In what does healthy work for persons with an academic background consist, and how great is the perceived gulf between actual work and healthy work? A random sample of 5,700 members of the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations (SACO) was taken in order to investigate their images of healthy work (in a very broad sense). Two groupings of work aspects emerged as particularly important. The first can be designated as work intellectuality-that work provides intellectual stimulation and is performed freely and independently, that innovative thinking and initiative-taking are appreciated, and that personal qualities can be utilized constructively. Great discrepancies between ideal and reality were evident in the latter two aspects. The second significant set of aspects was the value of work- benefit of the work to society and the extent to which it accorded with personal values. Here, the correspondence between ideal and actual work was relatively high. Lowest ranked of the twelve aspects which were judged to constitute healthy work were being well paid and having opportunities for career advancement. Rank orders and discrepancies are analyzed for seven occupational groups: physicians, dentists, teachers, engineers, university teachers, lawyers and economists. Comparisons are made by gender, age, employer, and position.
1999. Vol. 28, no 2, 197-215 p.