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Volume: 02, October 2013, Pages: 161-166

International Journal of Computing Algorithm

A STUDY OF WORK RELATED STRESS FACTORS AFFECTING WORK LIFE BALANCE USING COMBINED OVERLAP BLOCK FUZZY COGNITIVE MAPPING (COBFCM)
A.Victor Devadoss, J. Befija Minnie Department of Mathematics, Loyola College, Chennai-34, India befija@yahoo.co.in Abstract Work related stress factors play a major role in the work life balance irrespective of the personal stress factors, organizational setups and other factors. The work life stressors of every individual affect the Work-life harmony and work efficiency. In this study an attempt is made to study about the work related stressors which affect more on the work life harmony and ultimately results in work life imbalance. The experts linguistic opinions are analyzed using Combined Overlap Block Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (COBFCM) model to find out the work related stressor which is the major reason for work life imbalance and affects the work life harmony. Keywords: Stress, Work related Stressors, Work Life balance, Combined Overlap Block Fuzzy Cognitive maps 1. Introduction 1.1 Stress Stress is a natural factor that acts from inside or outside of the world and influencing the individual. Every response to stress will affect the particular individual as well as the environment. As we experience the high stress in day today life, we often perceive it as a negative experience; however, the stress can also be experienced as positive to some extent. In general, stress is related to both external and internal factors. External factors include the physical environment, including job, relationships with others, challenges, difficulties and expectations deal with on a daily basis. Internal factors decide the way to respond and deal with the external stressors. Internal factors which influence the ability to handle stress include nutritional status, overall health and fitness levels, emotional well-being and the amount of sleep and rest one gets. 1.2 Stresses at Work The demands of modern lifestyle and modern organizational setups are inducing stress and acting as a stress factors. Stress at work is not affecting the individual but also affects the organization. Work related stress starts when one cannot cope up with the modern days deadlines and long working hours. Stress is a well-known and very common trouble in today's workplace. As per Princeton Survey Research Associates Labor Day survey states, about one-third of workers report high levels of stress. One-quarter of employees sight their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives. Three-quarters of employees suppose the worker has more on-the-job stress than a generation ago [10]. As per Michael Kahn, Work-related stress study finds evidence suggests that stress is the major cause of revenue in organizations. With chronic stress at the workplace, workers will build up psychological and physiological dysfunctions and decreased motivation in excelling in their position [4]. The Kenexa Research Institute released a global survey of almost 30,000 workers which showed that females suffered more workplace stress than their male counterparts [17]. According to the survey, women's stress level were 10% higher for those in supervisory positions, 8% higher stress in service and production jobs than men, and 6% higher in middle and upper management than men in the same position. Professional stress or job stresses always have a threat to physical health. Work related stress in the life of organized workers, consequently, affects the health of organizations. Work-

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Volume: 02, October 2013, Pages: 161-166 related stress can be caused by various factors. For example, a person might feel under pressure if the demands of their job (such as hours or responsibilities) are greater than they can comfortably manage. Other sources of work-related stress include conflict with coworkers or bosses, work harassment and threats to job security. What one person may perceive as stressful, however, another may view as challenging. 1.3 Stressor A stressor is anything that causes the release of stress hormones. There are two broad categories of stressors: Physiological (or physical) stressors and Psychological Stressors. Physiological (or physical) stressors These are stressors that put strain on our body (i.e., very cold/hot temperatures, injury, chronic illness or pain). Psychological Stressors These are events, situations, individuals, comments or anything we interpret as negative or threatening (i.e., love failure, death, fired from job, etc). 1.4 Work Life Balance Work life balance is about people having measure of their control over when, where and how they work. Most of the people view the work life balance is what the organization allows for an individual to experience. However, work-life balance is a bi-dimensional approach. The other dimension of work-life balance, which many individuals overlook, relates to what individuals do for themselves. The success of work life balance is always sustained with achievement along with enjoyment. Achievement and enjoyment at work is a critical part of work-life balance. Moreover, achievement and enjoyment in the other three quadrants of one's life (e.g. family, friends and self) is critical as well. Stress occurs in many different circumstances, but is particularly strong when a persons ability to control the demands of work is threatened. The importance of the balance between personal life and work life is ignored today. . The imbalance also has a negative impact in

