Work Stress Management among Women Entrepreneurs in India

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2022 • 8 Pages • 77.75 KB • English
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Work Stress Management among Women Entrepreneurs in India: A Conceptual Study N.M.Louly Assistant professor Dept. Of commerce, Mercy college Palakkad Abstract In India, economic development has brought about changes in women’s lives in many ways. Advancement in medicine, availability and access to birth control devices, modern household appliances reducing the time and drudgery of household work have geared the phenomena of entrepreneurship among women. Today women of entrepreneurs in India represent a group of women who have broken away from the beaten track and exploring new vistas of economic participation. However studies on women entrepreneurship show that women have to cope with stereotyped attitudes towards women on a daily basis. Lack of social support, high responsibility pressures, role struggle and poor work –family balance are major challenges for women entrepreneurs in India .In the last few decades the researchers have devoted considerable time and attention in the area of women entrepreneurship. The present study intended to understand stress faced by women entrepreneurs, and its causes and methods used to cope up with stress. Key words--- Stress, entrepreneurship, Work stress, role struggle Introduction Stress is a dynamic condition in a person who is confronted with opportunity, constraints, or demand related to what that person desires and for which the outcome is perceived as uncertain and important. The complex and changing environment of business presents a never ending array of pressures and demands which can become sources of stress. Though women have proved to be on par with their men counterparts in business and are emerging as smart and dynamic entrepreneurs. They find it extremely challenging to balance their work and family life. Women are still expected to assume primary responsibility for home and family and are subjected to a double burden of work, especially when the children are young. Women also face considerable conflict between marital/parental and occupational demands. High time pressure, long working hours, role conflicts etc. expose entrepreneurs to a lot of stress. In the light of the above, this paper aims to identify the major sources of stress among women entrepreneurs and suggest methods to cope up with this stress. Stress Stress as viewed by Olley (1999) is the psychological, physiological and behavioural response of an individual seeking to adopt and adjust to both the internal and external pressures. Health Information Publications (2005) defines stress as the emotional and physical strain caused by our response to pressure from the outside world. Dalloway (2007) describes stress as an automatic physical reaction to danger, demands or threat. Love and Irani (2007) view stress as the individual’s inability to cope with excessive workplace demand or job pressure, Hartig et al. (2007) presented stress as a process of responding to an imbalance between demand and resources. The word Stress has originated from Latin. It means hardship, adversity or affliction. Stress is an action on a body of a system of balanced forces whereby strain or deformation results. Stress is physical, mental or emotional strain or tension. In the seventeenth century, the word stress is popularly used to mean hardship, strain, adversity or affliction (Chakrapani, 1995).Canadian Physician and physiologist, Hans Selye made a distinction between stress and distress in the 1950.Stress is the normal set of pressures that focus us, help us jump out of the way of danger and help them see potential problem in adverse. Distress includes those facts which would normally have caused a response in humans and other animals but to which we can no longer respond nature intended. Some of us internalise the distress and end up with physical illness like headache, stomach ache or backache. Others pass on the distress to others and take it out on people around us. Both of these are destructive. Wood and Wood (2004) have defined stress as the physiological and psychological response to a condition that threatens or challenges a person or requires some form of adaptation or adjustment. Individual experience stress when they no longer have complete control over what happens in their lives. Naik (2011) has defined entrepreneurial role stress as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the business or job do not match the capabilities, resources or needs of the entrepreneurs. Causes of Stress Stressors are the causes of stress. These stressors may be physical or emotional .They can even be caused internally or externally .Events, situations, people, is the various stressors. The most common stressors in anyone’s life are change, death, career change. Stressors can also vary widely from person to person. What may stress you out, may not stress out someone else. Children, teens, and adults are all able to experience stress, but may all experience it differently. Long term acute stress can cause many problems in your body. You may experience some or all of these effects of stress. Ulcers, obesity, heart disease, cancer, depression, anorexia, diabetes, gum disease, hyperthyroidism, sexual abuse etc. Symptoms of Stress ‘Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances’. -Thomas Jefferson The signs of job stress vary from person to person, depending on the particular situation, how long the individual has been subject to the stressors, and the intensity of the stress itself. Typical symptoms of job stress can be: Restlessness, Loss of mental attentiveness, Unease, pressure, Absenteeism, Depression, Substance abuse, Extreme anger and frustration and Family conflict. Stress