Received 14 April 2016; accepted 10 May 2016; published 13 May 2016
1. Background to the Study
In today’s world, stress has become a wide spread phenomenon, which occurs in various forms in every workplace or society. In today’s work life, employees are generally working for longer hours, as the rising levels of responsibilities require them to exert themselves even more strenuously to meet rising expectations about work performance. Coupled with this phenomenon is the level and style of competition that is growing day by day thus further increasing the levels of stress among employees exponentially. Besides the determination of most employees to live in city centers and have modernized style of living has further compounded the problem of stress among employees. The global financial crisis and recession of 2008 further contributed in mounting higher levels of stress among employees. In order to make organizations efficient and effective in the utilization of resources, many enterprises have gone through entire restructuring, layoffs, downsizing, and mergers to maintain their position in the market. This has resulted in unstable employee-employer relationship which has caused a great deal of stress among employees and researches seem to suggest that high levels of stress seriously affect employee’s job performance and commitment towards organizations. Among nearly three billion people globally who are employed, many are confronted with incessant and challenging problems in their organizations called stress, which has the potential to influence employee’s performance and efficiency.  O’Meara (2008), described occupational stress as the adverse psychological and physical reactions that occur in an individual as a result of their being unable to cope with the demands being made on them. According to  Swinepoxes et al. (1998), work related stress has been a topic that has received increasing attention, in the area of occupational health, over the last three decades. These authors were of the opinion that the world, especially the world of work and business, has become increasingly subject to fast changing forces like increased competition, the pressure of quality, innovation and an increase in the pace of doing business.
The demands on employees grew equally dramatically and this created stress within employees. Apart from stress that arose from the work situation, other sources of stress could relate to personal factors such as interpersonal relationships and use of free time. Stress can therefore be described as the adverse psychological and physical reactions that occur in an individual as a result of his or her inability to cope with the demands being made on him or her  (Moorhead and Griffin, 1998). That is tension from extra-ordinary demands on an individual. Sager (1994) defined job stress as a psychological state perceived by individuals when faced with demands, constraints, and opportunities that have important but uncertain outcomes. Job stress is very much an individual reaction, and differs from general stress as it is also organization, and job related  (Chen & Silverthorne, 2008) Based on these definitions job stress can produce adverse consequences for both the individual and the company since it has the effect of lowering motivation levels and performance, and increases turnover intentions (Montgomery, Blodgett & Barnes, 1996). It is noted that, stress is not necessarily bad; it is an opportunity when it offers potential gain. But whatever its nature, it usually begins when individuals are placed in a work environment that is incompatible with their work style and or temperament. It becomes aggravated when individuals find out that they have or can exercise little control over it. According to  Henry and Evans (2008), almost two-thirds of cases reported by family physicians had roots in stress-related symptoms, as reported by the American Academy of Family Physicians and that numerous companies are feeling the impact of negative stress on productivity.
The word “Stress” originally emerged in physics and it was then adopted by psychologists and life scientists. As in physics, reference is made to pressure, stress or forces, which terms can all be used interchangeably. However, they have different meaning. The term stress as used in physics and now in psychology basically means that human beings are inclined to resist the external forces acting upon them like other physical objects and bodies. Pressure on the other hand, has a positive connotation. It helps in improving performance. Stress however can be distinguished as positive and negative termed as “Easters” and “Distress” respectively. Easters is the form of stress that is positive and beneficial. We may feel challenged, but the sources of the stress are opportunities that are meaningful to us. Easters helps provide us with energy and motivation to meet our responsibilities and achieve our goals. Distress is a continuous experience of feeling overwhelmed, oppressed, and behind in one’s responsibilities. It is the all-encompassing sense of being imposed upon by difficulties with no light at the end of the tunnel. Most organizations with the aim of attaining higher productivity end up saddling employees with overload of work in order to meet deadline and this might have psychological and physical effects on the employees which may result in something contrary to what these organizations want to achieve. Although organizations are paying more attention than in the past to the consequences of the trauma their employees go through when they place extra-ordinary demands on them, there is still more room for improvement. Again, to generate enough revenue to be self-sustaining and to be able to fund the acquisition of modern equipment means efficient service provision and optimal employment and/or deployment of resources. Under this background, stress management has been one of most challenging problems that disturb firms and their employees. There seems to be a consensus among scholars about the effect of work stress. Work stress does not only affect the physical, psychological and behavior of individual employees, but also, organizational performance eventually. This therefore emphasizes the importance of this research to establishment the relationship between stress management and the job performance.
2. Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to investigate the impact of job stress over employees work performance. Due to numerous factors in today’s working conditions, most workers are stressed out. This situation further worsens in a developing and transitional economy like China because the organizations fail to be socially responsible and fails to identify the importance of their human resources, or better still, their single most precious and unique asset, their shop floor level workers and knowledge workers. When an organization tend to ignore the importance of their workers, they also ignore various principles of effectively managing these unique resources, thus causing their employees to feel a lot of stress and pressure which eventually affects their performance.
