Future challenges related to work pressure

Laura Den Dulk, Marjan Gorgievski, Bram Peper

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific


This chapter demonstrates the importance of work pressure as an HRM challenge. The different ways of conceptualizing work pressure are described as well as the main theories that explain work pressure and under which circumstances work pressure results in work stress. Trends on work pressure experienced by public sector workers based on the EWCS (1995-2015) across European countries and public sectors are discussed. The rising levels of work pressure are linked to contextual developments within the public sector and the wider society. The developments have led to an increase in work demands and a decline of job resources. The chapter concludes with a discussion on HRM challenges, arguing that on the one hand HRM policies have the potential to raise resources of employees working in the public sector, which enable them to deal with a high workload, but on the other hand run the risk to increase demands when the wider organisational context is not taken into account.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch handbook on HRM in the public sector
EditorsB. Steijn, E. Knies
PublisherEdgar Elger Publishing Ltd.
ISBN (Electronic)9781789906622
ISBN (Print)9781789906615
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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