can cause physical illness such as heart disease, migraine, headaches, stomach problems, back problems, irritable bowel syndrome, eating disorder, allergies, insomnia, backaches, frequent cold and fatigue to diseases such as hyper tension, asthma, heart ailments, diabetes and even cancer. Just about everybody –men, women, children and even foetuses- suffer from stress. Relationship demands, chronic health problems, pressure at workplaces, traffic snarls, and meeting deadlines, growing-up tensions or a sudden bearish trend in the bourse can trigger stress conditions. Learning to understand and manage stress can avoid the counter effects of stress. In short; stress can cause both mental and physical symptoms. The major effects of stress are different for different people. It may be tension, Irritability, Inability to focus, Feeling excessively tired and Trouble sleeping. Work Stress Stress at work is a relatively new phenomenon of modern lifestyles. The nature of work has gone through drastic changes over the last century and it is still changing at whirlwind speed. They have touched almost all profession, starting from an artist to a surgeon or a commercial pilot to a sales executive. Professional stress or job stress poses a threat to physical health. Work related stress in the life of organised workers, consequently affects the health of organisations. Job stress may be caused by a complex set of reasons. Some of the most visible causes of work place stress are: Job insecurity, High Demand for Performance, Technology, Work place Culture, and Personal or family problem. Uncertainty in workplace can cause high levels of stress. Lack of information or the actions of other people can negatively affect your ability to perform. The below mentioned uncertainty can be caused to job stress. Not having a clear idea of what the future holds, Not knowing where your organisation will be going, Not having any career development plans, Not knowing what will be wanted from you in the future, Not knowing what your boss or colleagues think of your abilities and Receiving vague or inconsistent instructions. Women in these days, have a lot of balancing to do between home and work place, including balancing between social and personal requirements. The issues of maternity, menopause, parenthood, gender roles, condition at home and work place, familial and social support and company, often disfigure women’s life in the long run. Other stress factors that can occur in the stage of adult hood such as the illness or death of a parent, grown children leaving home and in some cases, change in the pattern of emotional relationships with one’s spouse, add to the ongoing physical stress. Sociological researches emphasise that family structure affects performance and employee attendance either directly or indirectly. Family demand and family attitude were found to influence the absence frequency at work place. The finding comes as official figures show that women aged 25-54 are more stressed than their male colleagues, with this pressure peaking for those aged 35-44,when many women are juggling family responsibilities, such as caring for children and elderly parents ( David Batty) . Entrepreneurship It is the process of changing ideas in to commercial opportunities and creating value. It is the tendency of a person to organize the business of his own and run in profitably. In the words of Stevenson and others, entrepreneurship is the process of creating value by bringing together a unique package of resources to exploit an opportunity. Thus entrepreneurship is the process of identifying opportunities in the market place, arranging the resources required to pursue these opportunities and investing the resources to exploit the opportunities for long term gain. Women Entrepreneurship According to the general concept, a women entrepreneur may be defined as a woman or a group of women, who initiate, organize and operate a business enterprise. The Govt. of India has defined a women entrepreneurship as “an enterprise owned and controlled by a woman having a minimum financial interest of 51% of the capital and giving at least 51% of the employment generated in the enterprise to women”. Kerala Govt. defined women industrial unit as units owned/organized by women and engaged in small-scale and cottage industries with not less than 80% of the total workers as women. Functions of Women Entrepreneur As an entrepreneur, women entrepreneur has also to perform all the functions involved in establishing an enterprise .These include idea generation and screening ,determination of objectives, project preparation, product analysis, determination of form of business organization completion of promotional formalities, raising fund, procuring men, machine and materials and operation of business. Frederick Harbison has enumerated the following five functions of a women entrepreneur:  Exploration of the prospect of starting a new business enterprise.  Undertaking of risk and the handling of economic uncertainties involved in business.  Introduction of innovations or imitation of innovations.  Coordination, administration and control.  