Lara Zuehlke '97, September 1st, 2001
Dr. Wendy Boswell’s research on stress was cited in a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. According to Boswell, an assistant management professor, and her research colleagues at Cornell University, contrary to popular belief, not all stress is bad.
In fact, one kind, “challenge stress,” is what motivates people to do well, such as having projects, assignments and responsibilities. According to Boswell, this type of stress correlates to the things employees value like money, skills and promotions. Although the long-term effects of challenge stress aren’t known, employees still seek it out, noted Boswell in the Journal article.
While challenge stress often propels employees to perform better, “hindrance stress” often causes the opposite reaction. This type of stress is the negative junk associated with work â€” red tape, stalled careers and lack of job security. If faced with this type of stress for a long period of time, health problems can ensue, ranging from heart disease to immune system disorders, the article notes.
To learn more about how stress affects work performance, check out this article that ran earlier this year in Mays Business Online.