Job stress in the retail industry in St. John’s, Newfoundland

Makhoul, Gerard (2023) Job stress in the retail industry in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

[img] [English] PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.

Download (1MB)


Typically, Retail jobs are considered to be rather stressful, and physically, and emotionally draining on incumbent workers. Yet, they tend to be low-paying occupations at the same time. In this research, the focus is on analyzing job stress and its predictors among Canadian-born and non-Canadian-born retail workers in St. John’s, NL. Although many studies have researched job stress and its causes in the retail industry, relatively few studies have explored the relationship between job stress in the retail industry. Moreover, one contribution of this paper is the focus on whether the retail worker is Canadian-born or non-Canadian-born, and their duration of stay in Canada. A quantitative research design was chosen for this study because it allows for an exploration of the strength of statistical relationships between different key variables. Via a survey distributed to multiple retail stores in St. John’s, NL, 105 usable surveys were received from participants. The results of the study show that most retail workers in St. John’s, NL, experience at least moderate job stress levels. It was also found that non-Canadian-born retail workers have higher job stress levels and also have lower job satisfaction levels than Canadian-born retail workers, on average. Furthermore, it was found that for both Canadian-born and non-Canadian-born retail workers, the three highest job stress predictors are low wages and benefits, role overload, and rude and demanding customers. Finally, we unexpectedly found that newly arrived immigrants, on average, experience lower job stress levels than ‘earlier-arrived’ immigrants who have been in Canada. The study recommends employers proactively manage and mitigate job stress levels in their workplaces and provide more targeted support for non-Canadian-born employees. More specifically, it is recommended that employers provide the necessary equipment to reduce physical fatigue, encourage open communications between colleagues and between employees and their managers, have clear job descriptions for every role, celebrate and rewards employees’ strength, to provide opportunities to learn and grow on the job, and make sure a sufficient number of employees is present on every shift to cover the workload. Future research could focus on exploring the relationship between job stress and specific health outcomes. Future research could also investigate the role of workplace culture in job stress by examining how various workplace cultures or subcultures, such as toxic work environments and overly competitive workplaces, contribute to job stress. Finally, future research could focus on clarifying the reasons behind our unexpected findings that i) newly arrived immigrants, on average, experience lower job stress levels than those earlier arrived immigrants, and that i) those earlier arrived immigrants are also more likely to endure severe job stress than those newly arrived immigrants.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 16264
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 94-104)
Department(s): Business Administration, Faculty of > Business Administration
Date: July 2023
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Retail trade--Employees; Retail trade--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John’s; St. John’s (N.L.)--Job stress

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics