Managing job performance, social support and work-life conflict to reduce workplace stress

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International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

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Workplace stress costs £3.7bn per annum in the UK and in excess of $300bn per annum in the USA. The purpose of this paper is to examine the existence, strength and direction of relationships between perceptions of social support, work–life conflict, job performance and workplace stress in an Irish higher education institution.


The selected theoretical framework consisted of a combination of reward imbalance theory, expectancy theory and equity theory. An organizational stress screening survey instrument was used to survey the staff (n = 1,420) of an academic institution. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to evaluate the relationships between the independent variables (social support, work–life conflict, job performance), the covariates (staff category, direct reports, age, gender), and the dependent variable (workplace stress).


The results showed a negative correlation between social support and workplace stress, a positive correlation between work–life conflict and workplace stress, and a negative correlation between job performance and workplace stress (p < 0.05). The results also revealed significant relationships between the covariates direct reports and gender and the dependent variable workplace stress.

Practical implications

The findings from this research can trigger an organizational approach where educational leaders can enable workplace change by developing and implementing social support and work–life strategies, and potential pathways to reduce levels of workplace stress and improve quality of life for employees and enhance performance.


The examination and establishment of particular relationships between social support, work–life conflict and job performance with workplace stress is significant for managers.