Supervision and leadership. Problems of Women Entrepreneurs Women entrepreneurs encounter two sets of problems; general problems of entrepreneur and problems specific to women entrepreneurs. These are discussed as follows: Lack of finance: Women may not have property on their name to use them as security to get fund from external sources. The banks consider women less credit worthy and discourage women borrowers on the belief that they can at any time leave their business. Scarcity of raw material: Women may not get high quality material at minimum of cost. Stiff competition: Women do not have money for canvassing and advertisement. Thus they have to face stiff competition with organized sector and with their male counterparts. Limited mobility: Women’s mobility in India is highly limited due to various reasons. Family Tie: In India, it is mainly a women’s duty to look after the children and other members of the family. Her total involvement in family leaves little energy and time to devote for business. Lack of Education: In India around 60% of women are illiterate. Due to the lack of education and too quantitative education, women are not aware of business, technology and market knowledge. Male dominated society: In the male dominated society, women are not treated equal to men. This is in turn, serves as a barrier to women entry into business Low risk bearing ability: Women in India lead a protected life. They are less educated and economically not self- dependent. All these reduce their ability to take risk involved in running an enterprise. Other factors: Inadequate infrastructural facilities, shortage of power, high cost of production, social attitude, low need for achievement and socio-economic constraints also hold the women back from entering into business. Women Entrepreneurship in India Today Indian women are breaking stereotype and moving away from traditional roles and corporate profiles to turn entrepreneurs. It is not just the educated, urban women, but also women from smaller towns and rural villages who are turning to entrepreneurship and setting up independent business. Women entrepreneurs in general, are faced with the dichotomy of managing both the home and their business equally well. This may generally leave them with much less time for business development. In India, though, the challenge entrepreneurial women face is gaining visibility and acceptability. It has traditionally been a challenge for women to set up an enterprise. In initial days of establishment of a business, women usually face preliminary barriers by different individuals of this eco-system, be it banks, suppliers or vendors. According to the recent ‘women and men in India 2012 report’ by the central statistics office, there are 12% of ministerial positions held by women and 9% of the women are judges in different high courts in India. This indicates that women, though in small percentages, are participating in the decision process of India, thus proving that women can be competitive and efficient when it comes to delivering results. Helping to involve Indian women in the business environment is the internet; it is a great leveller. It is a very potent business tool that is far reaching and cost effective. Stress Management and Reduction Techniques Stress management is the need of the hour. It is important to recognise whether you are under stress or out of it. Stress management refers to a wide spectrum of techniques and psychotherapies aimed at controlling a person’s levels of stress, especially chronic stress, usually for the purpose of improving everyday functioning. Stress management is the amelioration of stress. Stress produces numerous symptoms which vary according to persons, situations, and severity. Most of them are able to cope with it others could not. Although stress is usual part of life, prolonged or extreme stress can lead to illness. These can include physical health decline as well as depression that lead to potential harm to health, emotional well being and relationships to others. Methods of coping with stress are abundantly. The most significant or sensible way out is a change in lifestyle. Recreation techniques such as meditation, yoga, physical exercises, listening, to peaceful music, deep breathing, various natural and alternative methods, personal growth techniques, walking, humour, visualisation and massage are some of the most effective of the known non-invasive stress busters. Conclusion Work stress is a real challenge for women entrepreneurs and their employing institution. Therefore the women entrepreneurs face various problems from the initial stage of their business to the end stage. Main challenges the women entrepreneurs facing are difficulty in obtaining loan from commercial banks, failure of business/bankruptcy, failure to convert profit back into investment, shortage of technical skills, poor managerial skills, low level of education etc. Other problems include lack of suitable location or sales outlet; stiff competition ; low purchasing power of the local population; lack of marketing knowhow; seasonal nature of the business; lack of market information; inadequate infrastructure; shortage of time, raw material and working capital are constraints of women entrepreneurs. These challenges may cause stress to women entrepreneurs. Therefore successful women entrepreneurs should identify stress problems and to deal with them by using various stress management methods. They should also arrange good working environment to reduce stress of their employees. Successful women entrepreneurs take leadership in dealing with the challenge of work stress of them and their employees. This will help them to attain their individual and organisational goal. The researcher couldn’t find more research project in this field. The researcher therefore encourages other scholars to further embark on studies on this subject matter focusing on women entrepreneurs to the entire State or country. REFERENCE 1. S.S.Khanka (2009) “Entrepreneureship in India Perspectives and Practice” 2. Muzamil Jan and Neeru Sharma (2008) “Entrepreneurship and Women Empowerment” 3. A.Vinod (2014) “ Entrepreneureship Development” 4. M.B.Shukla( 2003) “Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management” 5. Hemlatha Sharma (2008)”Managing Stress”Amit Publishers and Distributors,New Delhi. 6. Robert J.R Graham”Responding to stress:stress management in Everyday Life”ISBN-9781494995065 7. Pacific Business Review international ‘volume7’issue7, January 2015. Web site www.tejg