28. January 2015 · Comments Off on Whitehall Studies: Examining Stress on the Job · Categories: Uncategorized

I am going back and reading through Simon Sinek’s Leaders Eat Last. This is in anticipation of a librarian book discussion to take place in the spring. One of the things that interested me was the discussion of the Whitehall Studies. This study began several decades ago and was led by British scientists. The findings shocked me. I had thought that the most stressful positions in organizations would be the leadership positions. However, the Whitehall Studies completely turn that concept on its head. The workers in the lower ranks of the hierarchy had the most stress in this study in large part due to their lack of control over their work.

On page 30 in Sinek’s book, Max McClure, of the Standford News Service is quoted as saying, “It’s possible, in other words, that the feeling of being in charge of one’s own life more than makes up for the greater amount of responsibility that accompanies higher rungs on the social ladder,”

Sinek’s notes the following, “The lower someone’s rank in the organizational hierarchy, the greater their risk of stress related health problems, not the other way around. In other words, those seemingly strung-out top executives, in fact, living longer, healthier lives than the clerks and managers working for them.”


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