Workers are often exposed to stresses of more than one kind, and human tolerance varies. Workers may be easily affected by minor degrees of stress because of the lowered 'vital' status of exposed individuals. The environmental stress in this case does not cause the illness, but rather brings about, in vulnerable groups, a rapid shift from the previously tolerated levels of existing illness, or of subclinical impairment, to a state of disability. Such acute events have often occurred as a consequence of different environmental stress factors acting on individuals with quite different kinds of physiological handicaps. In developing countries the employment of children, women, the elderly, and the partially disabled , s common. The degree of tolerance and susceptibility to psychological and physical stresses at work varies in these groups, and may result in health impairment and increased labour turnover.
With the quickening pace of information technology come the new managerial stresses associated with performance analyses that are performed in hours rather than the weeks or months it used to take to produce these accounts and analyses. Whereas managers once knew they had sufficient time to react, adjust, or prepare excuses, they now find they have no time or place to hide. Also attributed to increase stress is the strain of increased managerial responsibilities as firms slim down staffs when they instal computers. The UK reports 23 million working days are lost annually due to stress.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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