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Job Stress among Software Professionals in Pakistan: A Factor Analytic Study - page 6 / 16





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teams and requires greater interaction among team members which creates pressure on one member to timely respond to the other member, and transfer the details of work to them. Work culture in software houses also causes stress because software professionals often work for longer hours than usual; they are supposed to work even on holidays during near-completion time of their projects. Role overload is another major stress factor among software developers because if a team member leaves during the project then other members are supposed to take over the responsibility of that person. Involving a new member in the team requires the training of that person and delays the project.

According to Acton and Golden (2002), ‘The satisfaction of employee and its retention in general is important; however, the retention of software personnel is vital for business successes.’ This is also verified by the studies of MacDonald (2000). In fact, software development is a human-intensive industry and farsighted project managers recognize that the greatest impediments to success are often related to people rather than to information, technology, and systems (Roepke, Agarwal et al., 2000). Considering the high costs associated with replacing IT staff and their experience, it makes sense for companies to invest in mechanisms designed to keep IT staff longer (Mak and Sockel, 1999; Moore, 2000). This may involve keeping their job more relaxed and stress free. Hence, understanding the mechanism of their job and complexities is vital to optimize the performance and retention.

There is a strong reason to believe that software professionals, working either in a software house or in any organization for in-house development and maintenance, are prone to more serious risks as compared to people involved in such jobs two or three decades ago (Brod, 1984). It has been pointed out that ‘high performance (requirements) with high technology can exercise a dangerous influence on the human personality ... anyone who is constantly working or playing with computers is at risk’ (Kaluzniacky, 1998). The constant use of computers affects the users in terms of fatigue, eye strain, arm and shoulder pain, and backache. Khosrowpour and Culpan (1989) published a stress-related study applied to individuals working in computer-related fields. They observed: ‘Information processing professionals see change in technology as a prerequisite for their existence, yet the speed of this change can have profound psychological and physiological effects.’

In their studies, Kleiner and Geil (1985), Natalie (1995), and Fujigaki (1993) argued that it is important to measure the stress among computer professionals and their articles summarize and report the presence of stress among these professionals. Hoonakker (2005) argued about different factors associated with quality of working life and turnover. He pointed out that work and family life, if spill over to each other, create different psychological demands and cause stress and depression. Googins (1987) also reported the same phenomena. Other causes and consequences of stress have been assessed by different studies like: physical ailments by Frone et al. (1997), life satisfaction by Higgins et al. (1992), turnover at workplaces by Greenhaus et al. (1997), and job satisfaction by Netemeyer et al. (1996). In their works, Fujigaki (1993) and Furuyama (1994) have tried to measure the causes of stress among programmers and the impact of the stress in creating different types of errors

Journal of Independent Studies and Research (MSSE)                                                       

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