In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Stress

  • Introduction
  • Textbooks
  • Additional Books on Stress, Occupational Stress, and Health
  • Reference Resources
  • Journals
  • History and Trends
  • Self-Reliance, Self-Regulation, and Well-Being

Management Stress
James Campbell Quick
  • LAST REVIEWED: 07 December 2020
  • LAST MODIFIED: 12 January 2021
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846740-0016


Stress is the overarching term referring to the causes (demands or stressors), consequences (distress and eustress), and modifiers of the psychophysiological (mind-body) response that was originally labeled “the emergency response.” Stress was first identified within medicine and later elaborated in psychology before its study was integrated into public health, management, organizational science, and engineering. During the late 1900s, a well-researched set of skills along with ancient practices for self-regulation were identified for the purpose of managing stress. Stress became a concern for managers and organizations during this period due to the high human and economic costs of mismanaged stress, or distress.


There are a limited number of textbooks exclusively devoted to stress in management and organizational contexts. There are a wide range of self-help books that address specific stress-related issues such as panic or anxiety disorders and depression but do not provide a full range of knowledge and information. However, there are several textbooks that offer alternative treatments of this interdisciplinary, cross-disciplinary subject area. Europeans have been international leaders in occupational stress for several decades. Cooper, et al. 2013 is a text that highlights that personal and organizational resilience can help prevent distress. Two widely used, comprehensive texts on stress are Palmer and Cooper 2013, now in its third edition, and Quick, et al. 2013, now in the third overall edition. A new comprehensive textbook in occupational health psychology (Schonfeld and Chang 2017) offers well-grounded theory and practice for stress and health in the workplace. In addition, two leading textbooks on organizational behavior that include strong chapters on stress are Griffin and Moorhead 2014, now in its eleventh edition, and Nelson and Quick 2012, now in the eighth edition.

  • Cooper, Cary L., Jill Flint-Taylor, and Michael Pearn. Building Resilience for Success: A Resource for managers and Organizations. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

    DOI: 10.1057/9781137367839

    The textbook emphasizes the ways in which individual and organizational resilience serves a protective function to prevent distress and enhance eustress.

  • Griffin, Ricky W., and Gregory Moorhead. Organizational Behavior: Managing People and Organizations. 11th ed. Mason, OH: South-Western/Cengage, 2014.

    This textbook treats stress in the context of individual behavior in a thorough and comprehensive manner, using a model of the organizational stress process and a stress management toolkit.

  • Nelson, Debra L., and James Campbell Quick. Organizational Behavior: Foundations, Realities, and Challenges. 8th ed. Mason, OH: South-Western/Cengage, 2012.

    This textbook has a strong historical treatment in the chapter on stress, along with the author’s signature theory of preventive stress management used as the framework for addressing stress in organizations. Strong features include experiential exercise materials, a diversity dialogue, and ethical dilemma.

  • Palmer, Stephen, and Cary Cooper. How to Deal with Stress. 3d ed. London: Kogan Page, 2013.

    This ten-chapter textbook covers the full stress process in work organization, addresses the causes and consequences of stress, and offers sound guidance from two of the world authorities on stress.

  • Quick, James Campbell, Thomas A. Wright, Joyce A. Adkins, Debra L. Nelson, and Jonathan D. Quick. Preventive Stress Management in Organizations. 2d ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2013.

    DOI: 10.1037/13942-000

    This comprehensive textbook originally dates to 1984. The thirteen-chapter book, in which each element of the organizational stress process and the assessment of stress is revised, then offers two chapters on organizational prevention and three chapters on individual preventive stress management. The American Psychological Association offers supplemental material at an accompanying website.

  • Schonfeld, Irvin Sam, and Chu-Hsiang Chang. Occupational Health Psychology: Work, Stress, and Health. New York: Springer, 2017.

    This comprehensive textbook breaks new ground by drawing on psychology, public health, preventive medicine, nursing, industrial engineering, and epidemiology. The book encompasses both theory and practice aimed at causes, consequences, and prevention strategies for stress in occupational settings. Both authors are instrumental in building the domain of occupational health psychology.

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