Chaos, Catastrophe, and Human Affairs: Applications of Nonlinear Dynamics to Work, Organizations, and Social Evolution

By Stephen J. Guastello | Go to book overview

8
Stress-Related Illness

The goal of this chapter is to extend the stress and accident concepts from the previous chapters to develop a model to describe the onset of stress- related illness. The first section summarizes some of the classic concepts of mathematical epidemiology and reinterprets them in terms of elementary catastrophe dynamics. The second section reviews some pertinent stress and accident concepts, and develops an interpretation of illness from the dynamics of the accident process.

In the course of developing the illness theory, the dynamics of the internal security subsystem are elaborated. The dynamics of the internal security subsystem are based in part on living systems theory and partly on the butterfly catastrophe model. The model for the internal security subsystem describes a mechanism by which an organism protects itself from environmentally based toxins or other health threats as well as from internal organ damage or similar health threats. Analogous mechanisms for the human individual and the organization are explored in this chapter; a national-level application of the model is considered in Chapter 10.

The third section reports an empirical investigation of conditions that promote the onset of stress-related illness among transit operators. The illnesses have a strong occupational linkage, and their dynamics follow closely the existing theories for occupational accidents and the internal security subsystem. The modeling approach regards illness as a basket of related outcomes. The model work is extended in the next section, where the onsets of seven illnesses are studied separately.

The final section extends the internal security subsystem to the organizational level of system analysis. Here the focus shifts from illness to an

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Chaos, Catastrophe, and Human Affairs: Applications of Nonlinear Dynamics to Work, Organizations, and Social Evolution
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments x
  • 1 - An Invitation to Chaos 1
  • Summary 10
  • 2 - Nonlinear Dynamical Systems Theory 11
  • Summary 57
  • 3 - Metaphors, Easter Bunnies, Modeling, and Verification 59
  • Summary 97
  • 4 - Nds, Human Decision Making, and Cognitive Processes 99
  • Summary 123
  • 5 - Dynamics of Motivation and Conflict 124
  • Summary 173
  • 6 - Stress and Human Performance 175
  • 7 - Accidents and Risk Analysis 205
  • Summary 231
  • 8 - Stress-Related Illness 232
  • Summary 256
  • 9 - The Evolution of Human Systems 257
  • Summary 298
  • 10 - Innovation, Creativity, and Complexity 301
  • Summary 328
  • 11 - The Dynamical Nature of Organizational Development 329
  • Summary 365
  • 12 - Chaos, Revolution, and War 367
  • Epilogue: Nothing Stops These Elephants 395
  • References 402
  • Author Index 426
  • Subject Index 435
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