Modelling Occupational Stress and Employee Health and Wellbeing in a Chinese Higher Education Institution



Extensive change is evident in higher education in the People's Republic of China but there have been few studies of the effect of work stress on wellbeing in the higher education sector. The main aim of this study is to test and refine the ASSET (‘An Organizational Stress Screening Tool’) model of occupational stress in a sample of 150 academic and non-academic employees in a Chinese higher education institute. Using partial least squares modelling, the findings showed that job stressors predicted job dissatisfaction but, surprisingly, did not predict perceived commitment. Employees who reported job dissatisfaction tended to perceive that their organisation was less committed towards them and report less commitment towards the organisation. Job stressors resulted in poorer psychological wellbeing. Greater psychological wellbeing was associated with greater physical wellbeing. The findings suggest that university management should introduce strategies aimed at minimising job stressors as these would result in higher level of job satisfaction, higher level of commitment and ultimately resulted in an improvement in physical health.