International Journal of Computing Algorithm the personal life of working people, some of which have even become social hazardsincreasing number of divorces, infertility due to high stress levels, nuclear families etc. 1.5 Work related stressors which affect the work life balance Stress can strike anyone at any level of the business and recent research (4) shows that work related stress is prevalent and is not restricted to particular sectors, jobs or industries. Job stress is a persistent illness caused by conditions in the workplace that negatively affect an individual`s performance and/or overall well-being of his body and mind. One or more physical and mental illnesses manifests job stress. In some cases, job stress can be disabling. In chronic cases a psychiatric consultation is usually required to validate the reason and degree of work related stress. In the early stages job stress can boost the body and enhance performance in the workplace, thus the term `I perform better under pressure`. However, if this condition is allowed to go continuously and the body is depleted further, the performance ultimately declines and the person`s health degenerates. Due to these health issues and the anxiety caused by the stress at work effectively influence the work life balance. The subject individual is unable to manage work and life and thus fail in either of these or both of these. In this study, the experts opinion used to determine which work related stressor have more influence in destroying the work life harmony and lead to work life imbalance. 2. Definition and Illustration of Combined Overlap Block Fuzzy Cognitive Maps (COBFCMs) The FCMs work on the opinion of experts. FCMs model the world as a collection of classes and causal relations between classes. FCMs are fuzzy signed directed graphs with feedback. The directed edge eij from causal concept Ci to concept Cj measures how much Cj causes Ci. The edges eij take values in the fuzzy causal interval [1, 1]. eij = 0 indicates no causality, eij > 0 indicates causal increase,

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Volume: 02, October 2013, Pages: 161-166 Cj increases as Ci increases (or Ci decreases as Cj decreases). eij < 0 indicates causal decrease or negative causality. Cj decreases as Ci increases (or Cj increases as Ci decreases). Simple FCMs have edge values in {1, 0, 1}. 2.1 Definitions Definition 2.1.1: An FCM is a directed graph with concepts like policies, events etc. as nodes and causalities as edges. It represents causal relationship between concepts. Definition 2.1.2: FCMs with edge weights or causalities from the set {1, 0, 1}, are called simple FCMs. Definition 2.1.3: Consider the nodes or concepts C1,.Cn of the FCM. Suppose the directed graph is drawn using edge weight eij {0, 1, 1}. The matrix E be defined by E = (eij) where eij is the weight of the directed edge Ci Cj. E is called the adjacency matrix of the FCM, also known as the connection matrix of the FCM. Definition 2.1.4: Let C1,.Cn be the nodes of an FCM. A = (a1, a2,.,an) where ai {0, 1}. A is called the instantaneous state vector and it denotes the on-off position of the node at an instant. ai = 0 if ai is off and ai = 1 if ai is on for i = 1, 2, , n. Definition2.1.5:Let C 1C 2 , C 1C 2 .., C n-1C n be a cycle. When Ci is switched on and if the causality flows through the edges of a cycle and if it again causes Ci, we say that the dynamical system goes round and round. This is true for any node Ci, for i = 1, 2,, n. The equilibrium state for this dynamical system is called the hidden pattern. Definition 2.1.6: Finite number of FCMs can be combined together to produce the joint effect of all the FCMs. Let E1, E2, .Ep be the adjacency matrices of the FCMs with nodes C1, C2, .Cn then the combined FCM is got by adding all the adjacency matrices E1, E2, .Ep. We denote the combined FCM adjacency matrix by E = E1 + E2 + + Ep. Suppose A = (a1, a2,.,an) is a vector which is passed into a dynamical system E. Then AE = (a1, a2,.,an) after thresholding and updating the

