Article

Managers' Active Support when Implementing Teams: The Impact on Employee Well‐Being

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Abstract

Research has shown that a variety of organisational change interventions can be effective but the powerful positive results of an intervention do not always generalise to other similar settings. Problems with implementation and a difficult intervention context have been shown to undermine the effectiveness of promising interventions. The impact that middle managers have on the change process and intervention outcomes has not been widely researched. This longitudinal intervention study was carried out in the elderly care sector in a large Danish local government organisation (N = 188), where poor social support, and lack of role clarity and meaningful work had been identified as significant problems. To tackle these problems, teamwork was implemented, with teams having some degree of self-management. It examined whether middle managers' active support for the intervention mediated its impact on working conditions, well-being and job satisfaction. Structural equation modelling showed that middle managers' active involvement in implementing the change partially mediated the relationship between working conditions at time 1 and time 2. Working conditions at time 2 were in turn related to time 2 job satisfaction and well-being. These results suggest that the degree to which employees perceive their middle managers to play an active role in implementing change is related to intervention outcomes.

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... Middle managers as drivers of change. The roles and behaviours of middle managers are often overlooked in organizational intervention evaluation (Nielsen & Randall, 2009; Randall et al., 2007). While senior managers usually make the strategic decisions, middle managers are often those responsible for progress by communicating and implementing intervention activities (Kompier, Cooper, & Geurts, 2000). ...
... While senior managers usually make the strategic decisions, middle managers are often those responsible for progress by communicating and implementing intervention activities (Kompier, Cooper, & Geurts, 2000). Both the active (Randall, Griffiths, & Cox, 2005) and passive resistance (Saksvik et al., 2002) of middle managers have been found to influence intervention outcomes, as has middle managers as the drivers of change (Nielsen et al., 2006; Nielsen & Randall, 2009). To study the driver of change role, it can be useful to break the role down to the actual behaviours and processes carried out in order to study at which phase they influence intervention outcomes. ...
... For this, usually a second round of the initial screening survey is used, sometimes together with measures of the process (e.g. Nielsen et al., 2007; Nielsen & Randall, 2009) and any qualitative data collected. Some researchers advocate the use of psychological health and well-being as outcome measures when evaluating organizational interventions (Richardson & Rothstein, 2008), whereas others argue that there is a need to examine the level of effects at which the intervention programme brings about changes (e.g. ...
Article
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Organizational interventions are often recommended when organizations want to improve employee psychological health and well-being. Research, however, has revealed inconsistent results and reviewers have called for research on why interventions either bring about desired change or fail to do so. Answering the “how” and “why” of intervention outcomes requires a close examination of the elements that hinder or facilitate desired outcomes, thus moving beyond evaluation of only the overall effects. In this paper, we present an evaluation framework based on recent intervention research and process-oriented organization theory. The framework offers suggestions for which elements to include when evaluating organizational interventions. Within the framework, elements crucial to intervention evaluation are grouped into four overarching categories that we argue are crucial to evaluation over the five phases of an intervention programme. These categories are: the organizational “actors”; the mental models of those actors; the context of the intervention; and intervention design and process. Evaluation during the process as well as of the overall effects, as recommended by this framework, should throw light on what works for whom, why, how and under which circumstances.
... Decades of research suggest that the success or failure of strategies and interventions, especially related to employee health and safety, depends upon front-line managers and supervisors. Leadership training is critical when trying to realize outcomes related to health and wellbeing (Dimoff & Kelloway, 2019;Hammer et al., 2019;Kelloway & Barling, 2010;Nielsen & Randall, 2009). Recent workplace mental health interventions focus on training leaders to identify and support employees who may be struggling with mental health challenges. ...
... When it comes to employee mental health, supervisors may serve as an important resource in improving employee mental health and wellbeing. Supervisors are in a unique position to establish strong, supportive relationships (Hammer et al., 2019;Nielsen & Randall, 2009;Odle-Dusseau, Hammer, Crain, & Bodner, 2016), identify signs that indicate employees may be struggling (Dimoff & Kelloway, 2018), and intervene to help employees cope with job demands (Hammer et al., 2019;Nielsen & Randall, 2009). ...
... When it comes to employee mental health, supervisors may serve as an important resource in improving employee mental health and wellbeing. Supervisors are in a unique position to establish strong, supportive relationships (Hammer et al., 2019;Nielsen & Randall, 2009;Odle-Dusseau, Hammer, Crain, & Bodner, 2016), identify signs that indicate employees may be struggling (Dimoff & Kelloway, 2018), and intervene to help employees cope with job demands (Hammer et al., 2019;Nielsen & Randall, 2009). ...
... Middle management exerts a special position with regard to implementation of change [9,10,[19][20][21]. Middle management may implement the determining factor modulating whether or not a change will be executed successfully [19]. ...
... This theme was captured among the managers with groups that retrograde development. It seems that the managers and their attitudes towards the intervention remains of immense importance [3,9,10,[19][20][21] and since the narratives of their leadership were exclusive for the 'retrograde' managers and not shared by the consultants its appealing to interpret the statements as either a way of defending themselves against shameful associations [12] in that they were afraid of implementing the change [19], or as an expression of resentfulness that their specific needs were not being met [16]. The second experience, this time by the managers that showed progress, not shared with the consultants was statements about that they had wanted the fitters to have been involved in the workshops. ...
... The theme consisting of just one manager, who did not seem to be able to use the intervention at all, was not shared by the consultants. The reason for that is unclear but it once again suggests the manager's importance in distributing a change process [9][10][11]21]. Why the managers' theme of becoming a team were not a shared experience with the consultants raises questions, especially since this was the purpose of the intervention [1]. ...
Article
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The present study examines a large scale intervention program within the manufacturing industry with the purpose of improving cooperation and health among both management and production teams. Altogether 31 management teams and 132 production teams, comprising 1596 individuals, participated in this intervention program. All the management teams were assigned a budget of nine hours of consultation-time each, plus a GDQ-measurement before and at the termination of the project. There were six meetings during the project and each meeting lasted one and a half hours. Four groups met concurrently, in the same room together with the two consultants. The present results target the issue of consultants’ and managers’ perceptions of the intervention process, but not the outcomes or the result of the intervention performed. Interviews were carried out with the two consultants who conducted the whole intervention and ten of the top managers who participated in the intervention. The interviews focused upon critical aspects associated with either success or failure before, during and after the intervention program. Content analyses were performed for consultant and managers separately, in order to extract themes describing their views of the intervention process. Similarities and differences between consultants’ and managers’ perceptions of the process are discussed.
... Nonetheless, both of these resources seem like compelling targets for improving the chances that employees will experience more meaningful work due to the fact that they are aspects of job design, which can be modified at the organizational level, rather than relying on individual workers enacting changes. This suggestion is bolstered by a longitudinal study among elder care workers that showed how active involvement of middle managers toward improving teamwork led to more positive perceptions of working conditions, a variable which included meaningful work in this study ( Nielsen & Randall, 2009). Improvements in working conditions were further related to improvements in job satisfaction and well-being. ...
... As has been the case with understanding the predictors of meaningful work, longitudinal research methods are the most common ones used to test thoughts about causality. Several studies have found that changes in meaningful work precede changes in job satisfaction and well-being, suggesting that these are potential benefits of meaningful work ( Nielsen & Randall, 2009). One of the clearest benefits of meaningful work is reduced absenteeism. ...
... Resonance builds on research showing that leaders who can express a vision and purpose for an organization make it easier for workers to find meaning in their efforts ( Judge & Piccolo, 2004). Theoretically, being able to find similarities between one's own personal missions and purposes and those of one's employer should help workers feel more motivated to support organizational missions, and should help workers feel that their work makes their lives better overall by supporting their meaning in life ( Nielsen & Randall, 2009;Steger et al., 2012). Expansion builds on research and theory pointing to the importance of viewing one's work as benefitting others (e.g., Dik, Eldridge, et al., 2012;Grant, 2007;Steger et al., 2012). ...
Chapter
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This chapter reviews current theory, assessment, and research on meaningful work with the hopes that a better understanding might enable meaningful work to be cultivated and harnessed to maximize performance, build strong brands, nurture innovation, and benefit both employees and their host communities while they are at it. Building on a long tradition, recent years have been particularly exciting ones for meaningful work, with accelerating publication of research reports detailing the many desirable characteristics and outcomes linked to meaningful work. The chapter focuses on the relevant scholarship to review those qualities that characterize such meaning&;#x02010;friendly conditions. First, meaningful work theory is reviewed to identify the major themes and dimensions of meaningful work. Second, meaningful work assessment is reviewed. Third, correlates, predictors, and benefits of meaningful work are reviewed. Fourth, practical recommendations for fostering meaningful work are suggested to guide individual workers, leaders, and organizations.
... Previous research has found that change agents have a positive impact on employees' (as recipients of change) psychological wellbeing and job satisfaction. Nielsen and Randall (2009) found that having line managers who had been allocated the role of change agents in the implementation of a teamwork organisational change was related to improved employee role clarity, social support and a meaningful work which in turn was related to improved job satisfaction, and to a lesser extent psychological wellbeing among employees. From the field of organisational interventions, Tafvelin, von Thiele Schwarz, Nielsen, and Hasson (2018) found that active line management support in the early phases of the intervention was related to increased employee participation in the later phases of the intervention which in turn was related to job satisfaction post-intervention. ...
