Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

Perceived Occupational Stressors and the Health Software Professionals in Bengaluru, India

Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

Perceived Occupational Stressors and the Health Software Professionals in Bengaluru, India

Article excerpt

Information Technology (IT) is a broad discipline, which uses computer technology in managing and processing information, especially in large organizations. In particular, IT deals with the use of computers and computer software to convert, store, protect, process, transmit, and retrieve information (Rohith et al., 2005). Information technology enabled services is a form of outsourced service, which has emerged due to involvement of IT in various fields such as banking and finance, telecommunications, insurance, and others. Some of the examples of ITES are medical transcription, back-office accounting, insurance claims, credit card processing, and others.

Several factors at the workplace have been found to elicit negative somatic and emotional reactions, including poor balance between occupational load and the competencies, resources, and/or necessities of the worker (U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1999). These imbalances in individual traits and working environment determine the presence and levels of occupational stressors among workers (Kirmeyer & Diamond, 1985; Koeske et al., 1993; Latack, 1986; Latack & Havlovic, 1992; Schuler, 1982). Hitherto, several models and constructs have attempted to explain the interrelation between job stress and ill health. These are the theory of allostatic load on illness by Caplan (Caplan, Cobb, French, Van Harrison, & Pinneau, 1980), Hockey's construct of "resources," or total burden upon the human operator as an integrative model (1997), the "Effort-Distress Model" of Folkow (1997), Job Content paradigms (JCQ; Hans et al., 1997; Karasek et al., 1998), Demand-Control constructs (DCQ; Theorell et al., 1998), the Work Organization Matrix (WOM) for imputing job title averages of job characteristics to study subjects (Alfredsson et al., 1985; Hammar et al., 1998; Johnson et al., 1996; Johnson & Stewart, 1993) and the effort-reward imbalance (ERI) model of work stress (Siegrist et al., 1990).

Based on the literature review, it is well documented that job-stress influences health in several ways (Alfredsson et al., 1985; Babu et al., 2013; Caplan et. al., 1980; Folkow, 1997; Hales et al., 1994; Hammar et al., 1998; Hockey, 1997; Johnson et al., 1996; Johnson & Stewart, 1993; Karasek et al., 1998; Siegrist et al., 1990; Theorell et al., 1998). These studies and the relevant theoretical models were employed in occupations involving workforce's mostly in-developed countries. However, there is scarce evidence available from such theoretical models originating from research in developing countries in any occupational workforce. Moreover, there is hardly any evidence available from the contextual nature of job stressors in the IT/ITES industries. It is important to understand locally applicable, culturally relevant and contextually specific work related stressors in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) such as India. Furthermore, there is a need to explore the relevant stressors at the workplace in India and to consider the appropriateness of including them in interventions. Thus, we conducted a qualitative study to explore the presence of contextual work stressors and health-related factors in IT/ITES professionals.

Role of Researchers

The first author (GRB) was involved in the conception and design of this study, supervision of the interviews, data extraction, data tabulation, data analysis, maintenance of all the drafts, interpretation of data, drafting the article and revising it critically for important intellectual content and final approval of the version to be published. The interviews were conducted by the primary author of this article and a research assistant under the supervision of primary author. The research assistant was paid from the research grant and had no contribution towards working on this paper. The second author (STN) was involved in the conceptualization and development of framework, reviewing the article and revising it critically for important intellectual content and final approval of the version to be published. …

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