Free Article Critique

Order Description

You are required to find FOUR recent and relevant articles from scholarly journals relating to managing personal stress
The articles should relate directly to this topic area and must be articles from peer reviewed, academic journals. The articles should also be empirically based. This means that they should report the findings of field research e.g. surveys, interviews etc.
The review should not merely summarize the key points of the articles. Rather, the review should
compare, contrast and critique the ideas and methodologies adopted in the various articles. For
example, discuss the methodologies and samples used in the studies, compare the strengths and
weaknesses of each article’s approach, assess any biases or limitations of the studies.
Some examples of scholarly journals to look for your articles include (but are not limited to):
Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Managerial
Psychology, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Communication, Journal of Applied
Psychology, Journal of Business and Psychology, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Journal of
Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Personnel Psychology, Australian Journal of
Communication, Journal of International Business etc.
When referencing articles from journals, please make sure that you reference the original article and not the database URL where it
is located!


Title: Managing Personal Stress


Introduction. 2

Strengths and Weaknesses of Ideas Presented in the Articles. 2

Methodologies. 6

Biases and Limitations. 8

Conclusion. 9

References. 10


Managing personal stress is a challenging process that requires a careful review of one’s personal circumstances, the nature of the problems being encountered, and available solutions to those problems. In many cases, the intense nature of the work engaged in by professionals predisposes them to personal stress. This situation is normally worsened by the lack of proper social systems for supporting them in their efforts to deal with stress-related problems.


Many studies on how to manage personal stress have been done (Matin et al, 2014; Newsome, Waldo & Gruszka, 2012; Das & Chatterjee, 2014; Avey, Luthans & Jensen, 2009). These studies are different in terms of the ideas they present as well as the methodological and theoretical approaches used. They also differ in terms of strengths and weaknesses as well as biases and limitations. It is imperative for any meaningful review of such studies to address all these aspects in order to provide insights for future research. The aim of this paper is to provide a critical review of four empirical studies on managing personal stress. These studies include Matin et al (2014); Newsome, Waldo & Gruszka (2012); Das & Chatterjee (2014); and Avey, Luthans & Jensen (2009). This review is based on three aspects: strengths and weaknesses of ideas presented, methodologies, and biases and limitations.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Ideas Presented in the Articles

All the articles under review relate closely to the subject of managing personal stress. Newsome, Waldo & Gruszka (2012) argue that mindfulness groups can help individuals working in helping professions such as nursing, teaching, counselling, and social work to deal with stress by promoting self-compassion. Matin et al (2014) seek to examine the various ways in which stress management related to productivity within the workforce. Based on this study, stress management is positively correlated to workplace productivity (Matin et al, 2014). Moreover, no gender differences in opinions on stress management were discerned in the study (Matin et al, 2014). The last finding of the study was that managers’ individual characteristics have no influence on the way the relationship between personal stress and productivity is managed.

Das & Chatterjee (2014) argue that the problem of job anxiety among female professionals should be given special attention because women play a more important role in the service sector today than at any other time in the past. For his reason, Das & Chatterjee (2014) conducted a study to determine whether there is an association between job anxiety, stress coping mechanisms, and personality traits of female professionals working in the service sector. The study showed that majority of female professionals suffers from job anxiety. However, there were differences in the way respondents perceived anxiety levels and coping mechanisms in different sectors. Personality attributes were also found to influence the way the women perceived their job anxiety and the coping mechanisms used.

Avey, Luthans & Jensen (2009) argue that a time has come for new perspectives to be adopted in stress management. This argument is based on the sad reality of the growing problem of stress in the workplace. The new approach that Avey, Luthans & Jensen (2009) propose entails the use of psychological capital to counter the negative effects of occupational stress. According to Avey, Luthans & Jensen (2009), psychological capital entails the use of positive resources of optimism, resilience, and hope to deal with stressful situations.

