational stress has negative influence on employee motivation?
5. Which factor contribute more to low motivation among staff of Ayrshire Mine?
6. Are there any strategies which can be adopted to enhance the motivation of employees?
1.5 AIM OF THE STUDY
Occupational stress is one of the most pervasive problems an organization has to contend with. Stress Management is important to healthy functioning of organizations as it seeks to increase employee motivation since one can clearly focus on tasks, better memory, improved immune system and better blood pressure. Job stress leads to absenteeism, decrease employees’ efficiency and increased turnover. For the prosperity of an organization, it is a prerequisite that its employees work in a stress free environment. In Zimbabwe, occupational stress is not being given the best attention it deserves and so very little has been done as far as assessing the role of stress on job performance within organizations.
This study is vital as healthy, motivated and less stressed employees are more focused towards offering services and performing their duties. It is in the light of this that this study is deemed important, as it will:
? Create awareness among managers on the need to provide the needed platform to help prevent occurrence of job stress.
? Help human resources practitioners to have a better understanding on issues of motivation and performance.
? The study has the potential to stimulate, among scholars and students, an interest in the study of stress among workers in Zimbabwe.
In carrying out the investigation the researcher may encounter the following limitations:
There might be unavailability of respondents due to other work commitments. The researcher is a full time student which means the research will be carried out as a part time, this may limit the researcher to cover wider spectrum. The respondents may fear to respond to questionnaires for a number of ethical reasons, with this in mind the researcher will use various strategies to mitigate the above probable challenges. Of great concern are ethical matters and also the design of the research instruments so that they are correctly interpreted by the respondents. The researcher will conduct a pilot study to be certain that the respondents adequately understand the requirements of the research and finally the researcher will emphasize to the respondents that everything will be published anonymously.
The scope of the study is the examination of the stress levels perceived by employees at Ayrshire mine, and to explore their effects on the magnitude of employee motivation. The study will also examine if there is a possible correlation between the organizational support and the level of motivation. The research is limited to a single case study, which is carried out at Ayrshire Mine, a mining company in Zimbabwe.
In carrying out the study, researcher assumes that the sample will be representative of the whole population. More so, the researcher assumes that he will be given access to all relevant information and that all questionnaires will be returned, also researcher will assume that the respondents will be complaisant.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Stress – There is no unilateral consensus over the definition and so various scholars have come up with various definitions of occupational stress to suit different situations. For better understanding of the definition of occupational stress, the parental definition (of stress) was reviewed. Shirom (1982) defined stress as an individual’s perception that stressors exceed his or her capabilities and resources leading to negative outcomes. Stress is also used in relation to the actual demands that are placed on humans which are referred to as stressors. Cotton (1996) postulates that stress can also be in the context of being a process of a multi¬faceted concept that occurs in a temporal and dynamic manner which is influenced by the interaction of a multitude of contributory factors.
Occupational stress – Specifically, occupational stress has been defined by Rohan (2003) as anything regarding the working environment or nature of work itself that causes individual perceived stress. Leka et al (2003) further expanded the definition of work related stress as the response people may have when presented with work demands and pressures that are not matched to their abilities and knowledge which challenge their ability to cope.
Employee – Hornby (2010) defined an employee as a person who is paid to work for somebody. The International Labour Organization elaborate this definition by stating that employees are people who work for a public or private employer and receive remuneration in wages, salary, commission, tips, piece rate, or pay in kind. It is important to know that an employee is one who under contract is employed by an employer in either a private or public entity of an organization to work for a particular organization, with a reward at the end of the work.
Motivation – There have been various definitions of motivation across different disciplines in the academia ranging from the field of management, psychology to allied sciences. According to Page (2008), Motivation is defined as the process that accounts for an individual’s intensity, direction and persistence of effort toward attaining a goal. Robbins (2005) defined motivation as the willingness to exert high levels of effort toward organisational goals, conditioned by the effort’s ability to satisfy some individual need.
1.10 DISSERTATION OUTLINE
1.11 CONCLUDING REMARKS
In a basic manner, the first chapter is a preliminary chapter which conveys the objectives, background, and problem statement, research questions of the research on occupational stress influence on employee motivation. Limitations and delimitations of the research are also underlined in the first chapter. With a smooth shift from the first chapter, we move into the second chapter which encompasses the literature review of the research. The second chapter provides the ample review of the literature related to the problem which is being investigated. The chapter should contain the theoretical framework, conceptual framework and the historical overview of the problem, contemporary trends related to the problem and important research data published about the problem.