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Article
Publication date: 27 March 2009

Sara Göransson, Katharina Näswall and Magnus Sverke

The purpose of this study is to introduce the concept of workrelated health attributions and investigate the effects of such perceptions as well as of health status on…

1288

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to introduce the concept of workrelated health attributions and investigate the effects of such perceptions as well as of health status on workrelated attitudes and turnover intentions.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on attribution theory, the study tests the assumption that negative workrelated health attributions impair employee workrelated attitudes and intentions, and moderate the relation between health status and workrelated attitudes. Cross‐sectional questionnaire data from 785 Swedish retail white‐collar workers are collected to test these assumptions by utilizing moderated regression analyses.

Findings

The results show that negative workrelated health attributions are related to lower levels of job satisfaction and organizational commitment as well as higher levels of turnover intention, even after controlling for demographics, work climate variables, and mental distress. Further, the significant interaction between attributions and mental distress indicates that it makes a difference for employees' turnover intentions if an individual with high mental distress attributes it to work or not.

Practical implications

Workrelated health attributions should be taken into account in order to avoid impaired levels of employee work motivation. The measure introduced renders it possible to identify and help those individuals who believe that work affects their health negatively.

Originality/value

The results underscore the relevance of how individuals think their health is affected by their work, and contributes to the understanding of how health status relates to workrelated attitudes. Since the measure of workrelated health attributions is easily administered it is also valuable for practitioners working with employee health and attitudes.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2008

Stephen Stansfeld, Davina Woodley‐Jones, Farhat Rasul, Jenny Head, Simon Clarke and Colin Mackay

Over recent years there have been massive changes in working life and workplaces. Across the 1990s there has been a marked increase in reports of workrelated

Abstract

Over recent years there have been massive changes in working life and workplaces. Across the 1990s there has been a marked increase in reports of workrelated psychological distress in the UK. This paper uses the results of the most recent Occupational Health Decennial supplement (Office for National Statistics (ONS) & Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 2007), based on nationally representative data sources on distress at work, working conditions, sickness absence and psychiatric morbidity to examine the reasons for the apparent increase in workrelated psychological distress.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

Keywords

Abstract

Organizational researchers studying well-being – as well as organizations themselves – often place much of the burden on employees to manage and preserve their own well-being. Missing from this discussion is how – from a human resources management (HRM) perspective – organizations and managers can directly and positively shape the well-being of their employees. The authors use this review to paint a picture of what organizations could be like if they valued people holistically and embraced the full experience of employees’ lives to promote well-being at work. In so doing, the authors tackle five challenges that managers may have to help their employees navigate, but to date have received more limited empirical and theoretical attention from an HRM perspective: (1) recovery at work; (2) women’s health; (3) concealable stigmas; (4) caregiving; and (5) coping with socio-environmental jolts. In each section, the authors highlight how past research has treated managerial or organizational support on these topics, and pave the way for where research needs to advance from an HRM perspective. The authors conclude with ideas for tackling these issues methodologically and analytically, highlighting ways to recruit and support more vulnerable samples that are encapsulated within these topics, as well as analytic approaches to study employee experiences more holistically. In sum, this review represents a call for organizations to now – more than ever – build thriving organizations.

Details

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80455-046-5

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 January 2022

Sarah Waters and Hilda Palmer

The purpose of this paper is to examine how work-related suicides are monitored, investigated and regulated in the UK, examining a small selection of cases and drawing on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how work-related suicides are monitored, investigated and regulated in the UK, examining a small selection of cases and drawing on international comparison with other countries. Effective data collection and regulation are the cornerstone of suicide prevention, and this paper aims to consider whether the UK’s current regulatory framework provides an effective basis for preventing work-related suicides.

Design/methodology/approach

This study draws on qualitative sociological methods and is based on an in-depth analysis of 12 suicide cases occurring between 2015 and 2020. In each case, work-related causal factors had been previously identified by at least one official source (police enquiry, coroner or employer’s investigation). This study analysed multiple sources of documentation and undertook interviews with individuals close to each suicide case. The aim of this study was to consider the organisational response of three stakeholder organisations to the suicides: the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the coroner and the employer.