International Journal of Computing Algorithm vector suppose we get (b1, b2,.,bn) we denote that by (a1, a2,.,an) (b1, b2,.,bn). Thus the symbol means the resultant vector has been thresholded and updated. 2.2 Method of finding the hidden patterns Let C1, C2,., Cn be the nodes of an FCM, with feedback. Let E be the associated adjacency matrix. Let us find the hidden pattern when C1 is switched on. When an input is given as the vector A1 = (1, 0, 0,., 0), the data should pass through the relation matrix E. This is done by multiplying A1 by the matrix E. Let A1E = (a1, a2,., an) with the threshold operation that is by replacing ai by 1 if ai > k and ai by 0 if ai < k (k is a suitable positive integer).We update the resulting concept, the concept C1 is included in the updated vector by making the first coordinate as 1 in the resulting vector. Suppose A1E A2 then consider A2E and repeat the same procedure. This procedure is repeated till we get a limit cycle or a fixed point. 3. Adaptation of the problem: There are many factors contributing to work related stress and all the stress inducing factors (stressors) will lead to work life imbalance. It is known that all the stressors affect the work life balance in some degree. Twelve stress inducing factors are derived from experts opinion and to find out which stressor has more influence in provoking the other stress inducing factors and result in work life imbalance. With the help of experts opinion the data has been arrived. Since the data is linguistic by nature it makes it very difficult to analyze it with other mathematical tools. Combined Overlap Block FCM is useful in such a way to analyze these linguistic data and make easier to drive the result. With COBFCM, the analysis of work related stressor affects the work life balance directly has been studied in this paper. The following attributes are taken as the nodes of the COBFCM. A = {A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, A9, A10, A11, A12} where A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, A9, A10, A11, A12 are described as

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Volume: 02, October 2013, Pages: 161-166 A1 Excessive work load A2 Unimportant and meaningless tasks A3 Conflicting job demands A4 Distant or unreachable supervisors A5 Multiple supervisors A6 Lack of individual autonomy and co-operation in decision making A7 Poor performance from co-workers A8 Conflicts and competition among staff A9 Workplace bullying or harassment A10 Long working time A11 Low payment A12 Unreasonable demands from managers or supervisors The 12 attributes A , A , , A are divided
1 2 12

International Journal of Computing Algorithm


A3 A3 A4 A6 A7 0 1 1 0 A 4 A6 A7 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0

The related graph and the relation matrix for the class S3 = {A5, A3, A7, A10} is

A3 A3 0 A5 1 A7 0 A10 0

A 5 A 7 A10 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0

into seven overlapping blocks as S1 = {A1, A10, A2, A4} S2 = {A3, A6, A4, A7} S3 = {A5, A3, A7, A10} S4 = {A8, A9, A11, A4} S5 = {A12, A10, A1, A7} S6 = {A2, A4, A3, A10} S7 = {A4, A12, A11, A8} The related graph for each class is given by the experts opinion. The related graph and the relation matrix for the class S1 = {A5, A3, A7, A10} is

The related graph and the relation matrix for the class S4 = {A8, A9, A11, A4} is

A4 A4 A8 A9 A11 0 0 0 0

A 8 A 9 A11 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0

The related graph and the relation matrix for the class S5 = {A12, A10, A1, A7} is
A1 A1 0 A2 0 A4 1 A10 1 A 2 A 4 A10 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0
A1 A1 A7 A10 A12 0 1 1 0 A 7 A10 A12 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0

The related graph and the relation matrix for the class S2 = {A3, A6, A4, A7} is

The related graph and the relation matrix for the class S6 = {A2, A4, A3, A10} is

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Volume: 02, October 2013, Pages: 161-166

International Journal of Computing Algorithm nodes are in off state, the effect of the state vector X = (0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0) on the dynamical system E is as follows: X = (0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0) XE = (1 2 2 0 0 1 1 2 1 0 0 1) (1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 01) = X1 X1E = (1 0 2 0 0 1 4 0 1 9 0 0) (1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 0) = X2 X2E = (3 0 1 0 0 1 3 0 0 5 0 0) (1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0) = X3 X3E = (3 0 1 0 0 1 3 0 0 5 0 0) (1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0) = X4 = X3 Here X3 is the hidden pattern and which is the fixed point. 4. Results and discussions The result of the study indicates that the on state of the attribute distant and unreachable supervisors (A4) leads to the on state of the attributes excessive work load (A1), conflicting job demands (A3), lack of individual autonomy and co-operation in decision making (A6), poor performance from co-workers (A7) and long working time (A10). 5. Conclusion It is evident that when the supervisor is in distant or unreachable there would be no control over the employees and employees have no place to show their dissatisfaction or negative stress about the job. Since the supervisor is unreachable the excessive work load stressor cannot be reported to the supervisor and hence the employee would feel helpless which itself is a stressor. Conflicting job demands cannot be clarified with the supervisor as the supervisor is in distant or unreachable. Again, since the supervisor is unreachable, individual autonomy in decision making is affected due to the fact that the supervisor is not there to back the employee, this results in poor performance. Long working hours also left unreported to their supervisor for any resolution. Thus distant or unreachable supervisor is major stressor which ultimately resulted in many other work related stressors and thus the work life harmony gets affected. 165

