Stress resilience: researching a key competence for professionals in communication management
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Scientific articles 
Original versionJournal of Communication Management. 2021, . 10.1108/JCOM-11-2020-0142
Abstract Purpose - Nowadays, communication practitioners are well-equipped with all kinds of skills and competencies. Nevertheless, those capabilities seem not to prevent professionals from stress and burnout. Stress resilience, i.e., the ability to deal with high demands at work, to cope with and recover from stress, seems to be a missing competence. This study sheds light on this important, but barely discussed aspect of communication management. Design/methodology/approach - A qualitative approach was applied to understand sources of stress and to identify opportunities to build stress resilience competence. Therefore, 40 in-depth interviews with senior leaders and young professionals in 30 agencies in the largest countries on two continents were conducted (United States vs. Germany). Findings - This study revealed common and threatful drivers of stress. Overall, the work environment can be summarised as highly demanding and multifaceted, where stress resilience might be a useful competence to have to be successful and to be protected against negative stress outcomes such as burnout. The study identifies several reasons why resilient professionals are more successful in coping with stress. It is further shown that most communication agencies in the sample have already implemented programmes to increase employees’ resilience. Originality - This study offers an alternative view on the much-debated future of work by using an interdisciplinary approach and large-scale, qualitative insights from the agency environment. A novel concept is introduced that can stimulate further research.