The purpose of the study was to find out the effects or impacts of stress on employees’ productivity. The researcher believes that this study was very important and would go a long way to notifying all organizations, most especially those in the industrial sector in Bamako on the need to ensure the effective management of stress for their employees. The study will also add to existing store of knowledge. Thus, the findings will add to existing knowledge, so that people in other parts of the country can also appreciate the problem and the solutions advanced to reduce the negative consequences of the problem. It will also provide suggestions on how to reduce the effects of stress on output. Again, it will be a source for further research that are of relevance to stakeholders. Mali is a late comer among the list of industrializing nations. The country is still experiencing a transition from planning economy to market economy. Therefore, both work and lifestyles of people are conversely changing rapidly. On the one hand, people are facing more and more pressure than the past. Accompanying such current trend are various forms of diseases that are also on the increase. Unfortunately, some of these ailments related to work pressure. On the other hand, employees working in many enterprises and government institutions in advanced countries have unsaturated and lighter workload.
3.1. Literature Review
This chapter of the study provides in-depth insight on the nature of stress and the impact thereof on productivity. Opinions from different authors will be utilized to provide a better theoretical understanding of the nature of stress, its causes, and then the impact it will have on productivity. This was assessed through exiting literature. Stress is an unwanted reaction people have to severe pressures or other types of demands placed upon them. A huge and multi fields literature points a lot of key factors such as work environment, management support, work load etc. in determining the stressful the work can be and its effect on employee physical and mental health, (Gangster & Loghan, 2005). According to (Anderson, 2002) work to family conflicts is also a predecessor which creates stress in employees of an organization. Job stress has been also viewed as dysfunctional for organizations and their members (Kahn, Wolfe, Quinn, Smoke, & Rosenthal, 1964). Although stress has been variously viewed as an environmental stimulus to an individual (Kahn et al., 1964) Steely, 1956 defined stress as an individual’s reaction to an environmental force that effect an individual performance. Job related stress can be mostly immobilizing because of its possible threats to family functioning and individual performance. Job related stress can create an difference between demands on families and the ability of families to provide material security for them (McCubbin & Figley, 1983). While there is a significant body of research which deals with work and family there is relatively little research (e.g., Jacobson, 1987) which deals specifically with perceived job insecurity (i.e., concerns or fears about job loss) and marriage and family life (e.g., Buss & Red burn, 1983). Stress condition which happens when one realizes the pressures on them, or the requirements of a situation, are wider than their recognition that they can handle, if these requirements are huge and continue for a longer period of time without any interval, mental, physical or behavior problems may occur, (Health & Safety Executive UK). Stress exists in every organization either big or small the work places and organizations have become so much complex due to which it exists, work place stress has significant effects over the employees job performance, and the organizations in are trying to cope with this scenario, (R. Anderson, 2003). Eleven forces are used as an antecedents of stress by researches (Overload, Role vagueness, Role conflict, Responsibility for people, Participation, Lack of feedback, Keeping up with quick technological change, Being in an innovative role, Career growth, Organizational structure and environment, and Recent episodic events.,) Overload: excessive work or work that is outside one’s capability (Franck and Kaplan, 1972; Margolis et al., 1974; Russet and Zeeman, 1958) Role Ambiguity: Role insufficient information concerning powers, authority and duties to perform one’s role (French and Kaplan, 1972; Kahn, et al., 1964), Role Conflict: Supervisors or subordinates place contradictory demands on the individual (Behr et al., 1976; Kaplan and Jones, 1975; Kaplan, et al., 1975; Hall and Gordon, 1973; Kahn et al., 1964) Responsibility for people: Responsibility for people, well-being works, job security, and professional development (French and Kaplan, 1972; Pincher, 1972) Participation.
3.2. The Impact of Stress on Productivity
4 Mathis and Jackson (2000) suggested that to measure organizational or industrial human resource productivity one has to consider unit labor cost, or the total labor cost per unit of output. The authors further stated that an individual performance depends on three factors. These are the ability to do the work, level of effort and support given to the individual. The relationship of these factors, widely acknowledged in management literature, implies that Performance falls or reduces if any of these factors are reduced or absent. This is shown as Performance
They further emphasized that quality of the production must also be considered as part of productivity because an alternative might be to produce more but a lower quality. Simply put by Chase and Aquila no (1995), productivity is measured in terms of outputs per labor hour. However this measurement does not ensure that the firm will make money. To test whether productivity has increased, the following questions should be asked: “has the action taken increased output or has it decreased inventory?” “Has the action taken decreased operational expense?” These would then lead to an enhanced definition: Productivity is all the actions that bring a company closer to its goals.  Mathis and Jackson (2000), defined productivity as a measure of the quantity and quality of work done taking into account the cost of the resource it took to do the work. Steers (1991) is of the view that it is useful from a managerial standpoint to consider several forms of counter-productive behavior that are known to result from prolonged stress.  Thompson and McHugh (1995) are also of the opined that stress in the workplace is the result of contemporary accounts of the stress “process” which often comes with the notion of stress as resulting from a misfit between an individual and their particular environment, especially where internal or external factors push the individuals adaptive capacities beyond his or her limit. However, personal factors also influence stress. For example, types a personality normally place themselves under greater stress than do others  (Deshler, 2000). This is further reiterated by  Bowing and Harvey (2001), that people cannot completely separate their work and personal lives and that the way people react and handle stress at work is a complex issue. Blumenthal, (2003) has shown as stress increases, so does the performance, using the inverted U-type curve to depict the effect stress has on performance. However if stress continues to increase beyond an optimal point, performance will peak and start to decline. This shows that stress is necessary to enhance performance but once it reaches a level of acute discomfort, it is harmful and counterproductive.  Negus P. (1979) created the graph below to further explain the relationship between stress and performance.
