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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2022

Rosemary Lysaght, Terry Krupa and Allan W. Gregory

This study explored how intermittent work capacity (IWC) presents in workplaces in order to advance conceptual understanding of this phenomenon and establish a set of initial…

Abstract

Purpose

This study explored how intermittent work capacity (IWC) presents in workplaces in order to advance conceptual understanding of this phenomenon and establish a set of initial principles to assist in its management.

Design/methodology/approach

The study followed a grounded theory approach in a multi-stage data collection process. In total, 25 employers representing diverse employment sectors were recruited with a goal of exploring their experiences with IWC. The first phase of the study comprised individual interviews with all employers. A subset of these employers later participated in two focus groups organized by company size. Finally, in-depth case studies were conducted with two information rich organizations to understand their approaches to managing IWC. Analysis methods consistent with grounded theory were used.

Findings

Although employers have a variety of positive motivations for supporting employees with IWC, they are challenged by the uncertainty arising from the unpredictable work patterns associated with IWC. Five distinct expressions of uncertainty were identified. Negotiation of this uncertainty involves attention to a range of factors, including intrapersonal factors, workplace relations and morale, specific job demands, communication processes, and structural and organizational factors.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study advance understanding of the expression of IWC, and factors that influence its impact. This paper presents a series of workplace strategies that both enable the well-being and capabilities of employees who experience IWC, and ensure productive and diverse workplaces.

Originality/value

The findings of this study advance understanding of the expression of IWC, and factors that influence its impact. This paper presents a series of workplace strategies that both enable the well-being and capabilities of employees who experience IWC, and ensure productive and diverse workplaces.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Rosemary Lysaght, Michael J. Roy, Jack S. Rendall, Terry Krupa, Liam Ball and Janessa Davis

The aim of this exploratory, mixed methods study was to develop and test a tool that identifies foundational dimensions of work integration social enterprises (WISEs) for use in…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this exploratory, mixed methods study was to develop and test a tool that identifies foundational dimensions of work integration social enterprises (WISEs) for use in empirical studies and enterprise self-assessment. Construction of the initial prototype was based upon a review of the literature and prior qualitative research by the authors.

Design/methodology/approach

A 20-item question pool with a four-point response scale was constructed to explore WISE business and employment practices and strategies for worker growth and development. Three sequential field tests were conducted with the prototype – the first with 5 Canadian WISEs, the second with 14 WISEs in the UK and the third with 6 Canadian WISEs involved in an outcome study in the mental health sector. Each field test included completion of the questionnaire by persons with managerial responsibility within the WISE and evaluative feedback captured through questions on the applicability and interpretability of the items.

Findings

Testing of the prototype instrument revealed the inherent diversity in the field and the difficulty in creating questions that both embrace that diversity and produce unidimensional variables definable along a spectrum. A number of challenges with question structure were identified and have been modified throughout the iterative testing process.

Research limitations/implications

This study identified central domains for inclusion in a multi-dimensional WISE assessment tool. Further testing will help further refine scaling and establish psychometric properties.

Originality/value

This measure will provide a descriptive profile of WISEs across sectors and identify WISE core dimensions for research and organizational development.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 June 2019

Terry Krupa, Judith Sabetti and Rosemary Lysaght

The purpose of the present study was to advance a theoretical understanding of the mechanisms by which WISEs can influence the stigma associated with mental illness. Many people…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the present study was to advance a theoretical understanding of the mechanisms by which WISEs can influence the stigma associated with mental illness. Many people with serious mental illnesses want to work, but despite much attention to work entry strategies, unemployment rates remain exceptionally high among this population. Stigma has been identified as a particularly pernicious barrier to the full community participation of people with mental illnesses. If work integration social enterprises (WISE) are to positively impact the full community participation of people with mental illnesses, then addressing stigma will be integral to their operation.

Design/methodology/approach

A comparative case study approach was used to address the following research questions: “How is the stigma of mental illness experienced in the everyday operations of WISE?” and “What influence do WISEs have on the stigma of mental illness within the workplace and beyond?” Five established WISEs that pay workers at minimum wage or better were selected for inclusion. The maximum variation sample included WISEs that varied in terms of geographical location, form of commerce, business size, revenues and degree of connection with mental health systems and local communities. Data analysis was conducted in four stages using qualitative methods.

