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Effects of Organizational Culture on Women in the It Industry

Autor:   •  November 13, 2018  •  2,669 Words (11 Pages)  •  220 Views

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Methods and Research

The plethora of studies conducted by researchers on the effect of workplace stress on employees, led to the need of very detailed search criteria. Through the use of San Jose State University’s online research databases, data was compiled from various articles and journals. The use of the databases, psychINFO and psychARTICLES, provided an overwhelming amount of information to digest, thankfully to refine our search using several key words. While the original search for “effects of organizational culture” turned up many unrelated articles, using terms such as: psychosocial stressors, emotional contagion, institutional collectivism, and counterproductive work behaviors, netted us several articles that were of value.

Articles were selected on whether the information they provided was relevant to the topics being discussed, and if when dissected and recombined, produced a coherent argument. Various articles were used, examples of search topics included: the concept of emotional contagion, the outcomes of organizational cultures in corporations, the effects of counterproductive work behaviors in the workplace, the psychosocial stressors acting upon workers, and the deleterious consequences of chronic stress on the health of employees.

Case Study

The patient being examined is a 38-year-old Australian woman, whose diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD) has led to her being subjected to discrimination, ridicule, and bullying. The patient experienced the aforementioned conditions after returning from a mental health leave of three weeks. Her reputation as an administrative assistant for a plastics manufacturing company has suffered, as she hasn’t been meeting deadlines, and submits reports with an unacceptable amount of errors.

She complains of dreading the thought of attending work, and often cries before leaving her home. Her avoidance of coworkers has alienated her from the group. She now has no friends with whom to socialize with. She no longer eats in the cafeteria in fear of being heckled. She instead chooses to visit a fast food restaurant across the street, which has been causing some weight gain. Daily life consists of household duties at 8 am, work at 12 am, and completion of work duties at 9pm (Brouwers, Mathijssen 2015)

This case contains several of the factors being examined in this study. While her employer was a proponent of mental health leave, the company’s lack of a positive organizational culture led to people not supporting one another. Being a middle-aged woman, she is one of the demographics identified by McCord et al. as being most likely to experience the effects of counterproductive work behaviors. Her avoidance of coworkers has caused her to go eat unhealthy food from a restaurant near her workplace. This unhealthy diet will likely exacerbate the effects of the stress she is being subjected to.

There are several tidbits of information that were not mentioned in the case study that could help identify whether the CWBs displayed by the employees were the result of mishandling by direct management or if it was a system-wide issue. Since there isn’t any mention of a direct supervisor, we must assume that the company as a whole does not hold standards as far as organizational cultures are concerned. We also must not forget the potential effects of culture in the treatment of the patient. While Brouwers et al. stated that the stigma of mental disorders is practically a universal among the cultures of the world, this study has not found any evidence in support of Australia being a country in which this theory is fact.

Treatment Model

The patient mentioned above has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder. Her therapist recommended that she attend weekly group therapy sessions centered around a cognitive-behavioral (CBT) school of thought. In supplement to the talk therapy, she was also referred to a psychiatrist, whom prescribed her two medications. She was given 20mg paroxetine tablets and 200mg bupropion tablets, which in conjunction to the CBT should reduce her distain towards attending work, and allow her to perform her job with fewer errors.

The two methods of treatment used in the case study are the most commonly used channels of battling depression. The approach of cognitive-behavioral therapy aims to help a patient develop coping strategies to deal with thoughts that may be causing them distress. The reason for its popularity is that studies suggest that CBT is just as effective at treating minor depression, among other disorders, as well as medication does (Herr 2017). CBT can either take place in one on one sessions, or in a group setting, which has shown to be more efficacious (Freeman 2014)

While often prescribed alongside CBT, medications have long been a way of combatting symptoms with the least inconvenience to a patient. While some countries prefer the two-pronged approach, some, such as Japan, prefer to only prescribe medication. The reason for this being that the stigma associated with seeking help from a mental health professional can be catastrophic for the reputation of an individual (Herr 2017). Two medications were prescribed to this particular patient, the reason being that while both are antidepressants, the bupropion helps counteract some of the negative side effects of the paroxetine.


In short, the compiled data points to counterproductive work behaviors being detrimental to a company, and its employees. CWBs are the result of a lack of direction caused by the absence of an organizational culture. By creating a workplace with a positive organizational culture, institutional collectivism will increase throughout the workforce. Through the process of emotional contagion, IC will spread to the majority of employees and allow for better communication and flow of ideas.


Akgun, A.E., Keskin, H., Byrne, J.C., Gunsel, A. (2011). Antecedents and results of emotional

capacity in software development project teams. J. Prod. Innov. Manag. 28 (6), 957–973.

This author examines how worker performance can be predicted based on the results of a questionnaire administered by a project manager through email. It indicates that positive emotions tend to correlate with an increase in work quality.

Balasubramanian, V. and Chokalingam M. (2009). A Study on Stress and Depression experienced

by Women IT Professionals


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