The ideas presented in each of the articles have both strengths and weaknesses. The study by Newsome, Waldo & Gruszka (2012) promotes the idea of mindfulness as a tool for coping with stress through self-care. This concept is important for those working in helping professions because their jobs require them to rely heavily on personal relationships with different people. However, the main weakness is that it may not be applicable in professions where personal relationships are not required.

The article also adopts a rather pessimistic stance regarding the nature of job stress by promoting the view that it is unavoidable. For this reason, all suggestions are inclined towards managing stress rather than preventing its occurrence in the first place. Focus is on how the concept of mindfulness can be used to enable people to transform the way they relate to different agents of stress in their lives. The assumption is that this enables them to improve their response mechanisms whenever they are in stressful environments.

Newsome, Waldo & Gruszka (2012) rightly indicate that group members cannot exert control over their work environments. In such a situation, the best that they can do is to look for ways of increasing cognitive control over their appraisal of these environments. Unfortunately, the study does not expound on the various ways through which this cognitive control can be increased. The farthest that the study goes in this regard is to suggest that learning about mindfulness practices in group contexts can enable group members to change their perceptions of their levels of stress. The study goes as far as to provide examples of comments by group members that indicate the possibility of promoting change through one’s appraisal of the level of stress in one’s work environment.


Matin et al (2014) provide a valuable contribution to the debate on personal stress by examining how it can be managed to ensure that it does not impact negatively on workforce productivity. The study also provides an analysis of the various negative effects of occupational stress, including absenteeism, hidden costs such as employee-employer disputes, and turnover. Moreover, the study offers a concise categorization of themes relating to stress management; these themes include respect and responsibility, managing the individual, managing existing and upcoming work, and managing stressful situations.

On the negative side, Matin et al (2014) fail to go into detail in regards to the correlation between stress management and productivity. It would have been better for the authors to go beyond the issue of correlation to address specific aspects of stress management training that determine whether workforce productivity will be impacted upon positively or negatively. Such an investigation would be of greater relevance in both theory and practice.

Das & Chatterjee (2014) make a significant contribution to the stress debate by focusing on women working in the service sector. The choice of the service sector is appropriate for the study not just because many women work in this sector but also because this area has been neglected in literature. The study confronts the issue of marked differences in the way men and women are affected by stress in the workplace. The fact that many researchers have shied away from this area makes the study all the more important.

Avey, Luthans & Jensen (2009) seek to expound on the notion of psychological capital in relation to occupational stress. According to Avey, Luthans & Jensen (2009), success in dealing with occupational stress remains elusive despite extensive research aimed at identifying stressors, devising coping mechanisms, and evaluating different ways of managing stress. The authors promote the idea of psychological capital in efforts to edge closer to success in dealing with this problem. Whereas these efforts contribute significantly to the ongoing struggle to deal decisively with occupational stress, they fail to trigger a paradigm shift in contemporary scholarly thinking in regards to issues of stress management.


Newsome, Waldo & Gruszka (2012) used the Perceived Stress Scale and the Self-Compassion Scale to measure stress-related outcomes for 31 college students over a six-week period. This was the right decision for the researchers to make because it would enable them to come up with empirical findings of the phenomena under study. The researchers also made the right decision to measure the perceived stress (using the Perceived Stress Scale) and level of mindfulness (Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale) in addition to self-compassion and participants’ reactions. In a study such as this one, an assessment of participants’ reactions is an integral part of the entire process of assessing the efficacy of the methodological approach as well as the accuracy of study results.

Matin et al (2014) used correlational and descriptive survey involving 250 participants, who were provided with 150 questionnaires using stratified random sampling. These participants included managers and supervisors of Imamzadeh Abdullah Industrial Park in Mazandaran, Iran. The Likert Scale was used in the Workforce Productivity questionnaire. The appropriateness of the Likert Scale cannot be questioned because of its reliability and credibility as a powerful research tool in scholarly research. The methodology was properly outlined in terms of both instruments and measures. All the factors to be examined using Likert Scaling as well as the Stress Management questionnaire were concisely defined. Matin et al (2014) went a step farther to define aspects of validity, reliability, and theoretical model.

