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Preventing Stress in Organizations: How to Develop Positive Managers by Emma Donaldson-Feilder, Rachel Lewis, Joanna Yarker

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Chapter 11

Is Stress Management Just Good Management?

It is often said that ‘stress management is just good management’ and the reverse is also true – poor management is stressful for those being managed:

‘bad managers tend to cause stress. It is not necessarily that they are bad at managing stress, but that they are bad at managing and that makes life quite stressful for people below them.’ (Research participant)

When we set out to explore and identify Positive Manager Behaviour, we wanted to understand which parts of good management were important for staff well-being. We expected that there would be considerable overlap between general good management frameworks and the Positive Manager Behaviour framework emerging from our research. However, because most management frameworks are developed from the perspective of managing performance, we thought that there might be some behaviours that are important for stress management/staff well-being that weren't included in general management frameworks; we also foresaw that there would be some elements of general good management that were not important for staff stress/well-being. So our hypothesis was something along the lines of the Venn diagram in Figure 11.1.

Figure 11.1 Venn diagram representing the expected relationship between Positive Manager Behaviour and general good management frameworks

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When we actually did the comparison ...

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