Academic journal article South Asian Journal of Management

Organizational Role Stress: A Comparison between Professionals in IT and ITES Sectors

Academic journal article South Asian Journal of Management

Organizational Role Stress: A Comparison between Professionals in IT and ITES Sectors

Article excerpt

The increased globalization, privatization and favorable government policies, has facilitated the emergence of India as a leading offshore IT/ITES destination. The boom in this sector has posed new challenges and constrains on the workforce employed This study presents a systematic study on the occupational stress in the IT sector and the ITES sector. Firstly, it compares the nature and intensity of ORS among professionals employed in IT and ITES sector. Second, it investigates the various coping strategies used. Primary data was obtained from leading IT/ITES destination in India through standardized instruments such as ORS and Role PICS (O). It was found that the professionals in IT scored a higher ORS score and the respective means of all the stressors was found to be higher in IT sector except for RS, IRD and RIn. For both IT and ITES top three stressors were Role Stagnation, Inter Role Distance and Role Erosion. The findings presented will deepen our understanding of organizational stress in IT/ITES industry. The paper will benefit the policy makers and the manager to understand the various role stressors faced by average employee in these organizations and will become the basis for initiating the stress management in IT/ITES organization

INTRODUCTION

The increased globalization, privatization and favorable government policies, has facilitated the emergence of India as a leading offshore IT/ITES destination. The dramatic rise of this service sector has defined the prevailing life cycle norms of a developed economy where an economy transits from agriculture to manufacturing to service economy. India has witness a queer syndrome where it has almost given a miss to manufacturing economy and directly evolved into service economy. The contribution of IT/ITES sector in the development of service sector in India has been immense. IT/ ITES has been touted as the sunshine industry and is poise to achieve an estimate of USD88.1 bn by FY2011 employing 2.5 million professionals directly and another 8.3 million indirectly. This sector has contributed 26% to the total Indian export in FY2011 as against 4% in FY 1998. IT Services segment of this sector has shown an impressive growth of 22.7 percentages over FY2010 to reach aggregated export of USD33.5 bn (Nasscom, Strategic Review, 2011). In addition to the key global sourcing drivers such as cost, access to talent, business improvements and increasing speed to market (Nasscom, Strategic Review, 2009), the sector has matured and innovated to accommodate higher value added services providing strategically benefits to their clients.

WORKING CONDITIONS IN IT/ITES SECTOR

IT/ITES as an industry is changing at much faster pace, and at smaller intervals, than any of the traditional industries. The technological advancements in this sector comes up with in a short span of time with increasingly significant high efficiencies and novelty, putting them apart from technology previously/currently in use. It has brought in faster processing and transformation of information exposing the IT professionals to ever increasing flow of information thereby causing information overload leading to stressful conditions (Raitoharju, 2005). The skills in this sector are becoming obsolete at a rate of 20% per year (Yourdon Edward, 1994). The client's expectations in terms of skills required for processing jobs keeps changing and forces professionals to upgrade/ adapt very fast to their demands. At times IT/ITES professionals are forced to change the entire paradigms amidst constant uncertainty and high risk. This sector is characterized by service providers adhering to strict deadlines set up by their clients, working in multiple shifts and in different time zones, multitasking, increased interaction with offshore client, extended working hours which at times stretches beyond 50 hours per week (King, 1995) and monotonous work. IT/ITES professionals are constantly under pressure to deliver the project/services efficiently at required time span and adhering to the clients' requirement and to be cost effective (Hart, 1994; Longenecker et al. …

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