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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Victoria Blom, Pia Svedberg, Gunnar Bergström, Lisa Mather and Petra Lindfors

Focusing on 420 women employed within the woman-dominated health care sector, the purpose of this paper is to investigate how any variation in their total workload (TWL…

Abstract

Purpose

Focusing on 420 women employed within the woman-dominated health care sector, the purpose of this paper is to investigate how any variation in their total workload (TWL) in terms of paid and unpaid work relate to various subjective health complaints (SHC) (n=420) and the neuroendocrine stress marker cortisol (n=68).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors explored how any variation in their TWL in terms of paid and unpaid work related cross-sectionally to SHC (n=420), and the neuroendocrine stress marker cortisol (n=68).

Findings

Hierarchical regression analyses showed that stress of unpaid work was most strongly related to diurnal variations in cortisol. Both stress of paid and unpaid work as well as TWL stress, but not hours spent on TWL, were related to SHC.

Practical implications

Taken together, objective measures of hours spent on various TWL domains were unrelated to outcome measures while perceptions of having too much TWL and TWL stress were linked to both cortisol and SHC, i.e. how individuals perceive a situation seem to be more important for health than the actual situation, which has implications for research and efforts to reduce individual TWL.

Originality/value

This study is unique in showing that unpaid work and perceptions having too much TWL relate to stress markers in women working in the public health care sector.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2017

Aleksandra Bujacz, Claudia Bernhard-Oettel, Thomas Rigotti and Petra Lindfors

Self-employed workers typically report higher well-being levels than employees. The purpose of this paper is to examine the mechanisms that lead to differences in work…

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Abstract

Purpose

Self-employed workers typically report higher well-being levels than employees. The purpose of this paper is to examine the mechanisms that lead to differences in work engagement between self-employed and organizationally employed high-skilled workers.

Design/methodology/approach

Self-employed and organizationally employed high-skilled workers (N=167) were compared using a multigroup multilevel analysis. Participants assessed their job control (general level) and reported their work engagement during work tasks (task level) by means of the Day Reconstruction Method. Aspects of job control (autonomy, creativity, and learning opportunities) and task characteristics (social tasks and core work tasks) were contrasted for the two groups as predictors of work engagement.

Findings

Self-employed workers reported higher levels of job control and work engagement than organizationally employed workers. In both groups, job control predicted work engagement. Employees with more opportunities to be creative and autonomous were more engaged at work. Self-employed workers were more engaged when they had more learning opportunities. On the task level, the self-employed were more engaged during core work tasks and social tasks.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that self-employment is an effective way for high-skilled workers to increase the amount of job control available to them, and to improve their work engagement. From an intervention perspective, self-employed workers may benefit most from more learning opportunities, more social tasks, and more core work tasks. Organizationally employed workers may appreciate more autonomy and opportunities for creativity.

Originality/value

This study contributes to a better understanding of the role that job control and task characteristics play in predicting the work engagement of high-skilled self-employed and organizationally employed workers.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 22 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Article
Publication date: 10 December 2018

Gunnar Aronsson, Eva Charlotta Nylén, Lars Ishall, Petra Lindfors and Magnus Sverke

Social welfare work contains elements that may be difficult for employees to put out of their minds when the working day ends, which may affect the recovery. The purpose…

Abstract

Purpose

Social welfare work contains elements that may be difficult for employees to put out of their minds when the working day ends, which may affect the recovery. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the length of recovery in relation to different work characteristics and to two types of welfare work.

Design/methodology/approach

All 1,365 employees, excluding managers, of two municipality administrations were invited to a survey study. Of these, 673 (49 percent) responded. After adjusting for partial missing, the effective sample included 580 employees (43 percent). Retrospective ratings of four recovery windows were analyzed: recovery after one night’s sleep, weekends, shorter holidays and vacations.

Findings

Employees with a university education were less recovered than those with a shorter education. For those with a university education, the long arm of the job mainly involved failures regarding qualitative job demands (task difficulty). For those with a shorter education, quantitative job demands (too much to do) were most prominent for their prolonged recovery. Feedback from managers had consistent and positive associations with all four recovery windows among employees with a university education, but not among those with a shorter education for whom instead having too much to do and social support had significant spillover effects.

Originality/value

The identified differences may relate to employees with a university education having more problem-solving tasks, which may result in a higher need of work-related feedback but also in difficulties detaching from work. Thus, education and job characteristics have differential associations with self-rated recovery.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2018

Petra Lindfors and Niklas Hansen

New ownership types in health care of welfare states raise concerns regarding psychosocial work conditions including different control dimensions. The purpose of this…

Abstract

Purpose

New ownership types in health care of welfare states raise concerns regarding psychosocial work conditions including different control dimensions. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how job demands, control over work and control within work (CWW) were related to job satisfaction in publicly administered, private non-profit and private for-profit hospitals.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaire data came from employees at three hospitals; a publicly administered (n=774), a private non-profit (n=1,481) and a private for-profit (n=694) hospital. Mean-level analyses and hierarchical regressions with multiple group tests were conducted.

