Concept of Organizational Stress

Stress has became a major concern in all types of organization. Its potential effect on health and productivity has become a cause for concern.

Stress has become an inevitable part of everyday life. By understanding stress, managers can understand behavioral problems in organizational settings.

Stress is physiological chain reaction set in motion by the brain on perceiving a threatening, demanding or unpleasant situation.


According to Moorhead and Griffin, “Stress is a person’s adaptive response to a stimulus that places excessive psychological or physical demands on that person.”

According to Fred Luthans, “Stress is an adaptive response to an external situation that results in physical, psychological and/or behavioral deviations for organizational participants”.

Stress is not simply anxiety (state of worry and nervousness). Anxiety is emotional and psychological. Stress is emotional, psychological and physiological. Stress is generally accompanied by anxiety.

Stress management is an adaptive process in which one’s body and mind prepare or adjust to a threatening situation from environment.

Positive and Negative Stress

Stress may be positive and negative:

Positive stress (Eustress):

It is needed for people to grow to their full potential. It is something people should seek out rather than avoid.

Negative stress (Distress):

It has dysfunctional (negative) consequences. It should be prevented or effectively controlled.