... As they stand in front of colleagues, they may experience distress which will prevent them from developing feelings of mastering the seminars. Change agents high in P-R fit may feel the role is more appropriate for them and thus more likely to believe they can rely on their competencies to succeed in the role (Nielsen & Randall, 2009). ...
Article
Participation is generally recommended when implementing organisational interventions, however, understanding how participation works remains understudied. In a cluster-randomised, controlled intervention employing a wait-list control design, we explore whether perceptions of individual or collective participation had the greatest impact on a participatory organisational intervention’s outcomes; work engagement and burnout. We conducted the study in the Danish postal service (N = 330). Using multi-level analyses, we found that perceptions of individual participation predicted improvements in work engagement and reductions in burnout post-intervention, however, these relationships became non-significant after including perceptions of being part of a collective participatory process in the model. Our findings add to the understanding of the role participation and in particular, perceptions of a collective participatory intervention process, plays in ensuring interventions achieve their intended outcomes.
... and the success of organizational interventions aiming to improve safety, health or well-being of employees (e.g. Nielsen and Randall, 2009;Randall et al., 2007). Although these studies have established that supervision can influence intervention outcomes, studies have yet to examine the relationship between supervision and an employee's satisfaction with an intervention. ...
... Further, research has demonstrated that middle manager support can act as a mediator between intervention and outcomes (e.g. Nielsen and Randall, 2009). However, in each of these studies, scholars followed the assumption that more supervisor support will always lead to better intervention outcomes and that the form of this relationship is consistent throughout the range of supervisor support. ...
Article
Purpose This purpose of this paper is to investigate the possibility of non-linear relationships between supervisor support for stress management and intervention process ratings from a workplace stress management intervention to highlight how context shapes intervention experience. Design/methodology/approach Data from 37 nurses and nurse aides assigned to the treatment group in an occupational stress management intervention were analyzed using polynomial regression in SPSS. Findings A quadratic function with a U-shape best explained variance in process variables for the relationship between supervisor support for stress management at baseline and ratings of intervention relation reactions and overall perceptions of session helpfulness in both sessions and for task reactions in session 1. Those with low and high supervisor support for stress management tended to perceive the intervention favorably, which is framed in terms of the intervention compensating for or complimenting their work environment, respectively. Research limitations/implications Although exploratory and based on a small sample, this paper lays the groundwork for future theoretically-grounded investigations of relationship between intervention context and process. Practical implications Results provide a rationale for training supervisors in stress management support as a supplement to a workplace intervention. Originality/value This paper investigates a novel molar supervisor support construct and challenges previous research that assumes that the relationship between context and intervention process or outcomes always conform to a simple linear relationship.
... Previous research has found that change agents have a positive impact on employees' (as recipients of change) psychological wellbeing and job satisfaction. Nielsen and Randall (2009) found that having line managers who had been allocated the role of change agents in the implementation of a teamwork organisational change was related to improved employee role clarity, social support and a meaningful work which in turn was related to improved job satisfaction, and to a lesser extent psychological wellbeing among employees. From the field of organisational interventions, Tafvelin, von Thiele Schwarz, Nielsen, and Hasson (2018) found that active line management support in the early phases of the intervention was related to increased employee participation in the later phases of the intervention which in turn was related to job satisfaction post-intervention. ...
... As they stand in front of colleagues, they may experience distress which will prevent them from developing feelings of mastering the seminars. Change agents high in P-R fit may feel the role is more appropriate for them and thus more likely to believe they can rely on their competencies to succeed in the role (Nielsen & Randall, 2009). ...
Article
Organizational changes do not always achieve their intended outcomes and have been found to have negative consequences on employee wellbeing. It has been argued that this is because change processes need to support employees adopting the change. In the present study, we study an organizational change aimed to improve employee capacity to provide eHealth services. To support the change, employees were appointed change agents and trained in running seminars to facilitate the change. Using Person-Job fit as our theoretical framework, we proposed that change agents who perceived they possess the necessary competencies to deal with the change agent role (Person-Role fit) would feel more efficacious in this role and be more satisfied with their jobs post-change. We suggested that role-specific self-efficacy mediated the relationship between person-role fit and job satisfaction and that the most dissatisfied pre-change would perceive the greatest improvements in job satisfaction. Using a paired t-test, repeated measures analyses and mixed methods mediation testing, we found that change agents (N=110) reported increased job satisfaction post-change. Change agents who were dissatisfied with their jobs pre-change, but perceived a good fit to the change agent role, reported the greatest improvements in job satisfaction. No significant results were found for self-efficacy.
... When implementing changes or interventions the managerial leadership behaviors are important for the intervention outcome (Neves, 2009;Nielsen and Randall, 2009;Nielsen et al., 2007;Murta et al., 2007). Research suggests that, prior to implementing interventions, managers are key actors in promoting employees' feelings of readiness for change, and thus, in achieving rapid experience of benefits and adopting changes (Neves, 2009). ...
... Our results are also supported by research concerning implementation of organisational changes which assign that involvement and support from managers, during implementation, play an important role for employees' perception of a new intervention (Nielsen and Randall, 2009;Murta et al., 2007). Besides, there is strong support in the literature for managers to enhance employee performance by different behaviors relevant for the situation, e.g. ...
Article
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Activity-based workplaces (ABWs) are becoming popular in Western countries and were implemented at four office sites of a large Swedish government agency. A fifth office was used as a control group. The study aim was to examine the effects of relocation to ABW on perceived productivity among employees and to determine if perceived change-oriented leadership behavior prior to relocation moderates potential effects. Data were collected three months prior to relocation, and three and 12 months after. 407 respondents were included in linear mixed regression models. Perceived productivity decreased significantly after relocation compared to the control group and these effects persisted 12 months after the relocation. However, the decrease in perceived productivity was significantly smaller among employees perceiving high change-oriented leadership before relocation. Our results point out the importance of a change-oriented leadership behavior during the implementation to avoid productivity loss among employees when implementing ABWs.
... Associations were found between positive appraisals and intervention outcomes in terms of employee self-efficacy, job satisfaction, and well-being. In another study, based on data from the same intervention, Nielsen and Randall (2009) showed that managers' attitudes and actions in support of implementing change partially mediated the relationship for changes over time in working conditions. Improved working conditions were, in turn, related to increased job satisfaction and well-being. ...
... First, we study the role of transformational leadership in interventions to explore if generally effective, change-oriented, and theory-based leadership can additionally explain variation in intervention outcomes. Previous studies on managers during occupational interventions, such as the one conducted by Nielsen and Randall (2009), have mainly studied the impact of their attitudes and actions on intervention outcomes (i.e. the performance of activities such as giving information). The results of the present study indicate that this is indirectly the case, as the influence of transformational leadership was mediated by line managers' attitudes and actions towards the intervention. ...
Article
Line managers may play a central role in the success of occupational health interventions. However, few studies have focussed on the relationship between line managers’ behaviours and the outcomes of occupational health interventions. We examined the influence of both line managers’ attitudes and actions towards an intervention as well as their transformational leadership on the expected outcomes of the intervention (i.e. employee self-rated health and work ability). The intervention consisted of the implementation and use of a web-based system for occupational health management. A sample of 180 employees provided data for the analysis. Self-rated health and work ability were measured at the baseline (Time 1) and follow-up (Time 3), while employee ratings of line managers’ attitudes and actions, and transformational leadership were measured during the intervention process (Time 2). The results revealed that line managers’ attitudes and actions positively predicted changes in both self-rated health and work ability. The influence of transformational leadership was indirect and mediated through line managers’ attitudes and actions towards the intervention. Based on the results, we suggest using process measures that include aspects of both line managers’ attitudes and actions as well as their transformational leadership in future process evaluation.
... Eleven studies (13.25%) evaluate group-level changes designed to to improve interpersonal and working relationships among employees (Amos et al., 2005;Bergman et al., 2015;DiMeglio et al., 2005;Glisson et al., 2006Glisson et al., , 2012Kanste et al., 2010;Nielsen & Randall, 2009Tran et al., 2010;Tsirikas et al., 2012;Workman & Bommer, 2004;Yeatts & Cready, 2007). Unlike interventions that prompt work teams to change their work processes (see lean management), these interventions aim to change the organisational culture or communication and coordination among employees, and thereby enhance well-being. ...
... Unlike interventions that prompt work teams to change their work processes (see lean management), these interventions aim to change the organisational culture or communication and coordination among employees, and thereby enhance well-being. By devoting time to understanding each others' roles and encouraging "a climate with open discussions and joint decision-making," workers gain additional support which can lead to more effective self-management (Nielsen & Randall, 2009). Studies of these team interventions are primarily found in healthcare or social and public sector environments where employees assist external clients as part of their job and often rely on other employees to provide those services effectively. ...
