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High job strain among social work managers and its relation to perceived work situation
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2016 (English)In: European Journal of Social Work, ISSN 1369-1457, E-ISSN 1468-2664, Vol. 19, no 5, 664-678 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study was to examine how middle managers within the personal social services in Sweden perceived demands, control and support at work. The study group included 402 frontline, second tier and third tier managers who have answered questions concerning their work situation and perceptions of their psychosocial work environment. Based on Karasek's demand–control model, a ‘high strain’ group was defined and analysed further. The results showed that this group experienced less support from immediate superiors, but no correlation could be found between high strain and other forms of support, such as courses on leadership, managerial supervision or networks. Organisational factors, such as municipality size, managerial level, number of subordinates and field of social work, seemed to be of little importance. Comparisons between the ‘high strain’ group and other managers showed that the high strain group spent more hours working with administration, that they to a lesser degree regarded budget responsibility as a way to exercise power in the organisation and that they had a more negative view on their organisation, especially concerning the possibility to influence decisions. They also had less confidence in the way the organisation was governed.

Abstract [sv]

Syftet med studien var att undersöka hur mellanchefer i socialtjänstens individ- och familjeomsorg upplevde krav, kontroll och stöd i arbetet. Undersökningsgruppen innefattade 402 chefer på tre olika nivåer som svarat på frågor om arbetssituation och om upplevelser av den psykosociala arbetsmiljön. Med utgångspunkt i Karaseks krav-/kontrollmodell identifierades en grupp chefer med hög arbetsbelastning som sedan analyserades vidare. Resultaten visade att gruppen upplevde mindre stöd från de närmast överordnade, men det fanns inget samband mellan arbetsbelastning och andra former av stöd som kurser i ledarskap, handledning i ledarskap eller nätverksstöd. Organisatoriska faktorer som kommunstorlek, chefsnivå, antal anställda eller arbetsområde hade liten betydelse. Jämförelser mellan de med hög belastning och övriga chefer visade att de förstnämnda använde mer tid till administration, att de i mindre grad såg budgetarbete som en möjlighet att utöva makt i organisationen och att de hade en mer negativ uppfattning om sin organisation, speciellt när det gällde möjlighet att utöva inflytande. Det hade också mindre tilltro till hur organisationen styrdes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 19, no 5, 664-678 p.
Keyword [en]
social work, middle managers, job strain
Keyword [sv]
socialt arbete, mellanchefer, arbetsbelastning
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-121551DOI: 10.1080/13691457.2015.1032894ISI: 000385811100006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-121551DiVA: diva2:859472
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Available from: 2015-10-07 Created: 2015-10-07 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved

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