The relationship of occupational stress and personal typologies at different phases of organisational renewal : a thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University
One of the difficult questions that has only been hinted at so far in research concerns the reason why the stress-illness relationship manifests itself in such different forms in different individuals. Sources of pressure at work evoke different reactions from different people. Most of the research in the past has focused on personality and behavioural differences between high and low stressed individuals. Studies done until now were concerned mainly with the differences between Type A and Type B personalities and the relationship with stress. There are predictions on the stress reactions of different MBTI types but not much on what causes the stress (Dean, 1997). In addition, little has been done to study the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the relationship with occupational stress in a restructuring environment. Hurst, Rush & White (1991) have attempted to point out the importance of studying individual differences within the management team. They proposed a Creative Management (CM) model as an extension of the Strategic Management (SM) model to include the relationship of the Myers-Briggs personality typologies (MBTI) to different phases of organisational renewal. Individuals with specific typologies prefer one phase of renewal to another. In the present study, the relationship of personal typologies and occupational stress at different stages of organisational renewal were examined. A questionnaire consisting of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (Revised) (EPQ-R), the MBTI, the Occupational Stress Inventory (OSI) and some demographical questions was completed by 130 respondents from different organisations, mostly managers. It was hypothesised that occupational stress is different for the different functioning phases of the CM model and, according to the personality type there is an ideal functioning phase. Individuals operating in ideal functioning phases should have less stress. It was found that there were some differences in occupational stress between functioning phases of the management model but there was no clear relationship between stress and ideal or non-ideal functioning levels for individuals. The findings were discussed in terms of the CM model and directions for future research.