Article
As a social determinant of health, work influences the health and well-being of workers. Interventions to change the conditions of work are an important complement to individually-focused wellness initiatives. This systematic literature review identified organisational- and group-level workplace intervention studies using experimental or quasi-experimental designs. It considered 83 studies with well-being outcomes that span the mental health continuum from ill-being to positive mental health, including context-free well-being (e.g. psychological distress), work-specific well-being (e.g. job satisfaction), and work-family well-being (e.g. work-family conflict). Interventions were categorised into four types: flexible work and scheduling changes; job and task modifications; relational and team dynamic initiatives; and participatory process interventions. There is significant heterogeneity in conceptualisation and measurement of well-being with job satisfaction being most commonly measured. Our review finds that strategies aiming to change work conditions have the potential to improve working well-being with demonstrable effects in all three well-being domains. Regardless of type, interventions involving increased control and opportunities for workers’ voice and participation more reliably improve worker well-being, suggesting these components are critical drivers of well-being. We recommend further research incorporate process evaluation to clarify how interventions create positive changes and examine the conditions in which specific interventions may be most effective.
... This was reported by the authors to have contributed to the positive effects. Also in an additional paper based on the same data (Nielsen et al. 2010), Nielsen and Randall (2009) found that employees' assessment of their working conditions, which was found to be the key predictor of employee wellbeing and job satisfaction, was in turn related to employees' ratings of their middle managers' active involvement in the intervention. ...
Technical Report
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Evidence report for NICE Guidance on workplace policy and management practices to improve the health of employees, based on a systematic literature review
... Ultimately, the SOS provides a strong foundation to kick-start the recognition process, but provides little to no guidance on how a manager should intervene when observing such warning signs. In alignment with prior research (Dimoff & Kelloway, in press;Nielsen & Randall, 2009;Nielsen, Fredslund, Christensen, & Albertsen, 2006), we recommend that for maximal benefit, leaders also receive training on how to use the SOS, and also on how to approach and assist employees who are displaying warning signs. This is especially important given that employees may be struggling for any number of reasons (e.g. ...
Article
For managers to successfully support employee access to mental health resources, they must first be able to recognise if and when an employee may need help. To manage employees effectively, managers must be able to recognise changes in employees’ work behaviour that may indicate when an employee is struggling at work. In study 1, we develop and establish the structure of the 20-item Signs of Struggle (SOS) checklist as comprising five factors that describe the warning signs of health impairment at work (i.e. distress, withdrawal, reduced attendance, degradations in performance, extreme behaviours). In study 2, we show that manager-rated signs of struggle correlated substantially (r = .72) with participant-reported strain. The SOS tool provides managers a way to recognise when employees may be struggling and could benefit from workplace resources. We recommend that for maximal benefit, managers also receive training on how to use the SOS, and also on how to approach and assist employees who are displaying warning signs.
... Resistance to change is inevitable, and the more a given change effort challenges people's existing norms of behavior and assumptions, the more resistance there will be (Kotter, 1996). Middle management can be resistant to new strategies if they feel they are losing control or influence (Kotter, 2007;Randall and Nielsen, 2009). Perhaps some middle managers are satisfied with the status quo or feel lack of empowerment, and that they cannot identify themselves with the burning platform, i.e. a sense of urgency for the change (Kotter, 1996;Harley et al., 2006;Michel et al., 2013). ...
Article
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to address a missing link between top management and employees when it comes to understanding how to successfully implement and embed workplace health promotion (WHP) as a strategy within organizations: the role of the middle managers. Design/methodology/approach A conceptual framework based on review of theory is applied within an empirical multi-case study that is part of a health intervention research project on increased physical activity among office workers. The study involves six Danish organizations. Findings Middle managers play a key role in successful implementation of WHP, but feel uncertain about their role, especially when it comes to engaging with their employees. Uncertainty about their role appears to make middle managers reluctant to take action on WHP and leave further action to top management instead. Research limitations/implications Limitations included the middle managers’ low attendance at the half-day seminar on strategic health (50 percent attendance), the fact that they were all office workers and they were all from Denmark. Practical implications Middle managers ask for more knowledge and skills if they are to work with WHP in daily business. Social implications Implementing and embedding WHP as a health strategy raises ethical issues of interfering with employees’ health, is seen as the employee’s personal responsibility. Originality/value This study adds to knowledge of the difficulties of implementing and embedding WHP activities in the workplace and suggests an explicit and detailed research design.
... Communication and employee participation were measured on the T2 and T3 surveys. The items were based on the Intervention Process Measure (Nielsen and Randall, 2009). The scale was introduced by giving a general description on actions that might have been taken in the ED in the past year. ...
Article
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This study reports the findings of a 2.5 year intervention project to reduce psychosocial risks and increase employee well-being in 15 emergency departments in the Netherlands. The project uses the psychosocial risk management approach “PRIMA” which includes cycles of risk assessment, designing and implementing changes, evaluating changes and adapting the approach if necessary. In addition, principles of participative action research were used to empower the departments in designing and implementing their own actions during the project. Next to determining overall effects, the study aims to assess potential moderators including the level of intervening (organization-directed or multilevel), process variables (the number and fit of actions to risk factors, communication and employee participation) and partaking in a Psychosocial Safety Climate intervention offered during the second half of the project. The results of linear mixed-model analyses showed that all job factors improved with the exception of autonomy, which did increase halfway the project but not when considering the entire timeframe. In addition, work engagement decreased and symptoms of burnout remained stable. Emergency departments that implemented more fitting actions, communicated better and involved their employees more in the process, had more favorable changes in job factors and more stable well-being. More activity (based on the number of actions implemented) and a multilevel approach regarding stress management did not lead to greater improvements. The Psychosocial Safety Climate intervention was effective in improving Psychosocial Safety Climate, but a longer follow-up period seems required to evaluate its effect on job factors and well-being. Overall, the project resulted in positive changes in most job factors, and its findings emphasize the importance of process variables in stress management interventions. Longer follow-up and higher quality multilevel interventions (including professional support for employees with stress-related complaints) seem essential to also improve well-being.
... In its simplest form, good PI fi t occurs when the intervention process fi ts with the skills and competencies of the intervention group. For example, participatory intervention processes may be more appropriate for employees who are high in self-effi cacy because they are more likely to believe that taking responsibility will have a successful outcome (Nielsen and Randall 2009 ). ...
Chapter
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Although organizational interventions are generally recommended, there has been criticism of the lack of effectiveness of such interventions. This has led to researchers recommending the evaluation of processes of such interventions to understand what works for whom, why, how and in which circumstances. Process evaluation research has highlighted a number of factors that may go wrong during the intervention process. In this chapter we argue that organizational interventions may fail because researchers do not assess and address the fi t of the intervention to the organizational context and the individuals within the organization. To address these issues we present and discuss a model for C-I (context-intervention) and P-I (person- intervention) fi t and we suggest supportive initiatives that researchers may consider implementing at the early stages of intervention.
... Besides the negative consequences for the professionals themselves and for their organisations, in the long run the situation means that the quality of social services runs the risk of being undermined and that the people who are in need of social services thereby may not get the help that they need and are entitled to. Whilst this situation has prevailed for a long time, studies with the aim of implementing strategies to improve working conditions are rare (Bambra et al., 2007;Nielsen and Randall, 2009). In a review and meta-analysis examining which workplace resources are most important in predicting employee well-being and performance, the authors conclude that resources on the organisational level are more often studied, while individual-, group-and leadership-level resources have received less attention (Nielsen et al., 2017). ...
Article
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The aim of the study was to investigate if the working conditions of child welfare social workers in one municipality would be improved after the implementation of three initiatives: weekly small group supervision for newly educated social workers, team-strengthening activities and training for the team leaders. Five teams consisting of thirty-six child welfare social workers and five team leaders participated. At project start and after the two project years (2017–2018), the social workers’ perception of their working conditions was measured by a questionnaire (QPS Nordic). After the two years the social workers rated several aspects of their working conditions more positively. They were more satisfied with the organisational climate and leadership and with the collaboration in their work group. Turnover, which had been high for many years, had almost stopped and vacancies were now filled. The social workers were now more often satisfied with the quality of their work. Interestingly, these positive changes had occurred at the same time as the social workers now reported higher demands and more often experienced role conflicts. The overall results of this small-scale study indicate that working conditions of social workers can be improved after the implementation of rather modest means.
... The RCT design only allows researchers to determine whether there was a change in the intended outcomes or not; it does not demonstrate whether this effect can be ascribed to the intervention itself or to other factors (Nielsen, 2013a). It has been argued that the intervention process and the behaviours of key players, such as line managers, have a prominent role in supporting the intervention and shaping its outcomes (Nielsen and Abildgaard, 2013;Nielsen and Randall, 2009). Also the participatory process -that is the extent to which employees are involved in determining the intervention's processes and content -is essential in ensuring a successful intervention outcome (Nielsen and Randall, 2012). ...
Article
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A debate has arisen out of the need to understand true intervention outcomes in the social sciences. Traditionally, the randomized, controlled trial (RCT) that answers the question of ‘what works’ has been considered the gold standard. Although RCTs have been favoured in organizational intervention research, there has been an increasing interest in understanding the influence of context and intervention processes on the outcomes of such interventions. In the present critical essay, we question the suitability of RCTs and meta-analyses to evaluate the effectiveness of organizational interventions and we suggest that realist evaluation that seeks to answer the questions of what works for whom in which circumstances may present a more suitable framework. We argue that examining the content and process mechanisms through which organizational interventions are effective, and the conditions under which these are triggered, will enable us to better understand how interventions achieve the desired outcomes of improved employee health and well-being. We suggest that organizational intervention content and process mechanisms may help bring about the desired outcomes of improved employee health and well-being and that contextual factors determine whether these mechanisms are triggered.
