Impact of Job Stress on Job Satisfaction among the Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives


Dr. M. Vasan

Assistant Professor of Commerce, A.V.V.M. Sri Pushpam College (Autonomous), Poondi - 613 503, Thanjavur Dt. Tamilnadu, India.

*Corresponding Author E-mail:



The prime objective of this study is to identify the relationship between job stress and job satisfaction among the pharmaceutical sales representatives. The primary data for this study was compiled through well-structured questionnaire filled in on a one-to-one basis by 200 pharmaceutical sales representatives. The determinants of job stress that have been idenfitied under this study includes job nature, work relationships, roles and responsibilities, lack of career development, and organizational structure and climate. The study results clearly indicated that the majority of the pharmaceutical sales representatives are facing high level of job stress and they are in the high level of job dissatisfaction. The result also reveals that there is a significant negative relationship between job stress and job satisfaction.


KEYWORDS: Job Stress, Job Satisfaction, Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives, Medical Representatives, Impact of Stress.




Work life is a most important part of our day-to-day life. In this competitive world, majority of the populace are highly spending their time for job related purposes. Hence, they are more bother about outcome of their work which causes a great deal of stress (Nilufar Ahsan et al., 2009; Sundar, 2012). The stress affects the behavior of individuals and how they communicate with their peer groups and customers. The people with high level of job stress may not be satisfied with their job. This dissatisfaction may negatively influence on the organizational performance (Sheena et al, 2005; Ajay Kumar, 2015). So, the modern organizations consider job stress and job satisfaction of their employees as two imperative workplace issues (Munich, 2008).


Job stress is a crucial factor to job satisfaction. Job stress leads to antagonism and job dissatisfaction among the employees (Munich, 2008). Job satisfaction may protect the employees from stressors.


Job satisfaction is a regulating factor for job stress. During the neo-classical period (1920-1950), theories supported the fact that job satisfaction of employees directly affected employees’ productivity. They believed that there was a cause-effect relationship between satisfaction and productivity. Job stress is a harmful physical and emotional response that happens when the job requirements mismatch with the capabilities or needs of the employees (U.S., 1999). Hence, unclear job assignments, lack of promotion, lack of training, job insecurity are also creating stressful condition (Michie, 2008).


Job satisfaction is the affective orientation of employees towards their present job. It is viewed as feeling, attitude, perseverance and beliefs of employees about various aspects of the job (Lu et al., 2005; Robbins et al., 2003). There is growing evidence that present trends in working conditions may have negative effects on job satisfaction and it affects the physical and mental health of employees (Faragher et al., 2005). The effect of job satisfaction consists of two facets i.e., positive impact and negative impact. Eagerness, high energy and pleasurable involvement show positive impact of job satisfaction while distress, unpleasant involvement and nervousness represent negative impact of job satisfaction (Judge and Larsen, 2001).


In India, the pharmaceutical industry is growing tremendously for the past few years. This industry is highly competitive in nature. It is due to more number of foreign and Indian companies are entering in this business (IBEF, 2017). It increases the need for the medical representatives and also their roles and responsibilities simultaneously. The cut-throat competitive scenario in the market increases the pressure of achieving targets to pharmaceutical sales representatives which ultimately induced their job stress (Nazim Farid, 2015).


The working atmosphere of sales representatives is high stress-based environment in many pharmaceutical companies (Priya Kalyanasundaram, 2017). Sales representatives are facing high level of stress due to various job related factors such as heavy workload, tight deadline, mobility nature of work, unattainable targets, long working hours and work pressure. High level of job stress leads to job dissatisfaction among the sales representatives (Patil and Meena, 2013).



There are several studies have attempted to measure the relationship between job stress and job satisfaction. The studies conducted by Stamps and Piedmonte (1986) and Dilruba (2016) have examined that job satisfaction was significantly related with job stress. Cooper, et al., (1989) identified four job stressors that were predictive of job dissatisfaction. Vinokur Kaplan (1991) identified that organization factors such as workload and working condition were negatively correlated with job satisfaction. Fletcher and Payne (1980) examined that lack of job satisfaction was a source of stress, while high level of satisfaction can decrease the effects of job stress. The studies conducted by Landsbergis (1988), Beehr Terry (1995) and Essiam (2015) revealed that high level of job stress were associated with low level of job satisfaction. Furthermore, Cummins (1990) has pointed out job stressors were predictive of job dissatisfaction and greater chance to leave from the organization. Bemana, et al., (2013), Iroegbu (2014) and Fawaz Jaffar (2017) have identified there was a negative relationship between job stress and job satisfaction. With this background, the present study aims to identify factors influencing job stress and its impact on job satisfaction among the pharmaceutical sales representatives.