Das & Chatterjee (2014) used an empirical and exploratory methodology. Data was obtained on women working in six sectors within West Bengal. These sectors include health, retail, media, finance, information technology, and education. Structured questionnaires were distributed to the women and its framing was guided by different psychometric instruments. The appropriateness of this methodology arises from the need to contact respondents personally in order to obtain first-hand data regarding their experiences with occupational stress. This appropriateness is demonstrated by the high number of questionnaires that were completed (480 out of the 622 that the researchers distributed) (Das & Chatterjee, 2014).

Like Newsome, Waldo & Gruszka (2012), Das & Chatterjee (2014) also used scaling to derive patterns in regards to the phenomena under study. Das & Chatterjee (2014) used the job anxiety scale, although he altered some of the patterns of questioning in order to make them appropriate to the anxiety symptoms that most women exhibited. The rigor with which the methodology was adhered to was demonstrated by the fact that researchers took nearly two years to collect all the required data. The use of the SPSS package to interpret this data also goes a long way to lend credence to the idea of an empirical study.

Avey, Luthans & Jensen (2009) solicited volunteers with a view to determine outcome variables of job search behaviour, intentions to quit, and stress symptoms. This methodology was different from the one used in all the other articles because it emphasized the temporal separation between different stages of the data collection process. This methodological uniqueness fits in with the stated objective of the researchers, which is to contribute to the emergence of a new field that is commonly referred to as positive organizational behaviour (Avey, Luthans & Jensen, 2009). Moreover, by ensuring that all measures were validated in previous studies, the researchers sought to demonstrate the credibility of the study in terms of internal reliability.

Biases and Limitations

The studies under review vary in terms of both biases and limitations. For instance, Matin et al (2014) focus exclusively on aspects of managing stress in relation to workforce productivity. In contrast, Newsome, Waldo & Gruszka (2012) dwell largely on the idea of mindfulness and how it can be used to deal with personal stress. Helping professionals, whom the study targets, will no doubt benefit immensely from the insights provided by the article. A major limitation in this regard is that the authors provide no hint regarding the different ways in which the successes of stress management among helping professionals can be replicated in other workplace settings.

Das & Chatterjee (2014) limit their analysis to stress-issues affecting women. The decision to leave out men in their discussion seems like an obvious bias that should have been avoided through a comparative approach. Such an approach is more appropriate because it can shed light on how aspects of stress management and coping mechanisms among male professionals can be applied to workplace settings where female professionals operate and vice-versa. Avey, Luthans & Jensen (2009) derive their arguments from the theory of positive organizational behaviour. Of all the articles reviewed, the one by Avey, Luthans & Jensen (2009) provides the most valuable contribution to discourse on ways of managing personal stress in the workplace simply through an in-depth and concise analysis of the notion of psychological capital.


There are marked differences as well as similarities in the ideas presented in the four articles. The use of the empirical approach has proven to be very helpful in enabling the researchers to get to the bottom of problems that arising from occupational stress. In all the articles, personal stress is identified as a serious problem that persisted despite numerous efforts by researchers to devise coping mechanisms and stress management strategies. The analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the methodologies as well as biases and limitations provide numerous insights for advances in future empirical research in the field of managing personal stress. Based on this critical review, the most promising strand of research is the emerging field of positive organizational behaviour.


Avey, J, Luthans, F, & Jensen, S, 2009, ‘Psychological capital: A positive resource for combating employee stress and turnover’, Human Resource Management, vol. 48, no. 5, pp. 677-693.

Das, J & Chatterjee, M, 2014, ‘Job anxiety, personality and coping behaviour: A study on women in service sector’, International Journal of Information, Business & Management, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 228-255,

Matin, H, Razavi, H, Azimy, L & Emamgholizadeh, S, 2014, ‘Is stress management related to workforce productivity?’ Iranian Journal of Management Studies, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 1-19.

Newsome, S, Waldo, M & Gruszka, C 2012, Mindfulness Group Work: Preventing Stress and Increasing Self-Compassion Among Helping Professionals in Training, The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 297-311.

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