... In today's competitive environment, leaders are needed to ensure competitive advantage; healthy and strong leaders are at the heart of healthy organizations (Quick, Macik-Frey, & Cooper, 2007). Engaged leaders at the first line level are particularly important for two reasons: First, because such leaders play a decisive role achieving organizational objectives and maintaining staff well-being (Hiller, Day, & Vance, 2006;Nielsen & Randall, 2009;Nielsen, Randall, & Yarker, & Brenner, 2008;van Dierendonck, Haynes, Borril, & Stride, 2004) and second, because engaged leaders at this level may engage their followers through contagion processes (Bakker, Westman, & van Emmerik, 2009). The cross-over of the mood and emotions of leaders to their followers has been established (Glasø & Einarsen, 2006;Sy, Cote, & Saavedra, 2005). ...
Article
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Purpose – Building on cognitive theories, the aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between leaders' appraisals of their own transformational leadership behaviors and levels of work engagement, and how followers' group climate may enhance this link. Design – The study was a multi-method, multi-source study. Experience Sampling Method was used to collect leaders' own ratings of their transformational leadership behaviors and work engagements states in the situation (N = 58) and followers completed a questionnaire on their group collaborative climate (N = 653). Findings – Exerting transformational leadership behaviors significantly predicted leaders' work engagement states and a general collaborative climate in the group of followers enhanced this relationship. Implications – Understanding how behaviors specific to the leadership role is related to leaders' work engagement provides valuable knowledge of how we may increase leaders' engagement. As leaders play a vital role in maintaining staff well-being and obtaining organizational objectives, their own levels of work engagement is important to ensure organizational health. Originality/value – Previous research has primarily focused on how transformational leadership is related to followers' work engagement, however, in this study I examined the link between transformational leadership and leaders' own engagement levels, testing cognitive theories. Furthermore, I extend current research by examining characteristics specific to the leader role, e.g. transformational leadership behaviors and leading a group of followers, whereas previous research has focused only on general work characteristics, such as job autonomy, social support and opportunities to learn.
... It may also improve work ability, as the planned improvements may help to adapt the working environment to the abilities of the employee. This line of thinking is supported in a study by Nielsen and Randall (2009), who demonstrated that employees' perceptions of managers' active involvement and support during the intervention were positively related to the improvements in working conditions, which in turn were related to the increased job satisfaction and well-being. Thus far, the support provided by line managers during implementations of participatory organizational interventions has mainly been examined after the intervention, on the same measurement occasion as intervention outcomes ), thus offering limited information on temporal aspects. ...
Article
This study examined how employee participation and perceptions of line managers' support during a participatory organizational intervention were related to well‐being over time. While previous studies suggest that employees' and managers' active involvement in participatory organizational interventions may be related to well‐being, little is known about the temporal aspects, such as at which time during the intervention these factors matter, or possible reciprocal effects. Building on conservation of resources theory, we tested hypotheses concerning direct, reversed, and reciprocal relationships between employee participation and perceptions of line manager support in relation to well‐being. We used a four‐wave panel design consisting of 159 hospital workers. Cross‐lagged analyses showed that perceived line managers' support in the initiation and active phase was related to participation in the active phase. Participation in the initiation and active phase was related to well‐being in the active and sustained phase, respectively. Results also revealed that participation in the initiation phase was related to perceived line managers' support in the active phase, which in turn predicted participation in the active phase, which translated into job satisfaction in the sustained phase supporting reversed and reciprocal effects in the form of resource caravans. Theoretical implications for research and practice are discussed.
... Research on resilience and engagement suggests that those managers who find it easier to adapt to new situations (resilient managers) are higher in engagement (Bakker et al., 2006a;Bakker & Demerouti, 2008) and therefore may be more willing to accept and implement changes. Recent research has found that middle managers do indeed play an important role in ensuring employee well-being and job satisfaction during organizational change (Nielsen & Randall, 2009). ...
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Introduction The importance of engaged employees has received widespread attention and the antecedents and consequences of engagement are well documented (Schaufeli & Salanova, 2008). Engagement has been defined as a positive, affective–motivational work-related state of fulfillment that is characterized by vigor, dedication and absorption (Schaufeli et al., 2002). In a review of the literature, Schaufeli and Salanova (2008) concluded that engaged employees were both more productive and reported higher levels of job satisfaction, commitment and fewer intentions to quit. There has, however, been less interest in middle managers, whose engagement can have wide-ranging consequences: unengaged middle managers may make faulty decisions or leave the organization and the costs may be far-reaching. Alternatively, the engaged middle manager may perform his/her job well and provide a positive example for other staff. In this chapter we review the literature on engagement in middle managers and draw from related research that may contribute to our understanding of the engaged middle manager. Furthermore, we shall also present some as yet unpublished data on the antecedents of engagement among leaders. Why is engagement in middle managers important? Engaged middle managers are particularly important for two reasons: first, because they play a decisive role in allowing the organization to achieve its objectives and maintain staff well-being and second, because engaged middle managers may to a larger extent be engaging. Individuals high in engagement experience more positive emotions (Schaufeli & Van Rhenen, 2006). Research shows that happy people are more likely to seek out opportunities at work, they are more outgoing and helpful to others, and more confident and optimistic (Cropanzano & Wright, 2001). According to the broaden-and-build theory (Fredrickson, 2001) positive emotions broaden people's spontaneous thoughts, thus widening the array of thoughts and actions that come to mind. Joy also encourages individuals to be creative and increases the desire to explore
... Senior management support has a direct effect on the actual participation in the intervention [39]. Middle managers are often responsible for implementing the intervention and they are thus also in the position to obstruct or facilitate the change [40]. Finally, the component communication was operationalized as the type and quality of the communication about the intervention (Table 1). ...
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Background: The importance of process evaluations in examining how and why interventions are (un) successful is increasingly recognized. Process evaluations mainly studied the implementation process and the quality of the implementation (fidelity). However, in adopting this approach for participatory organizational level occupational health interventions, important aspects such as context and participants perceptions are missing. Our objective was to systematically describe the implementation process of a participatory organizational level occupational health intervention aimed at reducing work stress and increasing vitality in two schools by applying a framework that covers aspects of the intervention and its implementation as well as the context and participants perceptions. Methods: A program theory was developed, describing the requirements for successful implementation. Each requirement was operationalized by making use of the framework, covering: initiation, communication, participation, fidelity, reach, communication, satisfaction, management support, targeting, delivery, exposure, culture, conditions, readiness for change and perceptions. The requirements were assessed by quantitative and qualitative data, collected at 12 and 24 months after baseline in both schools (questionnaire and interviews) or continuously (logbooks). Results: The intervention consisted of a needs assessment phase and a phase of implementing intervention activities. The needs assessment phase was implemented successfully in school A, but not in school B where participation and readiness for change were insufficient. In the second phase, several intervention activities were implemented at school A, whereas this was only partly the case in school B (delivery). In both schools, however, participants felt not involved in the choice of intervention activities (targeting, participation, support), resulting in a negative perception of and only partial exposure to the intervention activities. Conditions, culture and events hindered the implementation of intervention activities in both schools. Conclusions: The framework helped us to understand why the implementation process was not successful. It is therefore considered of added value for the evaluation of implementation processes in participatory organizational level interventions, foremost because of the context and mental models dimensions. However, less demanding methods for doing detailed process evaluations need to be developed. This can only be done if we know more about the most important process components and this study contributes to that knowledge base. Trial registration: Netherlands Trial Register NTR3284 .
... Even more serious is that health interventions in companies, despite thorough preparations, often are not as successful as intended (Nielsen et al., 2010b). Problems with implementation and a complex context can undermine their effectiveness (Nielsen and Randall, 2009). This disappointing reality may limit companies' willingness to invest in health, and a promising health-promoting context remains underutilised as a result. ...
Article
Companies, seen as social communities, are major health promotion contexts. However, health promotion in the work setting is often less successful than intended. An optimal adjustment to the organisational context is required. Knowledge of which organisation-specific factors are relevant to health promotion is scarce. A Delphi procedure is used to identify these factors. The aim is to contribute to more effective workplace health promotion. The identified factors are described and embedded into a practical methodology (Intervention Mapping). A systematic use of these factors (called 'Organisational Mapping') is likely to contribute to more effective health promotion in the work setting.
... Studies in Europe have reported prevalence rates ranging from 1 to 47% (e.g., Agervold 2007; https://doi.org/10.1007/s10672-020-09348-w Galanaki and Papalexandris 2013;Nielsen and Randall 2009), while studies in North America have reported prevalence rates ranging from 28 to 46% (e.g., Laschinger et al. 2010;Lutgen-Sandvik et al. 2007). In Asia, prevalence rates ranging from 6 to 55% have been reported in some studies (e.g., Bilgel et al. 2006;D'Cruz and Rayner 2013;Tsuno et al. 2015). ...
