Job stress interventions and the organization of work

University of Bern, Department of Psychology, Muesmattstr 45, CH-3000 Bern 9, Switzerland.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health (Impact Factor: 3.45). 01/2007; 32(6):515-27. DOI: 10.5271/sjweh.1056
Source: PubMed


Interventions that aim at improving health by changing the organization of work-in terms of task characteristics, work conditions, and social aspects-have shown their potential, but results are mixed, and many studies do not use their methodological potential. It is proposed that interventions at the organizational level are likely to have a more diverse effect than at the individual level, as the number of subsystems, with potentially diverging interests, is larger. Even well-implemented interventions are not likely to lead to improvements in all parameters for all participants, and trade-offs have to be considered. Methodological improvement is necessary but should not only focus on design issues, but also on careful documentation and subgroup analyses. A combination of person-focused and organization-focused approaches is the most promising. Finally, evidence points to the limited utility of economic arguments for the acceptance of health promotion projects; the necessity of professional trust is therefore emphasized.

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Available from: Norbert Semmer, Jan 16, 2015
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    • "This kind of intervention views organisations as '(co-)generators' of stress-related health risks (Cox et al., 2007) and, correspondingly, target risk factors (and resources) at the work, group and company levels. However, studies show that these interventions are often ineffective and have the tendency not to reach the intended goals, whereby the evidence is rather inconclusive (Nielsen et al., 2010; Semmer, 2006). The primary aim of this special issue is to bring together some of the latest research surrounding organisational level interventions; to understand how intervention design promotes successful implementation, effectiveness and sustainability, considering the heterogeneous and dynamic contexts of socio-technical systems. "

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    • "In order to establish that the resource-oriented intervention can in principle work, there needs to be a reasonable quantity of good-quality evidence that the specific well-being problem is amenable to change through the resource-oriented intervention. As Semmer (2006) suggests, some well-being problems may only respond to personal or individual treatment. In other words, why intervene to change a specific wellbeing problem if it is not in principle amenable to change through the resource-oriented well-being intervention proposed? "
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    ABSTRACT: Although there is much research on the links between work and well-being, there is relatively little good-quality research on resource-based or other interventions such as more traditional stress management and job redesign. This paper provides guidance about how to improve the quality of intervention research. First, drawing on the logic of interventions and principles of evidence-based practice, we take the example of a relatively simple resource-oriented intervention to identify 11 key characteristics that we would expect to see in an evidence-based intervention of this type. These characteristics and their underlying principles can be used to evaluate the quality of existing intervention studies and guide the design of future interventions. Second, we discuss an evidence-based approach to reporting the process and the outcomes of interventions. Providing only limited information about an intervention means that it is difficult to replicate or use that method in practice. We describe a checklist developed in a more mature evidence-based field (medicine) that can be used to ensure that sufficient intervention details are reported. Next, we discuss the importance of reporting all the outcomes of all interventions. Last, we consider the ways in which this approach to improving interventions is not only important scientifically and practically but also ethically.
    09/2015; 88(3). DOI:10.1111/joop.12133
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    • "Second, organizational constraints meant that it was not possible to allocate teams at random to different training conditions: This is a common problem in organizational intervention research (Richardson & Rothstein, 2008). When random allocation is not possible, outcome-only evaluation methods do not yield sufficient data to illuminate change processes (Semmer, 2006). Third, understanding the relative impact of (a) team implementation , (b) the team member training, (c) the team leader training, and (d) examining the interactions between them was likely to involve the examination of many constructs in complex mechanisms. "
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    ABSTRACT: A mixed methods approach was applied to examine the effects of a naturally occurring teamwork intervention supported with training. The first objective was to integrate qualitative process evaluation and quantitative effect evaluation to examine how and why the training influence intervention outcomes. The intervention (N = 328) was supplemented with four training conditions (no training, team member training, team leader training, and a combination of training types). The second objective was to examine whether different training conditions support team member training in isolation, but not in combination, led to positive outcomes. The integrated analysis of qualitative and quantitative data indicated that a number of contextual factors interacted with training experiences and outcomes to influence the success of team intervention.
    Journal of Mixed Methods Research 06/2015; DOI:10.1177/1558689815589050 · 1.91 Impact Factor
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