Findings

The study points to serious shortcomings in the UK’s regulatory response to work-related suicides. Suicides are currently not recorded, investigated or regulated. Whereas the fracture of an arm or leg in the workplace needs to be reported to the HSE for further investigation, a suicide occurring in the workplace or that is work-related does not need to be reported to any public agency. Employers are not required to investigate an employee suicide or make any changes to workplace policies and practices in the aftermath of a suicide. The work-related factors that may have caused one suicide may, therefore, continue to pose health and safety risks to other employees.

Originality/value

Whereas some recent studies have examined work-related suicides within specific occupations in the UK, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to analyse the UK’s regulatory framework for work-related suicides. The study on which the paper is based produced a set of recommendations that were targeted at key stakeholder organisations.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 May 2020

Ute Stephan, Jun Li and Jingjing Qu

Past research on self-employment and health yielded conflicting findings. Integrating predictions from the Stressor-Strain Outcome model, research on challenge stressors…

Abstract

Purpose

Past research on self-employment and health yielded conflicting findings. Integrating predictions from the Stressor-Strain Outcome model, research on challenge stressors and allostatic load, we predict that physical and mental health are affected by self-employment in distinct ways which play out over different time horizons. We also test whether the health impacts of self-employment are due to enhanced stress (work-related strain) and differ for man and women.

Design/methodology/approach

We apply non-parametric propensity score matching in combination with a difference-in-difference approach and longitudinal cohort data to examine self-selection and the causal relationship between self-employment and health. We focus on those that transit into self-employment from paid employment (opportunity self-employment) and analyze strain and health over four years relative to individuals in paid employment.

Findings

Those with poorer mental health are more likely to self-select into self-employment. After entering self-employment, individuals experience a short-term uplift in mental health due to lower work-related strain, especially for self-employed men. In the longer-term (four years) the mental health of the self-employed drops back to pre-self-employment levels. We find no effect of self-employment on physical health.

Practical implications

Our research helps to understand the nonpecuniary benefits of self-employment and suggests that we should not advocate self-employment as a “healthy” career.

Originality/value

This article advances research on self-employment and health. Grounded in stress theories it offers new insights relating to self-selection, the temporality of effects, the mediating role of work-related strain, and gender that collectively help to explain why past research yielded conflicting findings.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 1 November 2007

Irina Farquhar and Alan Sorkin

This study proposes targeted modernization of the Department of Defense (DoD's) Joint Forces Ammunition Logistics information system by implementing the optimized…

Abstract

This study proposes targeted modernization of the Department of Defense (DoD's) Joint Forces Ammunition Logistics information system by implementing the optimized innovative information technology open architecture design and integrating Radio Frequency Identification Device data technologies and real-time optimization and control mechanisms as the critical technology components of the solution. The innovative information technology, which pursues the focused logistics, will be deployed in 36 months at the estimated cost of $568 million in constant dollars. We estimate that the Systems, Applications, Products (SAP)-based enterprise integration solution that the Army currently pursues will cost another $1.5 billion through the year 2014; however, it is unlikely to deliver the intended technical capabilities.

Details

The Value of Innovation: Impact on Health, Life Quality, Safety, and Regulatory Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-551-2

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2003

Dave Backwith and Carol Munn‐Giddings

This article relates one aspect of an action research project on work related stress and mental health problems to its wider context. It is argued that self‐help/mutual…

Abstract

This article relates one aspect of an action research project on work related stress and mental health problems to its wider context. It is argued that self‐help/mutual aid, including self‐management, could make an important contribution to tackling the current epidemic of workrelated stress in the UK and elsewhere. Initiatives such as the government's Work‐Life Balance campaign indicate that the policy context is appropriate. An overview of the causes, costs of, and policy responses to workrelated stress is followed by a discussion on the nature of self‐help/mutual aid and the benefits that the sharing of experiential knowledge can bring to participants. This includes a specific, structured form of self‐help: self‐management programmes as led and used by mental health user groups. We conclude that self‐help initiatives can make a valuable contribution to addressing workrelated stress if employers support them. Beyond simply ameliorating staff retention problems, the experiential learning communities that could be created could be an asset, particularly in seeking to change workplace cultures to minimise workrelated mental stresses.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 2 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

Book part
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Mark Tausig and Rudy Fenwick

The “Social Determinants of Health” construct is well-entrenched in the way that both health care providers and researchers think about the effects of social conditions on…

Abstract

Purpose

The “Social Determinants of Health” construct is well-entrenched in the way that both health care providers and researchers think about the effects of social conditions on health. Although there are a number of theories that fall under this rubric for the social production of health and illness, the core of this construct is the idea that social stratification leads to health disparity. In this chapter we show how such a mechanism might work for relating social stratification and job stress.