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The present study examines the potential protective role of resilience in relation to workplace bullying. Specifically, the study investigates the association between workplace bullying and subjective well-being and whether high levels of resilience buffer the relationship. The study draws on data from a cross-sectional survey of 631 individuals employed in diverse organizations in Accra, Ghana. Results of moderated regression analysis showed that workplace bullying was associated with lower levels of subjective well-being. Although resilience moderated the relationship between workplace bullying and subjective well-being, it strengthened rather than weakened the relationship. The study’s findings suggest that relying on individuals’ personal resources in dealing with workplace bullying may be counterproductive. The findings underscore the need for organizations to institute measures to offer better protection of employees from exposure to bullying at the workplace.
... In one study, line managers 'sabotaged' intervention efforts by not allowing their employees time off work to attend intervention activities (Dahl-Jørgensen & Saksvik 2005). Conversely, line managers who show responsibility and actively seek the involvement of their employees during the implementation of an intervention can help employees to perceive it more positively and become more engaged in and committed to the intervention (Nielsen & Randall 2009). Similarly, Coyle-Shapiro (1999 found that intervention participation improved when line managers were perceived to be supportive of the programme. ...
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It is crucial to understand how interventions can be designed and implemented in order to support successful and sustainable effects in the long term. Intervention management can be important in this regard, but we have limited knowledge on the managerial strategies that can help to sustain the effects of an intervention over time. In this paper, we present a qualitative study of an intervention that had a duration of five years. We carried out 11 in-depth interviews on the role and qualities of the manager in the intervention process and effects. Results from the intervention unit showed that an engaged line manager was essential for promoting employee motivation and involvement in the longer term, which was achieved through building empowerment and trust, establishing a work group, and use of some support by external consultants. In conclusion, this intervention indicated that building good intervention management is important for sustainable intervention effects.
... These managers are responsible for the daily progress, communication and implementation of intervention activities. Studies have observed both passive [76] and active [77] resistance by these managers as driver of change in organizational change processes, influencing the outcome negatively [52,78]. This risk factor will be addressed in the present study by thoroughly informing the line and middle managers of the actual behaviors which they must perform in each phase of the intervention. ...
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Need for recovery and work ability are strongly associated with high employee turnover, well-being and sickness absence. However, scientific knowledge on effective interventions to improve work ability and decrease need for recovery is scarce. Thus, the present study aims to describe the background, design and protocol of a cluster randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of an intervention to reduce need for recovery and improve work ability among industrial workers. A two-year cluster randomized controlled design will be utilized, in which controls will also receive the intervention in year two. More than 400 workers from three companies in Denmark will be aimed to be cluster randomized into intervention and control groups with at least 200 workers (at least 9 work teams) in each group. An organizational resources audit and subsequent action planning workshop will be carried out to map the existing resources and act upon initiatives not functioning as intended. Workshops will be conducted to train leaders and health and safety representatives in supporting and facilitating the intervention activities. Group and individual level participatory visual mapping sessions will be carried out allowing team members to discuss current physical and psychosocial work demands and resources, and develop action plans to minimize strain and if possible, optimize the resources. At all levels, the intervention will be integrated into the existing organization of work schedules. An extensive process and effect evaluation on need for recovery and work ability will be carried out via questionnaires, observations, interviews and organizational data assessed at several time points throughout the intervention period. This study primarily aims to develop, implement and evaluate an intervention based on the abovementioned features which may improve the work environment, available resources and health of industrial workers, and hence their need for recovery and work ability.
... The support and involvement of managers at all organizational levels are central to the implementation of occupational health interventions (Nielsen and Randall 2009 ;Nytrø et al. 2000 ). Middle managers are often subsequently responsible for communicating and implementing the intervention as well as being involved in the practical integration of the intervention with "the ordinary work" (Saksvik et al. 2002 ). ...
Article
Modern working life is characterized by change and competiveness. It is also characterized by a drift away from low-skilled work to more complex jobs and increased social interaction. This means that the human resources – employees and their skills, competencies, engagement and motivation – are the greatest asset of many organizations. This has implications for how an organization can be healthy, i.e. create an environment that will contribute to employee health, wellbeing and motivation as well as achieve business outcomes. In this chapter, we will draw on theories from work and organizational psychology and behavioral psychology, and our own research, to describe what we believe to be the fundament of a healthy organization. We will do this by introducing the concept of alignment, which will be used to illuminate the healthy organization. Alignment can be described as the lining up of different aspects of what is going on in an organization so that they create a common thread. This cuts across different layers and processes in the organization; thus vertical, horizontal and diagonal alignments will be described. In the second part, we will use the framework of alignment to illuminate why occupational health interventions need to be integrated with the organization’s strategy and systems in order to create sustainable change. Implications of alignment for participatory approaches, intervention fit, program theories, the role of management and more will be discussed. In the third part, we will describe the implications of our view of an aligned, healthy organization for designing and evaluating interventions in organizations. This includes arguing for changing the roles and responsibilities of researchers and practitioners, and how this change can be beneficial to the organization as well as the quality of the research.
... Regarding the initial MRT about communication, the literature provides the causal relationship between mechanisms and contexts as, to trigger communication, there should be flexibility of organisational communication structures to accommodate both top-down and bottom-up communication flows [40], minimised language barriers [11], reasonable workloads for worksite managers [41], availability of resources [37], and a culture of respect [42]. Regarding the causal relationship between mechanisms and outcomes, the literature illustrates that communication produced outcomes of improved employees' job engagement and job satisfaction and improved employee health and wellbeing [42]. ...
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(1) Background: Realist evaluation is a promising approach for evaluating organisational interventions. Crucial to realist evaluation is the development and testing of middle range theories (MRTs). MRTs are programme theories that outline how the intervention mechanisms work in a specific context to bring about certain outcomes. To the best of our knowledge, no organisational intervention study has yet developed initial MRTs. This study aimed to develop initial MRTs based on qualitative evidence from the development phase of an organisational intervention in a large multi-national organisation, the US food service industry. (2) Methods: Data were collected through 20 semi-structured interviews with the organisation′s managers, five focus groups with a total of 30 employees, and five worksite observations. Template analysis was used to analyse data. (3) Results: Four initial MRTs were developed based on four mechanisms of participation, leadership commitment, communication, and tailoring the intervention to fit the organisational context to formulate ‘what may work for whom in which circumstances?’ in organisational interventions; (4) Conclusions: Our findings provide insights into ‘how’ and ‘which’ initial MRTs can be developed in organisational interventions.
... Other research findings have shown that emotional support provided by supervisors and managers, as well as opportunities for continuing education, information transparency and open communication were factors that have had important implications on EW (Fried & Tiegs, 1993;Markey, Ravenswood, Webber, & Knudsen, 2013;Ruiz-Quintanilla & Blancero, 1996). Further, it was found that middle managers' active support mediated the relationship between team-based work organisation and EW (Nielsen & Randall, 2009), and that perceived managerial support has been associated with a reduction in burnout and other negative health-related issues (Thompson & Prottas, 2006). ...
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The literature on employee wellbeing (EW) has largely focussed on employees' subjective experiences and has generally assumed that managers’ interpretations of EW are consistent and non-problematic. Tensions inherent in managing complex expectations, and diverse results, have not been adequately investigated, and ways in which EW practices are viewed by senior managers have not been sufficiently examined. This paper attempts to fill this gap by exploring the perceptions of senior managers with human resources (HR) responsibilities affecting EW. There is a specific focus on the tensions experienced by these senior managers and the related tactics they adopted to successfully manage them. We gathered data from focus groups made up of 20 senior managers from companies operating in the Milan County in Italy. An analysis of this data identified four predominant dimensions of EW, as well as the tensions felt by the managers and the various tactics they used to overcome them. Finally, we classified the interpretative tactics into four broad resolution strategies (i.e. flexible, integrative, separated and reciprocal thinking) that senior managers adopted to cognitively address their experience of tensions.
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Purpose This paper explores line managers' proactive work behaviors in organizational interventions and ascertains how their management of their middle-levelness by aligning with the intervention, or not, influences their proactive work behaviors. Design/methodology/approach The authors’ findings are based on thematic analysis of 20 semi-structured interviews of university heads of departments responsible for managing organizational interventions. Findings The authors found that line managers engaged in a range of proactive work behaviors to implement the organizational intervention (i.e. “driving proactive behaviors”). Furthermore, line managers tended to engage in driving proactive behaviors when they aligned with the organizational intervention, but not to when unconvinced of the intervention's validity. Practical implications These findings highlight the importance of senior management and HR investing sufficient time and quality in the preparation phase to ensure all actors have a shared understanding of the organizational interventions' validity. Originality/value This is the first study to explore line managers' proactive work behaviors to implement an organizational intervention, and how the line managers' management of their middle-levelness influence these proactive work behaviors.
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It is evident that different kinds of restructuring activities are part of modern work life, and most employees will face restructuring at some point during their working life. This chapter gives an overview of the effect of restructuring on the well-being of employees and presents the main principles of a sound organizational change process that would ensure employee's health and well-being during restructuring. It sheds light on what in practice could be done during the change process in organizations. The views expressed in the chapter are based on the findings of a research project called as the Psychological health and well-being in restructuring: key effects and mechanisms (PSYRES), in which both quantitative and qualitative data from Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and Poland were utilized, and on other research studies carried out in the field of restructuring.