A2 A2 A3 A4 A10 0 0 1 0

A 3 A 4 A10 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0

The related graph and the relation matrix for the class S7 = {A4, A12, A11, A8} is

A4 A4 A8 A11 A12 0 0 0 0

A8 A11 A12 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

The combined directed graph is

The related matrix E of the combined graph is


A1 A1 0 A2 0 A3 0 A4 1 A5 0 A6 0 A7 1 A8 0 A9 0 A10 2 A11 0 A12 0 A2 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 A3 0 1 0 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 A4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 A5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 A6 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 A7 1 0 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 A8 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 A9 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 A10 A11 A12 2 2 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Now using the matrix E of the COBFCM, the hidden patterns are determined. Suppose the attribute A4 is in the on state and all other

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Volume: 02, October 2013, Pages: 161-166 6. Future direction This paper dealt with the work related stressors which comes under the broad area of psychological stressors, however the study can be further extended into personal stressors such as family issue, health issue, financial problems, etc. Also, the study can be industry specific that is, the study can be done in a particular industries like medical, pharma, BPO, IT, Govt.Sector, Banks, etc and find the stress inducing factors which affects the work life harmony. Moreover, the study can be extended to find which gender is more vulnerable to stress and thus get affected by the work life imbalance. References: [1]adrew baum, richard j contrada, the hand book of stress science biology, psychology and health (2010). [2]clifford morgan, richard king, john weisz, john schopler, introduction to psychology mcgraw- hill education (india) pvt limited, (2001). [3fiona jones, ronald burke and mina westman, work-life balance: a psychological perspective. Psychology press (uk), (2006). [4]michael kahn, work-related stress can kill, study finds: http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/01/23/usheart-stress-idusl2284632220080123.(2008). [5]mohammad niaz asadullah and rosa m. Fernndez, work-life balance practices and the gender gap in job satisfaction in the uk: evidence from matched employer-employee data(2008). [6]MORGAN AND KING C.T, INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY. TATA MCGRAW-HILL EDUCATION (2001).

International Journal of Computing Algorithm [7]NIHARIKA DOBLE AND SUPRIYA, M.V, GENDER DIFFERENCES IN THE PERCEPTION OF WORK LIFE BALANCE.(2010) [8]STRESS AT WORK. U.S. NATIONAL
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99-101. (1999) [9]OCCUPATIONAL STRESS: HTTP://EN.WIKIPEDIA.ORG/WIKI/OCCUPATIONA L_STRESS [10]PRINCETON SURVEY RESEARCH ASSOCIATES LABOR DAY SURVEY: STATE OF WORKERS. PRINCETON, NJ: PRINCETON SURVEY RESEARCH ASSOCIATES (1997). [11]robert karasek, tores theorell healthy work: stress, productivity, and the reconstruction of working life. (1992). [12] stress at work: http://www.lifepositive.com/mind/psychology/ stress/stress-at-work.asp. [13]VASANTHA KANDASAMY W.B AND FLORENTIN SMARANDACHE, ANALYSIS OF
SOCIAL ASPECTS OF MIGRANT LABOURERS LIVING WITH HIV/ AIDS USING FUZZY THEORY AND NEUTROSOPHIC COGNITIVE MAPS (2004).

[14]VASANTHA
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NEUTROSOPHIC ANALYSIS OF WOMEN WITH HIV/AIDS (2005).

[15] VASANTHA KANDASAMY W.B, FLORENTIN SMARANDACHE AND ILANTHENRAL, ELEMENTARY FUZZY MATRIX THEORY AND FUZZY MODELS FOR SOCIAL SCIENTISTS (2007). [16]WOLFGANG LINDEN, STRESS MANAGEMENT FROM BASIC SCIENCE TO BETTER PRACTICE (2005). [17]"WORKPLACE STRESS GREATER FOR WOMEN". OFFICEPRO.;PROQUEST. PG.8 AUG/SEP (2010).

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