Findings

Demands including workload were significantly lower at the publicly administered hospital while the control dimension CWW was significantly higher. Background factors and their associations with job satisfaction differed slightly between ownership types. Attitudes to privatization were not associated with job satisfaction within any ownership type. Overall, psychosocial work characteristics, including job demands and control, were significantly associated with job satisfaction while their interactions showed no consistent associations with job satisfaction. As for the strength of the associations, no consistent differences emerged between ownership types.

Research limitations/implications

Using self-reports only, the associations between psychosocial work characteristics and job satisfaction seemed comparable across ownership types.

Practical implications

Associations between psychosocial work characteristics and job satisfaction seem comparable across ownership types. This may relate to societal demands on the structuring of costs, work and production efficiency being similar for all.

Originality/value

Contributions include researching different occupations and their attitudes to privatization and two control dimensions considered important for different ownership types.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 11 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Stefan Annell, Petra Lindfors and Magnus Sverke

The cost of selecting and training new police officers is high. However, previous research has provided limited guidance on how to select the best applicants. The purpose…

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3362

Abstract

Purpose

The cost of selecting and training new police officers is high. However, previous research has provided limited guidance on how to select the best applicants. The purpose of this paper is to enhance the understanding of the possibilities to select suitable applicants by using combinations of four common categories of selection methods, namely cognitive tests, personality inventories, physical tests, and rater-based methods (i.e. interviews).

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample of Swedish police recruits (n=750) the authors performed hierarchical multiple regression analyses, predicting four criteria – performance, satisfaction, retention, and health – at three consecutive time points (after two years of academy training, after six months of field training, and after the first work year).

Findings

No group of selection methods consistently predicted all four criteria at the three time points. In most analyses more than one class of selection methods were statistically significant, but the findings did not support the use of rater-based methods.

Practical implications

Instead of the common praxis of using interviews, the findings suggest an alternative praxis. This involves using the remaining information from cognitive tests, personality inventories, and general fitness tests that had been used in earlier hurdles to screen out unsuitable applicants.

Originality/value

The study extends previous research by including several follow-ups, showing the value of combining different selection methods, and using alternative criteria of successful police recruitment (i.e. satisfaction, retention, and health).

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2015

Ulrica von Thiele Schwarz and Petra Lindfors

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects on fitness outcomes of a work-based physical exercise (PE) intervention among women working in older people’s care…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects on fitness outcomes of a work-based physical exercise (PE) intervention among women working in older people’s care. In addition, effects on productivity-related outcomes including work ability and sickness absence were studied.

Design/methodology/approach

Employees participated in a one-year intervention involving two one-hour weekly mandatory PE sessions. The intervention (n=13) was compared to referents (n=12). Fitness tests and self-reports on work ability and sickness absence were obtained before the intervention (T1), six months into the intervention and after 12 months.

Findings

Fitness test scores (corrected for age and weight) increased significantly over time in the intervention group but not among referents. Perceived exertion decreased significantly in the intervention group and increased significantly among referents. For self-rated work ability and sickness absence, no significant time or group differences emerged.

Research limitations/implications

Further research on larger groups of women is needed to delineate the effects of PE on self-rated productivity and performance.

Practical implications

Work-based PE programs can improve fitness among women in older people’s care.

Social implications

With previous research having primarily focussed on men, this study shows that women in blue-collar jobs also may benefit from taking part in work-based PE programs.

Originality/value

This paper makes an important contribution through its focus on the effects of a work-based PE program on fitness and possible relations to productivity, among employed women.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Lena Låstad, Erik Berntson, Katharina Näswall, Petra Lindfors and Magnus Sverke

The purpose of this paper is to develop and validate a measure of job insecurity climate by: first, testing whether job insecurity climate and individual job insecurity…

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2643

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop and validate a measure of job insecurity climate by: first, testing whether job insecurity climate and individual job insecurity are two separate constructs; and second, investigating the relative importance of individual job insecurity and job insecurity climate in predicting work-related and health-related outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected by questionnaires in a simple stratified random sample of 1,380 white-collar workers in Sweden. The response rate was 56 percent.

Findings

Confirmatory factor analyses showed that job insecurity climate was distinct from individual job insecurity. Four separate ridge regression analyses showed that qualitative job insecurity climate was a significant predictor of demands, work-family conflict, psychological distress, and poor self-rated health and that quantitative job insecurity climate predicted demands and work-family conflict.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based on self-reports, which may involve common method bias. The cross-sectional study design limits the possibility to make causal inferences regarding the relationship between job insecurity climate and outcomes.

Practical implications

Future studies may consider measuring job insecurity climate in line with a referent-shift model. Work environment surveys in organizations that include measures of individual job insecurity and job insecurity climate can provide practitioners with a fuller picture of the psychosocial work environment.

Originality/value

The present study adds to previous research by introducing a new approach to measuring and conceptualizing job insecurity climate.

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