Findings

The study findings suggest processes by which WISEs can positively impact the stigma of mental illness. Three social processes are associated with the potential of WISE to contribute to stigma reduction: perception of legitimacy, perception of value and perception of competence. Each of these social processes is fueled by underlying tensions in practice that arise in the context of negotiating the dual goals of the business.

Research limitations/implications

This study advances theoretical understanding of the ways in which stigma may be perpetuated or reduced in WISE by revealing the social processes and practice tensions that may be associated with operation choices made by WISEs and their partners. Further research would be required to determine if the processes described actually lead to reduced stigma. Although efforts were made to select WISEs that demonstrate a variety of features, it is likely that some important features were absent. Additional research could further explore the findings identified here with WISEs from other sectors, including youth and workers with transient or less severe forms of illness. This work should be replicated internationally to explore how contextual factors may influence individual and public perceptions.

Practical implications

The findings provide guidance for WISE developers in the mental health sector concerning strategies that may help mitigate the development of stigmatizing features within a social enterprise and by extension improve the work experience and workforce integration of employees. The identification of these processes and tensions can be used to advance the development of consensus principles and standards in the WISE field and contribute to ongoing evaluation and research.

Social implications

WISEs have the potential to reduce stigma, an important goal to support their efforts to improve employment and integration outcomes for people with mental illnesses. Through their business structures and operations they may be able to impact stigma by positively influencing perceptions of legitimacy, value and competence – all issues that have been associated with public assumptions about mental illness that sustain stigma.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is one of the first to specifically focus on stigma in the WISE sector, particularly as it relates to the work integration of persons with mental illnesses. The findings provide a range of theoretical and practical implications for future development in the field and highlight factors that merit consideration more broadly in the sector.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 December 2021

Sarah Barton, Hayley Porter, Susanne Murphy and Rosemary Lysaght

Social enterprise has the potential to serve as a mechanism of social and economic opportunity for persons experiencing homelessness. This paper aims to identify potential…

Abstract

Purpose

Social enterprise has the potential to serve as a mechanism of social and economic opportunity for persons experiencing homelessness. This paper aims to identify potential outcomes of work integration social enterprises (WISEs) for people who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, or transitioning out of homelessness.

Design/methodology/approach

Searches of 14 databases were completed using keywords and subject headings pertaining to homelessness, social enterprise and employment, respectively. These searches were then combined to identify literature concerning WISEs with homeless populations. The initial search yielded 784 unique articles. Through screening, 29 articles were selected and independently coded to establish themes.

Findings

The analysis identified the potential for WISEs to contribute positively to the lives of the target population in the areas of connection to the community, employment skill building, mental health, personal agency and empowerment, relationship-building, structure and time use, financial stability and housing. There were less positive and mixed findings regarding substance use, crime/delinquency, physical health and transition to mainstream employment. Future research should further explore causal relationships between WISE approaches and strategies and their potential implications for persons emerging from homelessness.

Originality/value

Prior to this research, there have not been any recent publications that synthesize the existing body of literature to evaluate the potential outcomes of WISE participation for homeless populations. This paper lays the groundwork for future empirical studies.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 March 2021

Rebecca E. Gewurtz, Karen Harlos, Emile Tompa, Margaret Oldfield, Rosemary Lysaght, Sandra Moll, Bonnie Kirsh, Hélène Sultan-Taïeb, Katie Cook and Sergio Rueda

Although awareness is growing of the importance of employee mental health and the value of inclusive work practices, less is known about how to support employees with mental…

1162

Abstract

Purpose

Although awareness is growing of the importance of employee mental health and the value of inclusive work practices, less is known about how to support employees with mental illness (MI). We aimed to explore organizational strategies and work practices that promote retention and support of employees living with MI in relation to past theory-driven research by building and extending current theory.

Design/methodology/approach

We adopted a qualitative case-study approach focussed on organizations that have taken steps towards promoting workplace inclusion for employees with MI. Five diverse Canadian organizations were recruited based on their efforts to build psychologically safe and healthy workplaces, and actively support employees with MI. Data collection in each organization consisted of onsite observation and interviews with workplace stakeholders, including employees with MI, their co-workers, supervisors/managers and human resource professionals. Thirty interviews were conducted from across the five organizations. Data analysis was informed by interpretive description to identify challenges and opportunities.

