Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Organizational Factors Associated with Occupational Stress among Lecturers in Community Colleges, Peninsular Malaysia

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Organizational Factors Associated with Occupational Stress among Lecturers in Community Colleges, Peninsular Malaysia

Article excerpt

Introduction

The stressfulness of teaching has been widely rec- ognized. The 1990 Labor Force Survey that con- ducted among those 15 years old and above found that there are around 183,000 cases of the national problems of work-related stress, anxiety or de- pression for England and Wales (1). The educa- tional workers like teachers, lecturers and other professionals were reported to have significantly raised rates of such psychiatric illnesses (2). Community College is an education center that provides the necessary training and skills to the students. Community Colleges will issue prospec- tive technical talent from the area who are assets to our country to realize that Malaysia as a country that is oriented towards technology. Courses that available are Automotive, Domestic wiring, Bak- ery, Flotel Flospitality and Management and many other courses. One of the reasons why lecturers in Community Colleges are having strain is due to the heavy workload. Lecturer needs to prepare lecture note, giving lecture and conducting practi- cal class to the student. Apart of lecture, lecturers in Community Colleges do have their core busi- ness. This includes giving lectures to the commu- nities in their surroundings on Saturday and Sun- day. However, there was no study conducted to evaluate the stressfulness of teaching in Commu- nity Colleges before.

Nowadays in the modem world, occupational stress has also become one of the most serious issues that bring many problems to the workers (3). Previously, there were several studies had been done to investigate the severity of occupational stress in Malaysia. Ml the studies conducted among nurses, teacher, clerks, laboratory technicians and automotive workers; showed that occupational stress was significantly associated with the organi- zational factors. The study conducted among 125 lecturers in the School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia showed 23.3% prevalence of occupational strain (4).

Previous studies have shown the effect of occupa- tional stress to the organizations, which can lead to economical loss up to billion dollars per year. Health influences of the occupational stress are like headache, high blood pressure and hyperten- sion (5, 6). If occupational stress affects a large numbers of workers, the healthiness of an organi- zation by low workers performances, increase un- safe work practices and increase staff turnover may be jeopardized (7). Most of the organization requires their workers to have the cognitive ab- stract qualification like decision-making, under- standing of complex organization and strong teamwork. All employees are also required to be able to analyze and solve the problems in unex- pected situations in any time. It is not an easy part to fulfill all the requirements needed. Mong the process of achieving the cognitive abstract quali- fication, employees might experience one condi- tion that has been recognized which is stress.

A study conducted among correctional officers in Kedah concluded that the organizational factors that make workers become stress are carrier devel- opment competition, lack of staff, heavy workload, long working hour and need to replace other worker's work (8). The respondents also experi- ence the communication conflict with their col- leagues which they sometime receive the disgraced words from their colleagues. This could make dif- ficulties in teamwork, which could give the un- healthy working environment in the organization (8)-

Because of these problems, this study was con- ducted to determine the prevalence of occupa- tional stress and to identify the association be- tween occupational stress and the organizational factors among lecturers in Community Colleges, Peninsular Malaysia.

Materials and Methods

This study was a cross-sectional in design and covered 13 campuses of Community Colleges in Peninsular Malaysia. Lecturers who were willing to participate in this study were selected as the re- spondents according to the inclusion criteria and the lecturers who do not suit the purpose or inclu- sion criteria were excluded from the study. …

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