Methodology/approach

We used the pooled 2002, 2006, 2010 Quality of Work Life modules of the General Social Survey to test a model of the relationships between gender, age, education, and nativity with “bad jobs” and indicators of health status.

Findings

Findings show that social status is positively associated with job quality and with health in turn. Lower social status characteristics are related to bad jobs and poorer health.

Research limitations/implications

Health disparities are thus “explained” by the consequences of social status for occupation and job quality, thereby depicting exactly how health disparities arise in normal social life. The theory and results underscore the importance of explicitly modeling social status factors in explanations of health disparities.

Social implications

It is common to relate health disparities to social status but it is not common to show the mechanisms whereby social status actually produces health disparities. Addressing health disparities means addressing the consequences of social inequalities for normal activities of social life such as work. Improving job quality would be a health “treatment” that addresses health disparities.

Originality/value

This chapter demonstrates the value of explicitly tracing the consequences of status differences on differences in social context such as work conditions and then health. In the study of health disparities this is not often done. In this chapter we show how social inequality leads to occupational and job quality differences that, in turn, lead to health differences.

Details

Special Social Groups, Social Factors and Disparities in Health and Health Care
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-467-9

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 June 2013

Jill Joyce

This paper aims to outline the extent and cost of workrelated mental ill health and the challenges it causes in the workplace. It focuses on what employers can do to…

1136

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to outline the extent and cost of workrelated mental ill health and the challenges it causes in the workplace. It focuses on what employers can do to facilitate an early return to work for those absent from work. It argues for a proactive approach to the management of mental ill health in the workplace and highlights the important role of the line manager. Good practice from Europe is reported.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reviews evidence from the HSE, EU_OSHA and IOSH.

Findings

Rather than only dealing reactively with cases of mental ill health in the workplace, it is more effective for an employer to adopt a proactive approach, recognising that employees are a valuable asset, assessing psychosocial risks and promoting health and wellbeing. This involves not only protecting their employees from workrelated health and safety risks, but also helping employees with minor conditions to stay at work, for example, by negotiating flexible hours. Employees also need opportunities to look after their own health and wellbeing at work. Finally, it is important to create a culture where working with a mental health condition is accepted by other employees as normal.

Originality/value

The paper highlights the importance of a proactive management approach to managing mental ill health.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 September 2012

Petra Nilsson, Ingemar H. Andersson, Göran Ejlertsson and Margareta Troein

In workplace health promotion, enhancing resources are less explored than risk factors. The aim of this paper is to explore the usability of the sense of coherence (SOC…

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Abstract

Purpose

In workplace health promotion, enhancing resources are less explored than risk factors. The aim of this paper is to explore the usability of the sense of coherence (SOC) theory to identify considerable and positively perceived workrelated factors and processes.

Design/methodology/approach

The study had a salutogenic approach to workplace health promotion. A total of 13 focus group interviews were conducted with hospital employees in Sweden. A deductive analysis was made with the SOC theory as a framework.

Findings

Workrelated specific enhancing resources (SER) were identified and analysed into the three components of SOC: comprehensibility, manageability, and meaningfulness. SER's implication in daily performance is explained by employee expressions. Through increased understanding and awareness, SER could contribute to savoring positive experiences, and enhance SOC among employees. Antonovsky's concept Generalized Resistance Resources is suggested to be enlarged based on the expressed significance of concrete daily positive work occurrences to increase one's SOC.

Research limitations/implications

Not all hospital professions were represented in the study. Further studies are required to involve physicians, paramedics, managers, as well as other settings, to compare and complement with additional experiences of workplace resources.

Practical implications

The study presents an opportunity to explore, understand, and foster workplace resources through assistance from the SOC theory. The SER presented in this study may serve as initial examples in workplace discussions about workrelated resources contributing to a sense of coherence.

Originality/value

This study contributes to public health research and workplace health promotion with a salutogenic focus on how to explore enhancing workrelated resources with the assistance of the practical SOC theory.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

Keywords

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