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Leadership is concerned with how some individuals have disproportionate power and influence to set the agenda, define organizational identity, and mobilize people to achieve collective goals (Hogg, 2001). Leaders at the first-line level are particularly important in creating psychologically healthy workplaces for at least four reasons. First, first-line leaders are viewed as the proximal influences on their direct followers as they function as role models and communicate the necessary information to their followers (Barling, Christie, & Hoption, 2011). Second, first-line leaders play a decisive role in achieving organizational objectives and maintaining staff well-being (Hiller, Day, & Vance, 2006; Nielsen & Randall, 2009). Third, first-line leaders high in positive moods and emotions may influence their followers' moods and emotions through contagion processes (Bakker, Westman, & van Emmerik, 2009). Fourth, first-line leaders who focus on creating a healthy workplace (e.g., discussing health-related topics with followers and encouraging followers to engage in health-promoting activities) foster a psychological climate and a feeling among employees that health is a primary concern within the organization and this is related to job satisfaction and reduced irritation (Gurt, Schwennen, & Elke, 2011). The role of leaders in creating psychologically healthy workplaces has experienced much increased attention in the past decade. In a review of the research on the relationship between leaders and employees' well-being in the past three decades, Skakon, Nielsen, Borg, and Guzman (2010) identified 49 studies. Of these studies, 33 studies had been published after 2000. The dramatic increase in published research on this topic reflects an increasing understanding of the role of leaders in creating a psychologically healthy workplace. In this chapter, I will focus on the ways that first-line
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Background: Vitality at work is an important factor for optimal functioning and sustainable employability. To date, knowledge on how to promote vitality at work is fragmented. Objective: Contribute to knowledge on how to promote vitality at work.METHODS: Determinants of vitality at work are identified from three scientific fields, and used in a comprehensive model. Regression analyses on cross-sectional data from a Dutch dairy company (N=629) are performed to examine the associations between these factors, vitality at work, and employees' perceived effective personal functioning and sustainable employability. Results: Vitality at work is most strongly associated with basic psychological needs of self-determination, but also with healthy lifestyle behavior, having a balanced workstyle, and social capital. Vitality at work is also associated with effective personal functioning and with sustainable employability. Conclusions: The study confirms the multifactorial nature of vitality at work. Since organizational culture may support self-determination, and cultural aspects themselves are positively associated with vitality, organizational culture seems particular important in promoting vitality at work. Additionally, a healthy lifestyle appears important. The associations between vitality at work and effective personal functioning and sustainable employability endorse the combined health-based, business-related and societal importance of vitality at work.
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Within developed economies, work-related psychological stress represents a significant burden to employees, organisations, and society. In light of these substantial costs, there is a clear requirement for comprehensive stress prevention and management programs. Despite this acknowledged requirement, there is a disproportionate focus on interventions targeting individual workers, relative to interventions targeting organisational sources of stress, in the published research literature. Furthermore, published examples of organisational interventions have been predominantly conducted in Europe and the US, where labour conditions differ markedly from those within the Asia-Pacific region. This chapter will provide an overview of organisational intervention research, with a specific focus on issues relating to the development, implementation, and evaluation of organisational interventions within the Asia-Pacific region. Two case studies reflecting successful organisational intervention programs conducted in Japan and Australia will be presented. Finally, challenges associated with implementing organisational interventions will be discussed, with a specific focus on potential solutions for overcoming these challenges and directions for future research within the Asia-Pacific region. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. All rights are reserved.
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Although organisational interventions have shown promising results in improving employees’ health and wellbeing, reviews of the effectiveness of such interventions conclude results are inconsistent. Realist synthesis is considered an appropriate method of literature review to improve the consistency of empirical evidence by developing generalisable statements of ‘what works for whom in which circumstances’. In this article, to identify and synthesise existing evidence from the empirical studies of organisational interventions, we conducted a realist synthesis according to the RAMESES publication standards. We reviewed 28 articles. Six realist programme theories were developed that explain how different mechanisms of organisational interventions may bring about different outcomes in different contexts. These realist programme theories are based on the process mechanisms of implementation adherence, communication, employees’ participation, senior management support, middle management support, and external consultants/researchers support. This realist synthesis enhances the understanding of how organisational interventions may improve employees’ health and wellbeing, in which contexts, and for which group of employees. As such, it makes an important potential contribution to designing, implementing, and evaluating future organisational interventions.
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Chapter
The increased interest in process evaluation as part of intervention research is leading to a much stronger understanding of the reasons behind inconsistent intervention outcomes. Variables such as employee participation, line manager attitudes and actions, pre-intervention working conditions and the quality of pre-intervention risk assessment are among the many factors that have been identified as being linked to intervention outcomes. In this research, process and context evaluation data are usually collected at the same time as intervention outcome data. Those delivering and receiving interventions in organizations may also benefit from access to this information about the quality of intervention processes and the impact of contexts before and during intervention activities. Such information could then be used to anticipate and manage implementation problems or to shape modifications to the intervention activities to protect and enhance their impact. In this chapter, the feasibility of measuring process and context concurrent to intervention activities will be examined. I will discuss how the assessment of some potentially important process and contextual factors can be better utilized as formative evaluation data (i.e. a ‘dashboard’) to monitor intervention activities and shape adaptive interventions. The type of data collection required (and its timing and frequency) and the ways in which process monitoring data could be used to manage intervention activities are also discussed.
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Kunskapssammanställning på uppdrag av Myndigheten för arbetsmiljökunskap.
Technical Report
LEADERSHIP FOR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING – A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW Government mandate to compile knowledge about factors that create healthy, thriving workplaces A2018/01349/ARM REPORT 2020:5 ISBN 978-91-985961-3-7
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Understanding what motivates us, what properly captures and explains the full range of such motivations, is essential in making good personal decisions and managing people in organisations. This book summarises all the existing theories of motivation in a simple framework conceived as a “map”; a practical map that will help us diagnosis our own motivations and those of people working in our organisations. The author defends that we are all driven in live and work to seek those things we consider ‘good’, the things we love. We all need to be loved, to love ourselves, to love others and to return love to God (in the case of believers) and therein lies happiness in life and work. Book Summary Downloadable: https://iecoinstitute.org/libros/?lang=en#1602595557124-989d2e6a-bcc6
Chapter
Bedingt durch die vermehrte Flexibilisierung von Arbeitszeiten und des Arbeitsortes erscheint es sinnvoll, digitale Angebote neben der personenbezogenen Gesundheitsförderung ebenfalls im Bereich der Verhältnisprävention einzusetzen, um auch bedingungsbezogene Verbesserungen für Beschäftigte flexibel zu ermöglichen. Für eine erfolgreiche digitale Umsetzung von Verhältnisprävention müssen jedoch einige zentrale Punkte berücksichtigt werden. Im aktuellen Beitrag werden einige Grundlagen der klassischen betrieblichen Gesundheitsförderung und ihre Bedeutung für eine digitale Umsetzung von Verhältnisprävention diskutiert. Aus den identifizierten Herausforderungen werden Empfehlungen abgeleitet, wie digitale Plattformen gestaltet sein sollen, um Verhältnisprävention, aber auch betriebliche Gesundheitsförderung im Ganzen, nachhaltig erfolgreich in einer digitalen Version umzusetzen. Basierend auf einer Recherche zu digital integrativen Plattformen wird aufgezeigt, inwieweit die abgeleiteten Empfehlungen bereits Anwendung finden.
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Research dealing with various aspects of* the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1985, 1987) is reviewed, and some unresolved issues are discussed. In broad terms, the theory is found to be well supported by empirical evidence. Intentions to perform behaviors of different kinds can be predicted with high accuracy from attitudes toward the behavior, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control; and these intentions, together with perceptions of behavioral control, account for considerable variance in actual behavior. Attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control are shown to be related to appropriate sets of salient behavioral, normative, and control beliefs about the behavior, but the exact nature of these relations is still uncertain. Expectancy— value formulations are found to be only partly successful in dealing with these relations. Optimal rescaling of expectancy and value measures is offered as a means of dealing with measurement limitations. Finally, inclusion of past behavior in the prediction equation is shown to provide a means of testing the theory*s sufficiency, another issue that remains unresolved. The limited available evidence concerning this question shows that the theory is predicting behavior quite well in comparison to the ceiling imposed by behavioral reliability.
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Organizational-level stress management interventions are usually evaluated using quasi-experimental methods. In order to test intervention effectiveness, such methods examine the outcomes of between-group differences in intervention exposure: participants are rarely asked about their experiences of the intervention. However, this approach has been criticized because it provides little or no information about why interventions succeed or fail. The aim of this study was to examine whether an analysis of participants' narratives of what had happened during an organizational-level intervention might prove useful during evaluation. Nurses working in a UK hospital (n = 26) who had received an intervention to help them balance their administrative and clinical workloads, provided information about their experiences of it, and how these experiences were related to the effectiveness of the intervention. Template analysis of the data in their narratives identified codes relating to: i) intervention contexts (both pre-intervention and during the intervention); ii) implementation processes (including how participants made use of the intervention); and iii) participants' perceptions of the intervention's impact. The results indicated that participants' accounts provided information that is not captured by the dominant evaluation paradigm. Specifically, these data can i) help organizations to make better use of interventions, and ii) enhance research into the links between intervention processes, contexts and outcomes.