The research is both descriptive and analytical in nature. Both primary and secondary data have been used. A well-structured questionnaire is used to elicit necessary data from the pharmaceutical sales representatives. The questionnaire comprises demographic profile, job stress and job satisfaciton. The secondary data have been collected from books, journals, magazines, reports and web portals. The sample size of 200 respondents, representing 50 each of four Districts in the state of Tamilnadu such as Salem, Namakkal, Erode and Coimbatore have been proportinately selected to represent the entire universe. Of the 200 respondents, 10 respondents have not properly responded. Hence, the responses collected from 190 respondents have been considered for analysis. The data collected from the respondents have been analyzed with the help of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The statistical tools, such as Descriptive statistics, Factor analysis by principal component method, Karl Pearson’s coefficient of correlation and Friedman’s test have been applied to analyse and interpret the data.



Demographic Profile of the Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives:

The demography of the employees is the study of the composition of a social entity in terms of its members’ attributes. Demographic profile includes age, marital status, educational qualification, monthly income and experience. The researcher has normally included those factors which are assumed to have explanatory value in the research.


Table -1: Demographic Profile

Demographic Profile






Below 30









Above 50





Up to HSC



Diploma/ Degree



Post Graduate



Marital Status







Monthly Income (in Rupees)

Below 10,000









Above 20,001




(in Years)

Up to 5



6 - 10



11 - 15



Above 15 




Age of the employees divulges that 37.9 percent are in the age group of 31-40 years, followed by 28.4 percent are below 30 years age group. The educational qualification of the employees depicts that 14.2 percent are studied up to HSC, 54.7 percent are Diploma/ Degree holders and 31.1 percent are post graduates. The marital status of the respondents reveal that 65.3 percent of the employees are married and 34.7 percent are unmarried. The monthly income the of the employees shows that 23.7 percent are earning less than Rs.10,000, 26.3 percent are earning between Rs.10,000-15,000 and 25.8 percent are earning more than Rs.20,001. The experience of the employees indicates that 29.5 percent of the employees are having less than 5 years of experience, 33.7 percent of the employees have 6-10 years of experience and 17.4 percent are having above 15 years of experience (Table 1).

Factors Influencing Job Stress among the Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives:

This study explores that the predominant factors influencing job stress among the pharmaceutical sales representatives. In this regard, Factor analysis by principal component method is used. The result of factor analysis is presented hereunder.


Table 2: Variables and Variable Loadings for Job Stress

Variables / Factors

Factors Loadings

Eigen Value

Cronbach’s Reliability Coefficient

% variation

Factor - 1: Job Nature

Work overload 





Mobility nature of work


Inadequate compensation


Extremely difficult to reach target


Excessive physical effort


Role ambiguity


Factor - 2: Work Relationships

Poor relationships with co-workers, supervisor, or staff



7. 820


Problems in giving assignments to others


Competition among employees


Not accepted by fellow workers


Factor - 3: Roles and Responsibilities

Unclear job description


2. 151



Conflicting job demands


Too much responsibilities assigned


Too much responsibility for things


Factor - 4: Lack of Career Development

Lack of job security





Overqualified for job


Ambition is inhibited by boss


Inadequate credit for accomplishments


Factor - 5: Organizational Structure and Climate

Little control over decisions





Office politics


Restrictions on behavior


Discouragement of individual expression


Being evaluated continuously


KMO Measure of Sampling Adequacy = 0.892; Bartlett's Test of Sphericity = 2923.752, Sig. .000; Cumulative Percentage Rotation Sums of Squared Loadings = 73.107.


The KMO and Bartlett's test for sampling adequacy for twenty three variables are found to be 0.892 and the Chi-square value of Bartlett's test for Sphericity is 2923.752. This clearly indicated that all the twenty three variables are different and perfectly distributed in a normal distribution. This also emphasized that the factor analysis is highly suitable for twenty three variables of job stress. The factor analysis by principal component method with varimax rotation has revealed five eigen values such as 5.648, 3.285, 2.151, 1.945 and 1.584. This indicated that the eigen values greater than 1 led to the existence of five major factors with 73.107 percent of variance. The rotated component matrix shows that the variables loadings in each predominant factors of job stress. The first factor consists of six variables which are suitably named as ‘Job Nature’. The second factor contains four variables which are suitably called as ‘Work Relationships’. The third factor includes four variables which are named as ‘Roles and Responsibilities’. The fourth factor comprises four variables which are appropriately named as ‘Lack of Career Development’. The fifth factor encompasses five variables which are aptly named as ‘Organizational Structure and Climate (Table 2).


