New ownership types have entered the health care sector that besides traditional public hospitals now includes private for-profit and private non-profit companies. The new hospital ownership types typically underscore increased cost and production efficiency, which may have implications for psychosocial work characteristics and job satisfaction among employees.
Objectives: This study set out to investigate how job demands along with control over work (COW) and control within work (CWW) relate to job satisfaction in publicly administered, private non-profit and private for-profit hospitals.
Methods: Questionnaire data came from employees at three hospitals; a publicly administered (n=774), a private non-profit (n=1481) and a private for-profit (n=694) hospital. Besides mean-level analyses, hierarchical regressions with multiple group tests were conducted.
Results: Demands in terms of workload were significantly lower at the publicly administered hospital while control in terms of CWW was significantly higher. Background factors and their associations with job satisfaction differed slightly between ownership types. Notably, attitude to privatization was not associated with job satisfaction within any ownership type. Overall, psychosocial work characteristics, including job demands and control, were significantly associated with job satisfaction while their interactions showed no consistent associations with job satisfaction. As regards the strength of the associations between background factors, psychosocial work characteristics and job satisfaction, no consistent differences emerged between ownership types.
Conclusions: The associations between psychosocial work characteristics at work and job satisfaction seem comparable across ownership types. This perhaps relates to societal demands on the structuring of costs, work and production efficiency that go beyond ownership types.