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Institutional context and stress appraisal among life insurance agents

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Chapter Summary

This chapter aims to study how the institutionalised arrangements of the life insurance profession and industry in Singapore relate to the types and extent of work stress experienced by its workers. Insurance agents represent a unique group of workers who are both paid employees and entrepreneurs. It focuses on the psychological aspect of work stress, an emphasis particularly relevant to the study of work stress among insurance agents. Insurance work is indeed emotional work. Adopting a sociological perspective, the chapter emphasises the social-structural organisation of the industry and its link to individuals’ experience. The most important attractions offered by insurance work are its promises of autonomy, potentially high monetary rewards and the prospect of self-employment. The psychological consequences of work stress were examined in terms of job satisfaction and mental health.

Keywords: institutionalised arrangements; job satisfaction; life insurance agents; mental health; social-structural organisation; work stress



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