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Can a managerial intervention focusing on job demands, job resources, and personal resources improve the work situation of employees?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Work and organizational psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Work and organizational psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8213-1391
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Work and organizational psychology. Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4693-9980
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Work and organizational psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3664-1814
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Knowledge regarding the effects on employees of occupational intervention programs targeting psychosocial factors at work, including job demands, job resources, and personal resources, is limited and existing studies show mixed findings. This study aimed to investigate potential effects on employees’ job demands (i.e., workload, unnecessary tasks, and unreasonable tasks), job resources (i.e., feedback, control, and goal clarity), and personal resources (i.e., signaling and limit-setting strategies) of an intervention targeting managers’ ways of improving the psychosocial work environment among their staff (SWEActManager). Questionnaire data from employees (n=40) of a Swedish municipality, whose managers (n=4) participated in the program, and referents (n=58 employees), were collected before and after the program. The program included four three-hour workshops delivered during a six-week period. Results from 2(group) x 2(time) ANOVAs showed that all three demands increased over time while job control decreased. There were no significant group effects. One interaction effect only was significant: Unnecessary tasks increased more among referents than in the intervention group. The few significant short-term effects probably relate to challenges in designing and implementing organizational interventions targeting managers, and evaluating their effects among subordinates. This study adds to the limited research regarding the effects of organizational psychosocial interventions including managers for their subordinates’ demands and resources in a changing working life.

Keyword [en]
organizational intervention, psychosocial factors, job demands, job resources, personal resources
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-145453OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-145453DiVA: diva2:1130649
Note

The study makes use of data from the project The manager, the mission and the work environment: Interventions for improving workplaces and organizations which is supported by a grant from AFA Insurance (Ref. No. 090325) to Prof. Magnus Sverke. Thanks to all who volunteered participation and to those who helped out implementing and carrying out the intervention. This research was carried out within the Stockholm Stress Center, a center of excellence supported by funding from the Swedish Research Council for Health,Working Life and Welfare (FORTE).

Available from: 2017-08-10 Created: 2017-08-10 Last updated: 2017-08-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Psykosocial arbetsmiljö i välfärdssektorn: Krav i arbetet, resurser i arbetet och personliga resurser samt betydelsen av organiserade arbetsmiljöinsatser
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Psykosocial arbetsmiljö i välfärdssektorn: Krav i arbetet, resurser i arbetet och personliga resurser samt betydelsen av organiserade arbetsmiljöinsatser
2017 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Psychosocial work environment in the welfare sector : Job demands, job resources, and personal resources and the importance of organized occupational health interventions
Abstract [sv]

Individers upplevelse av den psykosociala arbetsmiljön har visat sig hänga samman med trivsel, hälsa och välbefinnande. I ett långsiktigt perspektiv kan en god psykosocial arbetsmiljö främja kvalitet och produktivitet i organisationer, medan en sämre arbetsmiljö kan resultera i det motsatta. Arbetsgivare, som i Sverige har ett yttersta arbetsmiljöansvar, strävar efter att arbeta förebyggande och systematiskt med fokus på psykosociala arbetsmiljöinsatser. Samtidigt utgör individerna en del av den psykosociala arbetsmiljön och i samband med att de utför sitt arbete bidrar de även till formandet av arbetsmiljön. Med detta som utgångspunkt syftar avhandlingen till att studera psykosociala och personliga faktorer i form av krav och resurser, hälsa och välbefinnande samt ett organisatoriskt förebyggande program för anställda i välfärdssektorn. Detta har gjorts genom att undersöka hur olika krav och resurser i arbetet samt personliga resurser relaterar till olika hälsorelaterade utfall. Vidare har två varianter av ett nyutvecklat interventionsprogram med fokus på psykosociala faktorer och personliga resurser undersökts och utvärderats. En variant av programmet var riktad till både chefer och medarbetare, medan den andra varianten riktades enbart till chefer. Interventionsprogrammen undersöktes utifrån genomförbarhet och utifrån effektutvärdering. Resultaten visar att resurser i arbetet verkar ha mer hälsofrämjande potential än personliga resurser. Vidare visar resultaten att det program som inkluderade medarbetare och chefer accepterades av deltagarna och gick att genomföra praktiskt. Resultaten visar också att effekterna av båda programmen var oklara. Sammantaget visar avhandlingen på vikten av att såväl reducera krav i arbetet som att främja olika resurser, men även på de utmaningar som finns i att utforma, genomföra och utvärdera förebyggande organisatoriska interventioner.

Abstract [en]

Individuals’ experiences of the psychosocial work environment have been linked to their satisfaction, health, and well-being. In the long run, a favorable psychosocial work environment seems related to organizational quality and productivity, while a poorer psychosocial work environment may relate to the opposite. Employers, who in Sweden have the ultimate responsibility for the work environment, aim for systematic preventive efforts focusing particularly on factors of the psychosocial work environment. Additionally, individuals also form part of the psychosocial work environment, and may, through their own daily work practices contribute to creating the work environment. Based on this, the aim of this thesis is to study how psychosocial factors, in terms of demands and resources, and personal resources at work relate to health and well-being but also to investigate the effects of an organizational preventive intervention program. Specifically, job demands, job resources, and personal resources and their relations with health-related outcomes among employees of the Swedish welfare sector were investigated. Also, two versions of a newly developed intervention program focusing on psychosocial factors and personal resources were examined. This included a feasibility study of one program version offered to both employees and managers and an effect evaluation of another version offered to managers only. The results show that job resources seem to have a stronger health-promoting potential than personal resources. Moreover, the results show that while the program offered to both employees and managers was accepted by participants and found possible to implement practically, its effect were small. Similarly, effects of the program including managers only were also small. Overall, the thesis shows the importance of reducing job demands along with promoting different resources, but emphasizes the challenges in developing, implementing, and evaluating preventive organizational interventions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Psykologiska institutionen, Stockholm, 2017
Keyword
welfare sector, preventive organizational interventions, psychosocial work environment, job demands, job resources, personal resources, work-related attitudes, health-related factors, välfärdssektorn, preventiva organisatoriska interventioner, psykosocial arbetsmiljö, krav i arbetet, resurser i arbetet, personliga resurser, arbetsrelaterade attityder, hälsorelaterade faktorer
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-145454 (URN)978-91-7649-895-8 (ISBN)978-91-7649-896-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-10-06, David Magnussonsalen (U31), Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2017-09-13 Created: 2017-08-10 Last updated: 2017-09-05Bibliographically approved

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