Experienced Stress and the Value of Rest Stops in the Transportation Field: Stress and Transportation

Experienced Stress and the Value of Rest Stops in the Transportation Field: Stress and Transportation

Ville Pietiläinen (University of Lapland, Finland), Ilkka Salmi (University of Lapland, Finland), Rauno Rusko (University of Lapland, Finland) and Raimo Jänkälä (University of Lapland, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2568-4.ch011
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Abstract

Work-related stress has been a long-term research focus in the field of industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology. Transportation is marginal, but an interesting context for the study as the field contains many specific characteristics related to stress phenomena. This chapter investigates the contents of and connection between work-related stress and rest stops' value in the transportation field, specifically in a lightly settled area with long geographic distances. Professional truck drivers in Finland serve as the target group for this study. The working conditions of truck drivers are unique compared to other branches where the work is not so mobile. In addition to how the truck is equipped, the services and facilities at rest stops are important elements in wellbeing. Based on the qualitative content analysis, this study offers in-depth information concerning work-related stress as an experienced phenomenon in the transportation field. Work management and legislation are highlighted as primary results while a dangerous work environment as well as isolation and loneliness are listed as secondary research results associated with work-related stress and the value of rest stops. Recommendations for future research and practical implications are proposed.
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Literature Review

Work-related stress has been addressed abundantly in the organizational context. It has been concluded through numerous studies that prolonged and intense stress can create negative effects on people’s mental and physical health (Johnson et al., 2005). Stress occurs when an employee experiences a demand (or a threat) that exceeds his or her abilities to successfully cope with it (Colligan & Higgins, 2005). This results in problems for one’s psychological balance. An employee’s response to stress has a direct relation to the characteristics of that specific situation.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Qualitative Content Analysis: Qualitative techniques for contextualized interpretations of various documents.

Self-Leadership: Self-leadership includes strategies such as self-goal-setting, self-talk, and self-reward, which act as stress management tools.

Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI) Model: In the ERI model, when employees’ perceptions of the rewards from working do not match their perceptions of the effort made, this can create an imbalance that affects well-being and related behavior.

Rest Stop: A rest area that has several synonyms, including travel plaza, service area, service station, and service plaza. A rest stop is a public facility located next to a highway, expressway, or freeway. It provides opportunities for drivers and passengers to rest, eat, or refuel.

Experienced Stress: An experienced stress in the context of truck drivers is based on hurry, time tables, social life, imperfect facilities of food and rest, and possibilities to sleep during the long breaks.

Work-Related Stress: A stress that is associated with the work content and environment.

Job Demand-Control (JDC) Model: The JDC model primarily concentrates on the interaction between job demands and job control.

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