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The Biological Foundations of Organizational Behavior$
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Stephen M. Colarelli and Richard D. Arvey

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226127156

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226127293.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

Physiological Functioning and Employee Health in Organizations

Physiological Functioning and Employee Health in Organizations

(p.139) Seven Physiological Functioning and Employee Health in Organizations
The Biological Foundations of Organizational Behavior

Zhen Zhang

Michael J. Zyphur

University of Chicago Press

From an evolutionary psychological perspective, this chapter reviews the antecedents and outcomes of employee physiological processes in the workplace. We ground this review on the environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA) and the mismatch theories. Drawing up prior research, we propose an organizing framework in which the work environment (the input) has beneficial or detrimental effects on employees’ physiological functioning (the process), which in turn influences various work outcomes (the output). We review research findings pertaining to hormone level, cardiovascular processes (e.g., blood pressure and coronary heart disease), immune system responses, and physical symptoms. Job stress, organizational justice, and work events are identified as key antecedents of employee physiological functioning. In terms of outcomes, organizations can incur higher health care cost, suffer lower productivity, and have more absenteeism and unsafe work behavior. We discuss the practices of, and future research agendas for, bettering employees’ work life by taking a physiological perspective. We hope to provide a foundation for future integrative, multidisciplinary research for a more complete account of human physiology in organizations.

Keywords:   employee health, physiological responses, mismatch theory, environment of evolutionary adaptedness, organizational physiology

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