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Sources of Work Stress Inventory (SWSI)

Work | Work Wellbeing | Organisational Development

The Sources of Work Stress Inventory (SWSI) helps professionals determine general levels of occupational stress and identifies possible key sources of stress. These sources of stress in work environments can then be isolated in order to address them. The SWSI can contribute to organisational diagnosis and provides an additional evaluation in terms of organisational climate. The SWSI can be used within the context of a comprehensive organisational evaluation, or as part of a structured employee wellness programme. Professionals may also use it as a screening test for the individual or the organisation when assessing employees’ mental and physical health, as the two are often related.


The SWSI appraises 8 sources of work stress, namely:

  • Role Ambiguity: stress experienced by an individual due to vague specifications or constant change regarding the expectations, duties, and constraints that define their job.
  • Relationships: stress experienced by an individual as a result of having poor interpersonal relationships with colleagues and superiors, as well as being subjected to interpersonal abuse.
  • Tools and Equipment: stress experienced by an individual due to a lack of relevant tools and equipment needed to do a job properly, or working with inappropriate, broken, or complex machinery.
  • Job Security: relates to the amount of stress experienced by an individual due to uncertainty about their future in the current workplace.
  • Career Advancement: stress experienced by an individual as a result of a perceived lack of opportunity to further their career prospects within the organisation for which they work.
  • Lack of Autonomy: refers to the amount of stress experienced by an individual due to a lack of decision-making authority in the workplace. This can be due to either job constraints or workplace constraints.
  • Work/Home Interface: refers to the stress experienced by an individual as a result of a lack of social support at home or from friends, and work/non-work additivity, spill over, and conflictwith regard to stress within and outside the workplace.
  • Workload: refers to the amount of stress experienced by the individual due to the perceptionthat they areunable to cope or be productive with the amount of work allocated to them.


The SWSI can be used for the following purposes:

  • Individual assessment can provide important information about the individual’s level ofwork stressand identify the sources of this stress for counselling purposes.
  • Organisational assessment can allow the organisation to identify problem areas in theworkplace and to plan and implement interventions to improve employee well-being.
  • The SWSI can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of individual-or organisationalintervention programmes.


The SWSI has the following software reports available:

  • SWSI Individual Report: Tabled individual T-scores and interpretive comments.
  • SWSI Group Report: Tabled average group T-scores and interpretive comments.


The SWSI is a South African developed assessment and has South African norms. It has been used in a number of studies investigating stress, burnout, emotional intelligence, self-directed learning, and coping in a variety of contexts.JVR Psychometrics also welcomes the opportunity to partner on research initiatives in your organisation.

Basic info



Age range

Individuals 16 years and older

Administration time

20-30 minutes (59 items)

Comparison group

SA Norms

Language availability

English and Afrikaans

Scoring options

Data Capturing by Client Services

Integrated report options


Additional info

© 2023 JvR Psychometrics. All rights reserved.

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