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Organizations and researchers often encounter difficulties when evaluating organizational-level stress management interventions. When interventions fail, often it is unclear whether the intervention itself was ineffective, or whether problems with implementation processes were to blame. In this paper we describe the development of questionnaire items that allow employees to report on their appraisals of aspects of intervention process issues that are frequently thought to be related to intervention outcomes. The study was carried out as part of the evaluation of a teamworking intervention implemented in the elderly care sector in Denmark. Using a combination of information gathered from published intervention research and qualitative data collected from participants involved in an intervention, questionnaire items were developed and their sensitivity, reliability, and validity were tested. Confirmatory factor analysis revealed five independent factors: line manager attitudes and actions, exposure to components of the intended intervention, employee involvement, employee readiness, and intervention history. They all showed significant correlations with post-intervention outcomes (job satisfaction, well-being, and self-efficacy). Line manager attitudes and actions showed particularly strong and unique relationships with outcome measures. We refer to this new group of scales for evaluating employees’ appraisals of an intervention as the Intervention Process Measure (IPM). Our findings indicate that such a measure has the potential to improve the evaluation of interventions.
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The evaluation of organizational stress management interventions has proved challenging for researchers and practitioners alike. Traditionally, researcher designed quasi-experiments have been regarded as the method for evaluating such interventions. However, relatively few such studies have been satisfactorily completed in organizations, and many of those that have did not adequately take account of intervention processes. This article presents an approach to evaluation that can help to overcome these problems. Two empirical studies are presented that demonstrate that measurement of the intervention process can be used to adapt and shape the design of the evaluation. In both studies, process evaluation incorporating the measurement of intervention exposure was used to partition participant samples (into intervention and control groups). This approach has the potential to enable and strengthen quantitative outcome evaluation in situations where controlled quasi-experimentation is not possible.
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Transformational leaders employ a visionary and creative style of leadership that inspires employees to broaden their interest in their work and to be innovative and creative. There is some evidence that transformational leadership style is linked to employee psychological well-being. However, it is not clear whether this is due to (1) a direct relationship between leadership behaviour and affective well-being outcomes, or (2) a relationship between leadership behaviour and well-being that is mediated by followers’ perceived work characteristics. (Such characteristics include role clarity, meaningfulness, and opportunities for development.) This study aims to extend previous work by examining the validity of these two mechanisms in a longitudinal questionnaire study. The study was carried out within the elderly care sector in a Danish local governmental department. A theory-driven model of the relationships between leadership, work characteristics, and psychological well-being was tested using Structural Equation Modelling. The results indicated that followers’ perceptions of their work characteristics did mediate the relationship between transformational leadership style and psychological well-being. However, there was only limited evidence of the existence of a direct path between leadership behaviour and employee well-being. These findings have implications for design, implementation, and management of efforts to improve employee well-being.
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While many studies of interventions have focused on their content and immediate effects, less research has focused on the processes that may explain these effects. The purpose of this study was to show how process evaluation can be used to interpret the results of an intervention study in four industrial canteens in Denmark. Two canteens acted as intervention groups and two as comparison groups. Effects were measured by surveys before and after interventions, and observations and interviews were conducted to provide an in-depth understanding of processes. Analyses were conducted based on the responses from 118 employees. Results showed, contrary to expectations, improvements in working conditions and well-being in one intervention group and in one comparison group, whereas no improvements were found in the two remaining groups. Data from the process evaluation enabled a meaningful interpretation of these results, raising the possibility programme failure rather than theory failure, and thereby constituting an example of how process evaluation can shed light over the factors that may influence outcomes in controlled intervention studies.
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Empirical research on stress intervention in organizations, and experience from organizational change programmes in general, indicates that obtaining intended change is often more difficult than it had been conceived to be at the outset. In order to facilitate the accomplishment of stress prevention and effective organizational change, this paper examines the importance of the social and cognitive processes influencing the implementation of any intervention. It states that if change is to be managed skilfully, it is important (1) to create a social climate of learning from failure, (2) to provide opportunities for multi-level participation and negotiation in the design of interventions, (3) to be aware of tacit behaviours that possibly undermine the objectives of interventions, and (4) to define roles and responsibilities before and during the intervention period.
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Discusses the past, present, and future of research into work stress interventions. Although the authors do address person-oriented measures, the emphasis is on the organizational level--work directed interventions in a theoretical, methodological, and practical context. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Employees' perception of their organization's readiness for large-scale change was examined in two divisions of a national sales organization transitioning to work teams. Results indicated that individual attitudes and preferences, work group and job attitudes, and contextual variables were all important in understanding readiness for change. Study findings are discussed in terms of strategies for implementing the transition to team-based work and large-scale organizational initiatives. Implications for research and theory-building are also discussed. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Human Relations is the property of Sage Publications, Ltd. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)
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The authors used a longitudinal design to investigate the relation between leadership behavior and the well-being of subordinates. Well-being is conceptualized as people's feelings about themselves and the settings in which they live and work. Staff members (N = 562) of 2 Community Trusts participated 4 times in a 14-month period. Five models were formulated to answer 2 questions: What is the most likely direction of the relation between leadership and well-being, and what is the time frame of this relation? The model with the best fit suggested that leadership behavior and subordinate responses are linked in a feedback loop. Leadership behavior at Time 1 influenced leadership behavior at Time 4. Subordinate well-being at Time 2 synchronously influenced leadership behavior at Time 2. Leadership behavior at Time 4 synchronously influenced subordinate well-being at Time 4.
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The aim of this article is to present the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ), a questionnaire developed in three different lengths for assessing psychosocial factors at work, stress, and the well-being of employees and some personality factors. The purpose of the COPSOQ concept is to improve and facilitate research, as well as practical interventions at workplaces. The development of the questionnaire was based on a survey of a representative sample of 1858 Danish employees aged 20-59 years. The response rate was 62%; 49% were women. Altogether 145 questions from some international and Danish questionnaires and 20 self-developed questions were tested with factor analyses, analyses of internal reliability, and analyses of response patterns. The analyses resulted in a long research version of the questionnaire with 141 questions and 30 dimensions, a medium-length version for work environment professionals with 95 questions and 26 dimensions, and a short version for workplaces with 44 questions and 8 dimensions. Most of the scales have good reliability, and there seems to be very little overlap between the scales. A novel feature of the COPSOQ is the development of five different scales on demands at work. The COPSOQ concept is a valid and reliable tool for workplace surveys, analytic research, interventions, and international comparisons. The questionnaire seems to be comprehensive and to include most of the relevant dimensions according to several important theories on psychosocial factors at work. The three versions facilitate communication between researchers, work environment professionals, and workplaces.
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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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Ninety reports of systematic evaluations of job-stress interventions were rated in terms of the degree of systems approach used. A high rating was defined as both organizationally and individually focused, versus moderate (organizational only), and low (individual only). Studies using high-rated approaches represent a growing proportion of the job-stress intervention evaluation literature. Individual-focused, low-rated approaches are effective at the individual level, favorably affecting individual-level outcomes, but tend not to have favorable impacts at the organizational level. Organizationally-focused high- and moderate-rated approaches are beneficial at both individual and organizational levels. Further measures are needed to foster the dissemination and implementation of systems approaches to examining interventions for job stress.
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To systematically review the health and psychosocial effects (with reference to the demand-control-support model) of changes to the work environment brought about by task structure work reorganisation, and to determine whether those effects differ for different socioeconomic groups. Systematic review (QUORUM) of experimental and quasi-experimental studies (any language) reporting health and psychosocial effects of such interventions. Seventeen electronic databases (medical, social science and economic), bibliographies and expert contacts. Nineteen studies were reviewed. Some task-restructuring interventions failed to alter the psychosocial work environment significantly, and so could not be expected to have a measurable effect on health. Those that increased demand and decreased control tended to have an adverse effect on health, while those that decreased demand and increased control resulted in improved health, although some effects were minimal. Increases in workplace support did not appear to mediate this relationship. This systematic review suggests that task-restructuring interventions that increase demand or decrease control adversely affect the health of employees, in line with observational research. It lends support to policy initiatives such as the recently enforced EU directive on participation at work, which aims to increase job control and autonomy.
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In this article, we provide guidance for substantive researchers on the use of structural equation modeling in practice for theory testing and development. We present a comprehensive, two-step modeling approach that employs a series of nested models and sequential chi-square difference tests. We discuss the comparative advantages of this approach over a one-step approach. Considerations in specification, assessment of fit, and respecification of measurement models using confirmatory factor analysis are reviewed. As background to the two-step approach, the distinction between exploratory and confirmatory analysis, the distinction between complementary approaches for theory testing versus predictive application, and some developments in estimation methods also are discussed.
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We developed and tested a multilevel model of norm formation. Both leader expectations and staff expectations had a significant impact on the norms that teams adopted around collaborative problem solving. In addition, there was an interaction between the expectations of the leader and the staff. We found that when staff initially held low expectations of collaborative problem solving behaviors, leaders who held high expectations of such behaviors were able to significantly raise the collaborative problem solving norms established by their teams. Team problem solving norms significantly influenced individual team members' problem solving behaviors.
