THE PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL INFLUENCES OF INTERPERSONAL CONFLICT AT WORK AND ORGANISATIONAL STRESSORS OF THE EXPERIENCE OF OCCUPATIONAL STRESS
 
Cardoz, G., Haines, J. and Williams, C.L., University of Tasmania, Australia
 
The aim of this study was to compare the psychophysiological and psychological responses to different workplace stressors to determine whether the intensity of the initial response to the stressor influences the development of psychological symptoms. A comparison was made between two groups who had either experienced an interpersonal conflict at work or a stressful experience related to their job or organisation (e.g., excessive workload). Psychophysiological and psychological reactions to these workplace stressors were recreated using personalised guided imagery of the actual events. Imagery was presented in stages to examine the development of the response over the course of the event. The results indicated that interpersonal stressors resulted in more intense reactions at the time of the event and lead to more severe psychological symptomatology as a consequence of the experience of the stressor. The results are discussed in relation to the implications for management of specific workplace stressors and the reactions to these specific stressors.