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The negative outcomes are outlined for both an individual’s physical and mental health, however beyond this, outcomes are presented as financial losses for both the individual and the organisation.Another model of work stress developed by Cooper and Marshall sets out the sources of stress at work, factors which determine how an individual may respond to such stressors, go on to experience acute symptoms, and eventually go on to reach the chronic disease phase affecting one’s physical and/or mental health (Cooper and Marshall 1976).This Allostatic load model of the stress process builds on earlier cognitive appraisal models of stress and the work of Seyle (Seyle 1983) to describe the developments of allostasis in the process of stress.
Additionally, this research is concerned with the psychological rather than the physical outcomes of work-related stress.
Another model of work stress has been developed in response to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) advice for tackling work-related stress and stress risk assessments (Cousins* et al. This model, developed by Cooper and Palmer underpins the theory and practice advocated by the HSE (Palmer, Cooper and Thomas 2003).
The Person-Environment Fit theory is one of the earliest interactional theories of work-related psychological distress, suggesting that work-related stress arises due to a lack of fit between the individual’s skills, resources and abilities, and the demands of the work environment (Caplan 1987, French, Caplan and Van Harrison 1982).
Here, interactions may occur between objective realities and subjective perceptions and between environmental variables and individual variables.
As such, the experience of workplace stress according to the transactional theory, is associated with exposure to particular workplace scenarios, and a person’s appraisal of a difficulty in coping.
This experience is usually accompanied by attempts to cope with the underlying problem and by changes in psychological functioning, behaviour and function (Aspinwall and Taylor 1997, Guppy and Weatherstone 1997).
In order to recognise these external and internal elements of workplace stress, Cox (1993) outlined another modified transactional theory.
This theory represented the sources of the stressor, the perceptions of those stressors in relation to his/her ability to cope, the psychological and physiological changes associated with the recognition of stress arising, including perceived ability to cope, the consequences of coping, and all general feedback that occurs during this process.
Yet, as with all transactional theories of work-related stress, it is the concept of appraisal that has been criticised for being too simplistic and for not always considering an individuals’ history, future, goals and identities (Harris, Daniels and Briner 2004).
Additionally, in his later works, Lazarus stressed that his transactional theories of stress failed to acknowledge the outcomes associated with coping in specific social contexts and during interpersonal interactions (Lazarus 2006a).