The given essay takes a close look at the article by Macqueen et al. (2007) called “Dealing with the Stressed,” which discusses the downsides of stress in a working environment. First of all, the paper summarizes the article, bringing forth some of its key arguments. Following this, the author analyzes and evaluates these premises, assessing their overall effectiveness. Importantly, the article is deconstructed in terms of the evidence used: logos, ethos, and pathos. Finally, the author aims to evaluate the overall persuasiveness of the research article.
All in all, the article offers a clear and comprehensible analysis of stress in the workplace, the consequences of this type of stress (for the company and the employee), and the issues which stand in the way of tackling this issue with professionalism.
The article by Macqueen et al. (2007) provides a detailed overview of the stress issues and their effects on the working environment. While stress is “the most overused and misused word in the English language,” its effects on the economy are nothing short of huge (Macqueen et al., 2007). The authors analyze specific cases that demonstrate the consequences of leaving workplace stress unresolved. First, the authors present a case which refers to an employee who was very dedicated to her career. However, when she became overstressed and requested a leave, the company officials told her that they were going to fire her anyway. The ex-employee took this case to court and was paid $150 000 by the company “for injury to her dignity, feelings, and self-respect” (Macqueen et al., 2007).
Following this, the authors discuss the counterarguments. Firstly, some employees may use the option of stress leave to escape problems. The authors bring forth a set of cases demonstrating the irresponsible use of stress leave. Secondly, Macqueen et al. (2007) show that some researchers and employers see stress as a scam and a “bogus concept.” The authors conclude that lack of agreement on the subject makes it difficult to treat “the apparent stress epidemic”.
Prior to evaluating the types of evidence used in the article, the authors’ credibility should be reviewed (Phillips & Bostian, 2014, p. 284). Ken Macqueen (the primary author of this article) is the “Vancouver bureau chief for Maclean’s, CA” (Phillips & Bostian, 2014, p. 404). Following a further look at Macqueen’s biography, it becomes apparent that he is a credible source. The author holds a PhD from McGill University; he has built an extensive career as a journalist and a researcher and previously taught college courses. At present, Macqueen is the CEO of an educational/training company. Based on this information, it is possible to make a conclusion that Macqueen’s research is credible.
What is more, ethos largely evolves around the author’s reliability and professionalism. Credibility may be based on the author’s personality, personal experience, and trustworthiness (Phillips & Bostian, 2014). While Macqueen et al. (2007) offer no personal examples, the article goes to great lengths in presenting alternative views and supporting facts. Phillips and Bostian (2014) emphasize that for greater credibility the author should “provide strong evidence retrieved from credible sources,” presenting the evidence “without errors in logic or writing” (p. 285). As a matter of fact, this is exactly what the authors do.
When it comes to pathos, the authors use several cases to persuade readers on an emotional level. For instance, the case of Ms. Toivanen relies on both logical and emotional information. It is the case of a dedicated employee who, being on the verge of a breakdown, asked her supervisor to grant her a stress leave. However, she was told that the company “had already decided to fire her” (Macqueen et al., 2007). The case goes on to describe that Ms. Toivanen fell into severe depression and “was placed on long-term disability by her former employer’s insurer.” Here, the reader cannot but feel empathy for the employee, whose psychological state was ignored by her employer. In addition, the final part of the article appeals to the reader’s emotions by describing stress as a gun that is put to one’s head. In addition, the authors emphasize trust and respect as two core values in employee-employer relations.
Lastly, in terms of logos, the authors use numerous data/cases to show the effects of stress in the workplace. The counterargument states that some employees may use stress leave as an easy way out. Throughout the article, authors juggle between the pros and cons of stress leave (from the position of the employer). Finally, they conclude that stress is real and it leads to numerous financial losses for companies. The argumentation is strong, suggesting that a better definition of stress should be constructed for more clearly identifying the origins of this phenomenon. Furthermore, companies need to find ways to face this issue, while making sure that the option of stress leave is not misused by employees.
The article is persuasive, since it offers much data, cases, and facts. The ideas are clear and well-organized. The article has a thesis which is stated in the beginning and repeated in the end. Now, the body of the article provides evidence to support the thesis, as well as counterarguments to show why the concept of workplace stress is ridiculed by some.
Lastly, the authors make sure to examine several positions. A direction for further research is suggested, showing which problems need to be tackled among employees and researchers alike. The authors make it clear that whichever way one looks at the issue, one thing remains certain: there is no running away from stress in the workplace. At last, Macqueen et al. (2007) prove to the reader that stress and its effects are very much real.
- Macqueen, K., Patriquin, M., & Intini, J. (2007, October 15). Dealing with the stressed: Workplace stress costs the economy more than $30 billion a year, and yet nobody knows what it is and how to deal with it. Maclean’s. Retrieved from https://www.macleans.ca/work/dealing-with-the-stressed/
- Phillips, H., & Bostian, P. (2014). The purposeful argument: A practical guide. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.