21 Stress in Organizations

Industrial and Organizational Psychology


  1. Sabine Sonnentag PhD1,
  2. Michael Frese PhD2

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop212021

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Sonnentag, S. and Frese, M. 2012. Stress in Organizations. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 12:IV:21.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Mannheim, Work and Organizational Psychology, Mannheim, Germany

  2. 2

    National University of Singapore Business School, Department of Management and Organization, Singapore

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012


This chapter provides an overview of research on job stress. It describes the stress concept and presents major stress theories (e.g., transactional stress model, person-environment fit theory, job demands–job control model). It summarizes empirical findings on the association between job stressors on the one hand and individual well-being, health, job performance, and other aspects of organizational behavior on the other hand. A review of 70 longitudinal studies on the relation between job stressors and strain symptoms shows that more than 50% of the studies reported a significant positive relationship between job stressors and increase in strain symptoms over time. Evidence for reverse causation was weaker. The chapter further addresses possible moderators of the stressor–strain process, with a particular emphasis on job control, social support, and core self-evaluations. The chapter presents an overview of stress interventions and discusses approaches to stressor reduction, increase in resources, stress reduction via stress-management programs, and lifestyle changes. The chapter identifies areas for future research.


  • job stress;
  • well-being;
  • bealth;
  • job performance