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The relationship between human resource management practices and organizational performance (including quality of care in health-care organizations) is an important topic in the organizational sciences but little research has been conducted examining this relationship in hospital settings. Human resource (HR) directors from sixty-one acute hospitals in England (Hospital Trusts) completed questionnaires or interviews exploring HR practices and procedures. The interviews probed for information about the extensiveness and sophistication of appraisal for employees, the extent and sophistication of training for employees and the percentage of staff working in teams. Data on patient mortality were also gathered. The findings revealed strong associations between HR practices and patient mortality generally. The extent and sophistication of appraisal in the hospitals was particularly strongly related, but there were links too with the sophistication of training for staff, and also with the percentages of staff working in teams.
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Drawing from previous research on individual differences, AIDS, and concerns for face, the author developed and tested a model examining the predictors (knowledge of AIDS transmission, level of homophobia, and concern for face) of AIDS fear and its organizational outcomes (perceived organizational consequences of hiring people living with HIV and attitudes toward disclosure of HIV-related information at the workplace). Data were collected using mail survey. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the relationships among these variables for 160 human resource managers. All of the hypothesized relationships were empirically supported. Implications of the research findings for human resource practices are discussed.
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To examine factors influencing readiness for healthcare organizational change, 654 randomly selected hospital staff completed questionnaires measuring the logistical and occupational risks of change, ability to cope with change and to solve jobrelated problems, social support, measures of Karasek's (1979) active vs. passive job construct (job demand× decision latitude) and readiness for organizational change. Workers in active jobs (Karasek, 1979) which afforded higher decision latitude and control over challenging tasks reported a higher readiness for organizational change scores. Workers with an active approach to job problem-solving with higher job change self-efficacy scores reported a higher readiness for change. In hierarchical regression analyses, active jobs, an active job problem-solving style and job-change self-efficacy contributed independently to the prediction of readiness for organizational change. Time 1 readiness for organizational change scores and an active approach to job problem-solving were the best predictors of participation in redesign activities during a year-long re-engineering programme.
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It has been argued that traditional quasi-experimental approaches to evaluation do not adequately measure, or take account of, perceptual processes that could contribute to the effectiveness of organizational-level interventions. Using longitudinal data with added process measures at time 2 gathered from 11 intervention projects in Denmark, this paper used structural equation modelling (n = 462) to explore the impact of employees' direct appraisals of the intervention itself on intervention outcomes. Perceived influence on the content of interventions was directly linked to voluntary participation in these interventions. Participants' appraisals of the activities within an intervention were found to fully mediate the relationships between exposure to interventions and outcome measures (changes in working conditions, behavioural stress and job satisfaction). The results of the study indicate that employees' appraisal of the intervention itself can play an important role in determining the success or failure of a variety of organizational-level interventions. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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This paper focuses on middle management motivation to implement strategy. It uses expectancy theory to predict that middle managers will intervene in organizational decision-making processes leading to strategy implementation when their self-interest is at stake. It develops the notion of ‘counter effort’, as an extension of expectancy theory. The paper reports an empirical study of middle management intervention theory. The data and analysis of this study provide strong, if indirect, evidence that middle managers who believe that their self-interest is being compromised can not only redirect a strategy, delay its implementation or reduce the quality of its implementation, but can also even totally sabotage the strategy. Implications of the study for the management of strategy implementation are developed.
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Aims: To evaluate the impact of an open-rota scheduling system on the health, work-life balance and job satisfaction of nurses working in a psychiatric ward in Denmark. Background: The effects of shift rotation and scheduling are well known; however, little is known about the wider benefits of open-rota systems. Method A structured questionnaire was distributed to control and intervention groups preintervention and postintervention (20 months). Nurses within the intervention group trialed an open-rota system in which nurses designed their own work-rest schedules. Results: Nurses in the intervention group reported that they were more satisfied with their work hours, less likely to swap their shift when working within the open-rota system and reported significant increases in work-life balance, job satisfaction, social support and community spirit when compared with nurses in the control groups. Conclusions: The ownership and choice over work-rest schedules has benefits for nurses, and potentially the hospital.
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The discipline of team leadership appears poised for major advances, both in terms of science and practice. This introduction to the special issue on leadership in team-based organizations identifies some of the major challenges and opportunities regarding future advances of team leadership. They include more fully addressing multilevel issues; cross-level effects; design, methods and measurement issues; studying team leadership in context; and the possibility of hybrid leadership forms in teams. The special issue articles are then briefly discussed organized around collective, relational, and individual team leader levels of analyses.
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There is reason to believe that many health and stress interventions fail due to inattention to the effects of intervention implementation processes, but evaluations of these processes are found only rarely in the literature. The objective of the present study was to explore the issue of obstacles to implementation that may occur when stress and health interventions are introduced in,work organizations. The study was conducted as a process evaluation of seven different individual and organizational interventions. Interviews were conducted in 22 post offices, 12 organizational units (such as care homes and local administrative units) of a Norwegian municipality, and in 10 shops in a shopping mall. The interviews took place before and after the interventions. The following key process factors were identified: (1) the ability to learn from failure and to motivate participants; (2) multi-level participation and negotiation, and differences in organizational perception; (3) insight into tacit and informal organizational behaviour; (4) clarification of roles and responsibilities, especially the role of middle management; and (5) competing projects and reorganization, For improved studies of interventions in the future we recommend chat qualitative and quantitative methods be combined, that researchers build more on natural interventions that occur naturally within the organization, and that a pilot study be Undertaken in order to investigate the cultural maturity of the organization.
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In this article, we provide guidance for substantive researchers on the use of structural equation modeling in practice for theory testing and development. We present a comprehensive, two-step modeling approach that employs a series of nested models and sequential chi-square difference tests. We discuss the comparative advantages of this approach over a one-step approach. Considerations in specification, assessment of fit, and respecification of measurement models using confirmatory factor analysis are reviewed. As background to the two-step approach, the distinction between exploratory and confirmatory analysis, the distinction between complementary approaches for theory testing versus predictive application, and some developments in estimation methods also are discussed., (C) 1988 by the American Psychological Association
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This article seeks to move beyond typologies of the ways in which quantitative and qualitative research are integrated to an examination of the ways that they are combined in practice. The article is based on a content analysis of 232 social science articles in which the two were combined. An examination of the research methods and research designs employed suggests that on the quantitative side structured interview and questionnaire research within a cross-sectional design tends to predominate, while on the qualitative side the semi-structured interview within a cross-sectional design tends to predominate. An examination of the rationales that are given for employing a mixed-methods research approach and the ways it is used in practice indicates that the two do not always correspond. The implications of this finding for how we think about mixed-methods research are outlined.
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Over the last two decades, theory and practice in the field of program evaluation have generated a rich array of concepts and methods for research on the effectiveness of social programs. This paper attempts to summarize the lessons from program evaluation research that might usefully inform intervention research in occupational health and safety.
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This paper reports a pilot project to evaluate the effectiveness of a participatory organizational intervention to improve the psychosocial work environment in one long-term care unit. Since the early 1990s, health care institutions in Quebec have been constantly changing in order to improve the efficiency of the health care system. These changes have affected the work environment and have contributed to higher rates of burnout and absenteeism among nurses and other health care workers. The study participants were health care workers in a long-term care unit (n = 60). The participatory organizational intervention was based on a contract and carried out by a work team. Work constraints were identified, and an action plan implemented, The effectiveness of the intervention was evaluated by pre- and postintervention questionnaires: the Job Content Questionnaire, Effort-Reward Imbalance Questionnaire and Psychiatric Symptom Index. There was a significant increase in reward (P < or = 0.01) and a significant decrease in Effort-Reward Imbalance (P < or = 0.01) following the intervention. Absenteeism rates decreased from 8.26% to 1.86% over the study period, but in the rest of the institution remained the same. However, there was a significant decrease in social support from supervisors (P < 0.05) at post-test. Participation by health care workers and action plans targeting problematic aspects of the psychosocial work environment are key elements in interventions to improve their health. However, such interventions present challenges, such as the involvement of managers, involvement of all relevant participants, and re-establishment of trust within work teams. Recognition and respect must be re-established, and supervisors must engage with health care workers and give support at all stages of the intervention.
God ledelsespraksis i endringsprocesser: Eksempler på hvordan ledere har gjort til en positiv erfaring for de ansatte [Good management practices in change processes: Examples of how managers have made restructuring a positive experience for employees
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Øyum, L., Kvernberg Andersen, T., Pettersen Buvik, M., Knutstad, G.A., & Skar-holt, K. (2006). God ledelsespraksis i endringsprocesser: Eksempler på hvordan ledere har gjort til en positiv erfaring for de ansatte [Good management practices in change processes: Examples of how managers have made restructuring a positive experience for employees] (Rep. No. 567). København: Nordisk Ministerråd.
Stress, appraisal and coping Managing HIV at the workplace: An empirical study of HIV and HR managers in Singapore
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Effective teamworking: Reducing the psychosocial risks
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Senior nurses: Interventions to reduce work stress
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