Figure 1 shows that as the level of stress increases, the performance level also increases, to the point of esters, or healthy tension. Near the point of fatigue, an identified area called the Comfort Zone indicates the range of stress levels that we can absolutely manage and facilitates good performance levels. As stress begins to be perceived as overwhelming or excessive, the person reaches a fatigue point wherein the performance levels starts to decline. The ultimate end of overwhelming stress, called burnout, can be exhaustion, ill-health or breakdown. Blumenthal (2003) went on to argue that excess stress is harmful, destructive and detrimental to human well-being and productivity. Stress can have an impact on an individual’s well-being by causing dysfunction or disruption in multiple areas. This dysfunction extends into the organizational world and leads to decreased
Figure 1. The stress-response curve.
productivity. According to  Garrison and Bly (1997) corporations have become acutely aware of the problems caused by stress. The illnesses associated with stress are costly, and they can debilitate a valuable worker. When stress is not handled well, absenteeism, turnover, and medical compensation increase and productivity decreases. Garrison and Bly (1997) further stated that the workplace is special only because so much of our time is spent at work. To achieve a peak of performance, stress should be managed effectively, with the negative effects of stress minimized. Garrison and Bly (1997) viewed more prominent cases of stress in the workplace being the following.
3.3. Empirical Analysis of Job Stress in Mali
The technique used in gathering data was based on questionnaires and face-to-face interviews. The researcher distributed the questionnaires in person, after obtaining permission from top management, in one week to all respondents. Respondents were entreated to give candid and honest responses to every item on the questionnaires. Face-to-face interview provided the platform for the researcher to clarify any possible ambiguity and also created the opportunity to interact with the people. After this, the collected data was analyzed using the proposed data analysis methods and the findings and recommendations were made. The process of data analysis involves making sense out of text and image data. This requires preparation of the data for analysis, moving deeper and deeper into understanding the data, representing the data and making an interpretation of the larger meaning of the data (Creswell, 2003). This chapter contains the analyzed data. Microsoft Excel was employed analyzing the data. The findings were presented in figures and tab
This paper will carry on the design of relevant indicators and do some exploratory analysis to verify the reliability and validity of these indicator this paper collect the first-hand data to prepare for the data analysis process. Data collection process includes two parts; the first stage is the preliminary investigation stage, and in this stage, the exploratory factor analysis will be carried on by using the data at the stage of preliminary investigation stage. And then, based on this analysis results, maybe some adjustment or medication will be need to make the questionnaire better. After that the second time data collection will begin, and a large scale of data will be collected in this stage for the confirmatory factor analysis. This paper uses questionnaires to collect the first-hand data, and it will cause our research will spend lots of time since collecting and handling with questionnaires is a very long process. Besides, the serious degree of visitors filling in the questionnaire, and the filter useful data are also some other problems that maybe will influence the results. The reform en sure the effectiveness of the papers in the final analysis results, it is very important to ensure the quality of the data collection of this research. the degree of this work pressure will also influence the efficiency of work seriously. For instance ,as we all know, managers always have great work pressure and often put themselves in the position of the organization pressure center due to their particularity of status, which not only make them feel greater pressure than the other employees and also make them feel the pressure firstly. And in an organization, when managers of every level feel the pressure firstly, the pressure will be conveyed from the manager to the common employees consciously run consciously, which will cause the “infection” of work pressure in an organization just like a flu, and this will make the whole company work pressure increase rapidly finally. What’s more, too much work pressure will make employee feel physical and mental disorders, and some problems such as lack of satisfaction, high absenteeism, and high turnover rate and so on will be also produced by this pressure, which will greatly reduce the efficiency and increase the cost of the organization operation. Therefore, it is of great theoretical and realistic significance to strength the research on the work pressure, job performance and their relationship, which will help us make the best use of the potential of people properly and improve their quality of live and their satisfaction of work, and finally help the company improve the production efficiency in an international competition environment.