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  • Cited by 1
  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: December 2009

15 - Cultural variations in work stress and coping in an era of globalization

Summary

Globalization of businesses is a reality that is defining how people from different nations and cultures work together. Over 63,000 multinational and global corporations and 821,000 foreign subsidiaries employ over 90 million people worldwide. The United Nations estimates that about 175 million people live outside the country of their birth. In addition, there has been a great deal of inter-connectedness of work activities in the form of development of 24/7 call centers and outsourcing of various business processes, etc. The expansion of international trade has grown faster than the growth of even the most rapidly growing economies of Asia and South America (i.e., China, vietnam, India, Brazil, and Argentina). The internet and various forms of computer-mediated communication are redefining the scope of work in multinational and global organizations that function across across disimilar cultures and national borders.

While this increased level of interconnectedness in the global economy has been expanding the global GDP, it has also ushered in a new era of major restructuring of both work and work organizations. This new era has created stressful experiences for workers including increased pressures to perform as well as how to perform in order to meet the demands of the global marketplace. Quick, Cooper, Nelson, Quick and gavin (2003) noted that new technologies, coupled with rapid expansion of multinational and global organizations, have created highly competitive and stressful environments leading to transformations in managerial roles, working hours, work-life balance, employee attitudes, organizational commitment, and the psychological contract (Cooper, 1998) and the organization.

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