Academic journal article IUP Journal of Management Research

Coping Strategies Adopted by Bank Employees to Manage Role Stress: A Study

Academic journal article IUP Journal of Management Research

Coping Strategies Adopted by Bank Employees to Manage Role Stress: A Study

Article excerpt

The study aims to identify the coping strategies used for managing role stress at commercial banks. The empirical data collected from 550 frontline employees of commercial banks of Jammu and Kashmir, India, have been used to identify the coping dimensions adopted by the employees. A factor analytical approach has been applied using SPSS 14.0. The findings indicate seven coping dimensions-submissive coping, functional coping, diversion coping, relaxation coping, third-party support coping, cognitive restructuring coping and transitory reinforcement coping. The results indicate that public and private sector commercial banks do not significantly differ on coping dimensions. The practical significance of the study is to suggest policy implications to the banks and the employees.


Coping is a concept that has been developed to reflect the various ways adopted by the individuals to handle stress. The conceptualization of coping mechanisms used by the employees is crucial for effective management of stress which has been acknowledged as an important concern in organizational settings (Aziz, 2004; Dasgupta and Kumar, 2009; Fernandes et al., 2009; Cox and Griffiths, 2010; and Jena and Pradhan, 2011). Its importance for the management of stress cannot be undermined as it is the important factor which can make or mar the individual's ability to manage stress favorably. Basically, coping has been defined as "things that people do to avoid being harmed by life-strains" (Pearlin and Schooler, 1978) and "overt and covert behaviors that are taken to reduce or eliminate psychological distress or stressful conditions" (Fleishman, 1984). Of the many challenges individuals face, coping with stress has assumed great importance (Pestonjee, 1992) due to the debilitating effects of stress on employees and organizations (Allison, 1997; Arnten et al., 2008; Karatepe and Uludag, 2008; and Garrosa et al., 2011).

With a view to comprehending coping, responses underlying coping have been examined by Moos and Billings (1982). However, Sharma (1988) found a paucity of meaningful research on coping strategies for dealing with stress in various different occupational groups. Specifically, there is a dearth of studies on coping strategies adopted by the employees of commercial banks who face very busy and highly demanding work days with many issues competing with their time.

The study aims to develop an understanding of the coping strategies used by the employees of commercial banks, and to examine whether significant difference exists in the coping dimensions across public and private sector banks. The paper first reviews the relevant literature and subsequently presents the sampling framework and adopted methodology for the analysis of the data collected. The empirical results are presented and discussed, and the policy implications are given at the end of the paper.

Literature Review

The literature on stress and coping has encompassed the challenges and threats that individuals encounter in daily life, and on people's affective, cognitive, and behavioral responses to these challenges and threats (Lazarus, 1999). The previous studies examining the relationship between stress and coping suggest that the mode of coping used by the individual can have an influence on the experience of stress (Srivastava, 1991; and Koeske et al., 1993). Carver and Scheier (2008) view stress as occurring when people encounter obstacles to their goals, and they view coping as an effort to create conditions that help in their goal pursuit or disengagement.

Tidd and Friedman (2002) found that individuals may be able to reduce the negative individual impact of role conflict in their environment by adopting positive behavioral styles while avoiding negative ones. Riolli and Savicki (2003) reported that personal moderator factors like coping moderate the effects of chronic stress on emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Lower control coping and higher escape coping are related to increased workers' depersonalization under conditions of higher chronic stress. …

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