Job Satisfaction of Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives

Job satisfaction is an attitude of employees towards their work and is based on numerous job related factors. It is an important from the perspective of maintaining and retaining the appropriate employees within the organization, it is about fitting the right person to the right job in the right culture and keeping them satisfied. In this section, non-parametric Friedman’s test has been used to find out the significant difference in the employees’ attitude towards job related factors.



Table 3: Job Satisfaction of Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives










Job Security






Training and Development




Performance Appraisal




Promotion Opportunities








Salary Structure




Welfare measures




Leave facility








Relationship with peers




Grievance Handling




Supervisor’s Attitude





The results of Friedman Chi-square test (Table 3) indicates that there is a significant difference in the job satisfaction of pharmaceutical sales representatives (χ2 =617.94, P=<0.05). The mean ranks shows that the pharmaceutical sales representatives are more satisfied with relationship with their peers (Mean Rank = 7.56) than other job related factors. The least mean rank value to job security (Mean Rank = 4.62) and supervisor’s attitude (Mean Rank = 5.12) indicates the pharmaceutical sales representatives are highly dissatisfied with these factors. Hence, most of the pharmaceutical sales representatives are unhappy with their pay (Mean Rank = 5.27).


Relationship between Job Stress and Job Satisfaction:

There are numerous studies have been conducted from time to time to understand the relationship between job stress and job satisfaction (Jagadish:1983; Belicki:1996; Wester and Leary: 2000; Marzabadi and Tarkhorani:2007; Vasan, 2013). Job performance of the employees has been greatly connected with job stress and job satisfaction. It would be viewed that the employees who remained satisfied with their job positions perform really well, whereas the individuals who are highly stressed perform poor and they are always on the look out to switch over from jobs, as job stress could result in medical ailments (Vasan, 2015). With this background, the present study examined that the relationship between job stress and job satisfaction of the pharmaceutical sales representatives. In this regard, Karl Pearson’s coefficient of correlation has been used.





Table - 4: Relationship between Job Stress and Job Satisfaction



Job Stress

Job Satisfaction

Job Satisfaction

Pearson Correlation



Sig. (2-tailed)



Job Stress

Pearson Correlation



Sig. (2-tailed)



** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).



There is no significant relationship between the job stress and job satisfaction.


The correlation result shows that there is a significant correlation between the job stress and job satisfaction. The correlation values depicts that job satisfaction is negatively correlated with the job stress. It is inferred that increase in job stress has led to decrease in job satisfaction among the pharmaceutical sales representatives (Table 4). 



Sales representatives in the pharmaceutical industry are extremely liable to attain their target sales allotted to them within the stipulated time. They are play various roles in their job such as coverage of wide geographical sales, communicate medicine information, attracting target customers, explaining details of medicine and on time delivery of medicines. Hence, they must have adequate knowledge about the latest medicines and its usage. As the role of the pharmaceutical sales representatives are not end with marketing of medicines, they are also play a vital role in the promoting the business of a company which they concerned. The present study identified that the factors influencing job stress among the sales representatives in pharmaceutical industry such as job nature, work relationships, roles and responsibilities, lack of career development, and organizational structure and climate. Hence, the resuls also identified that job stress decrease the job satisfaction of sales representatives.


The research concludes that the pharmaceutical industry must be given proper training to sales representatives for enhancing their knowledge and skills. The pharmaceutical companies should understand the needs of the sales representatives and also satisfy their expectation with respect to salary and perks. Performance appraisal programmes are periodically conducted and also take steps to motivate the sales representatives in terms of both monetary and non-monetary rewards. Motivation is a key factor to prevent from job stress. Sales representatives who are highly motivated will feel much happier and they will dedicatedly work more for the organization. These measures can reduce job stress and also enhance job satisfaction of sales representatives. Thus, identification of factors responsible for job stress and its management at its primary level has long-term benefits both for employee and employer.



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Received on 14.06.2018             Modified on 24.06.2018

Accepted on 14.07.2018           © RJPT All right reserved

Research J. Pharm. and Tech 2018; 11(9): 3759-3764.

DOI: 10.5958/0974-360X.2018.00688.1