Findings

Two key themes were noted in depictions of supportive workplaces: (1) relationship-focussed workplaces and (2) flexible, inclusive work practices.

Originality/value

These practices highlight how organizations support employees with MI. Despite our focus on organizations working towards inclusion, the stigma associated with MI and the rigidity of some workplace processes continue to limit support and retention. Our findings suggest that organizations should focus on communication processes, support mechanisms, how they reinforce flexibility, inclusion and oversight of employees with MI.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 41 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Bob Doherty

355

Abstract

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Andrea Nga Wai Chan

This paper aims to explore the ways in which social supports can promote enduring attachments to work and improve overall well-being of disadvantaged workers, within the context…

1122

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the ways in which social supports can promote enduring attachments to work and improve overall well-being of disadvantaged workers, within the context of social purpose enterprises.

Design/methodology/approach

With coordinators, managers and directors as informants, this mixed-methods study uses a survey and interviews to establish the availability and importance of different social supports found in social purpose enterprises across Canada, and to explore the reasons for such support mobilization and the influences that determine whether social supports are sought or accepted.

Findings

Findings substantiate the prevalence and importance of work-centred social supports. Social supports can promote more sustainable attachment to work by addressing work process challenges, ameliorating workplace conflict, attending to non-vocational work barriers and building workers’ self-confidence and self-belief. The source of a support, as well as the relationship between support providers and recipients, contributes to whether supports will be beneficial to recipients.

Research limitations/implications

Future studies require corroboration directly from the employees and training participants of social purpose enterprises. The limitations on the sampling and the survey response rate may limit generalizability of findings.

Practical implications

Findings contribute to knowledge on more effective social support provision for improved work outcomes and overall well-being of employees and training participants.

Originality/value

Applying theory from social support research brings greater clarity to the potential of work-centred supports for addressing both vocational and non-vocational barriers to employment and job training for disadvantaged workers.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 April 2018

Ariella Meltzer, Rosemary Kayess and Shona Bates

People with intellectual disability have a low rate of employment in Australia and internationally. Their low employment rate is set within a context of limited employment…

1471

Abstract

Purpose

People with intellectual disability have a low rate of employment in Australia and internationally. Their low employment rate is set within a context of limited employment choices. Further, the most common types of work currently undertaken by people with intellectual disability – open and sheltered employment – have limitations and may not be suitable for everyone. Expanding the employment choices available represents an important way forward, but evidence is needed to guide the expansion. This paper aims to contribute to the evidence required by comparing people with intellectual disability’s experience and outcomes in open and sheltered employment to their experience and outcomes working in social enterprises, which is becoming an important alternative employment option for this group.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses the qualitative accounts of 51 people with intellectual disability to compare experiences and outcomes in open, sheltered and social enterprise employment in Australia.

Findings

The paper finds that social enterprises combine some of the benefits of open and sheltered employment and thus expand employment choice. However, the level of business/market development and opportunities for employment in social enterprises are currently limited and require further development and scale to enable social enterprises to be an option for more people with intellectual disability. Policy implications are drawn out for expanding employment choice, in particular through social enterprise employment, for people with intellectual disability.

Originality/value

The paper offers the first three-way comparison of open, sheltered and social enterprise employment for people with intellectual disability, contributing to both the disability employment and social enterprise literature.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 1960

G.M. PATERSON

For the first time since this series of annual reviews of the literature of special librarianship and information work began, the authorship has changed hands. It is fitting to…

Abstract

For the first time since this series of annual reviews of the literature of special librarianship and information work began, the authorship has changed hands. It is fitting to pay tribute to the skill with which Mr J. Bird has compiled this review each year and to express the hope that the same standards of selectivity and pragmatic appraisal set by Mr Bird will be maintained. The aim of the survey remains unchanged: to bring to the notice of librarians, particularly those in the smaller organizations, the more significant and practically useful books, pamphlets, and articles which appeared during the past year, or, more strictly, were received in the Aslib library during the past year. Experience of the types of inquiry most frequently received in the Aslib library has been particularly useful in determining the type of publication that could most profitably be included. As has been stressed in previous years, the survey is not intended to be used as a bibliographical tool, since this purpose is adequately served by other existing services, but rather as a guide to current reading.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 12 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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