Is work intensification bad for employees? A review of outcomes for employees over the last two decades

Saija Mauno, Mari Herttalampi, Jaana Minkkinen, Taru Feldt, Bettina Kubicek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

Abstract

Work intensification (WI) is a notable job stressor, which has been hypothesised to result in various negative outcomes for employees. However, earlier empirical studies regarding this stressor hypothesis have not yet been reviewed. Our narrative review focused on the outcomes for employees of WI as a perceived job stressor. Our review was based on selected qualitative and quantitative empirical studies (k = 44) published in peer-reviewed journals between the years 2000 and 2020. Altogether, the findings of these studies showed that WI was related to various negative outcomes for employees, such as impaired well-being and motivation, supporting the stressor hypothesis. Stressful WI manifested as perceived accelerated pace of work and increased effort and demands for effectivity at work. Nevertheless, other manifestations of WI (e.g. increased demands for learning) were not always associated with negative outcomes. The implications of these findings are discussed together with future directions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWORK AND STRESS
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022
Publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Keywords

  • employees’ well-being
  • narrative review
  • outcomes
  • Work intensification

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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