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Work-related health attributions: their impact on work attitudes
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2009 (English)In: International Journal of Workplace, ISSN 1753-8351, Vol. 2, no 1, 6-21 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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

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

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

Work-related health attributions should be taken into account in order to avoid impaired levels of employee work motivation. The measure introduced renders it possible to identify and help those individuals who believe that work affects their health negatively. The results underscore the relevance of how individuals think their health is affected by their work, and contributes to the understanding of how health status relates to work-related attitudes. Since the measure of work-related health attributions is easily administered it is also valuable for practitioners working with employee health and attitudes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 2, no 1, 6-21 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-30705DOI: 10.1108/17538350910945974OAI: diva2:275221
Available from: 2009-11-04 Created: 2009-10-23 Last updated: 2009-11-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Seeking Individual Health and Organizational Sustainability: The Implications of Change and Mobility
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Seeking Individual Health and Organizational Sustainability: The Implications of Change and Mobility
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Extensive changes are taking place in working life and creating new and important areas for research. New knowledge is needed in order for individuals and organizations to be able to maintain long-term development. The aim of this thesis is to increase our understanding of how change and (im)mobility in the labor market are related to employees’ health, wellbeing, and work-related attitudes. The thesis comprises three studies, based on questionnaire data from different samples. Study I examined the potential consequences of downsizing in two organizations that had implemented change in two different ways (proactively and reactively). A proactive approach seems to lessen change-related demands and provide an opportunity for increased participation, which helps lessen the negative effects on employee work attitudes and wellbeing. The descriptive data from a representative sample in Study II revealed that 28 percent of the permanent and 50 percent of the temporary employees did not work in their preferred occupations. The results indicate that those individuals who were involuntarily embedded (locked-in position), especially among the permanent employees, had more health problems and less development at work. Study III utilizes a newly developed construct (work-related health attributions) that focuses on the individual’s perception of the relation between work and health. The results indicate that it seems to be a promising construct for predicting job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover intention. For employees to have the opportunity to participate in organizational change, as well as the opportunity to exercise mobility and alter their circumstances when the organization, occupation, or job is not contributing to their better health appear to be factors that help improve health and sustainability for both employees and organizations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, 2009. 98 p.
Downsizing, organizational change, proactive, demands, participation, temporary work, mobility, involuntary embeddedness, work-related health attributions, working conditions, work-related attitudes, development, wellbeing, health
National Category
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-31123 (URN)978-91-7155-957-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-12-02, David Magnussonsalen (U31), hus 8, Frescati hagväg 8, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-11-10 Created: 2009-11-05 Last updated: 2010-06-15Bibliographically approved

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Göransson, SaraNäswall, KatharinaSverke, Magnus
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