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  • 1.
    Björk, Lisa
    et al.
    Univ Gothenburg, Dept Sociol & Work Sci, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Bejerot, Eva
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Jacobshagen, Nicola
    Univ Bern, Inst Psychol, Bern, Switzerland.
    Harenstam, Annika
    Univ Gothenburg, Dept Sociol & Work Sci, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    I shouldn't have to do this: Illegitimate tasks as a stressor in relation to organizational control and resource deficits2013In: Work & Stress, ISSN 0267-8373, E-ISSN 1464-5335, Vol. 27, no 3, p. 262-277Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The performance of tasks that are perceived as unnecessary or unreasonable - illegitimate tasks - represents a new stressor concept that refers to assignments that violate the norms associated with the role requirements of professional work. Research has shown that illegitimate tasks are associated with stress and counterproductive work behaviour. The purpose of this study was to provide insight into the contribution of characteristics of the organization on the prevalence of illegitimate tasks in the work of frontline and middle managers. Using the Bern Illegitimate Task Scale (BITS) in a sample of 440 local government operations managers in 28 different organizations in Sweden, this study supports the theoretical assumptions that illegitimate tasks are positively related to stress and negatively related to satisfaction with work performance. Results further show that 10% of the variance in illegitimate tasks can be attributed to the organization where the managers work. Multilevel referential analysis showed that the more the organization was characterized by competition for resources between units, unfair and arbitrary resource allocation and obscure decisional structure, the more illegitimate tasks managers reported. These results should be valuable for strategic-level management since they indicate that illegitimate tasks can be counteracted by means of the organization of work.

  • 2. Harter Griep, R
    et al.
    Rotenberg, L
    Chor, D.
    Toivanen, Susanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
    Landsbergis, P.
    Beyond simple approaches to studying the association between work characteristics and absenteeism: Combining the DCS and ERI models2010In: Work & Stress, ISSN 0267-8373, E-ISSN 1464-5335, Vol. 24, no 2, p. 179-195Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Demand-Control-Support (DCS) and the Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI) models assess different psychosocial factors. This study investigates whether a combination of these models increases their ability to predict sickness absence, as compared to results based on each model separately. A cross-sectional study with nursing personnel (N = 1307) in Brazil was performed. Regression analyses were conducted in three stages: analysis of each scale of the models and sickness absences; assessment of the independent association of each model with sickness absences; assessment of the associations of three combinations of models/scales with sickness absences: DC and social support (SS), ERI and overcommitment, and DC and ERI. As regards comparisons between the stress models, ERI was shown to be independently associated with short (up to 9 days) and long (10 days or more) spells of absenteeism. The same result held true for low social support. The combinations DC-ERI and DC-SS were better predictors for short spells than each model/scale separately, whereas for long spells, the combination DC-SS was the best predictor. ERI seems to be a good instrument for predicting absenteeism if used alone, whereas DC performed better when combined with ERI or SS. An improved risk estimation of sickness absences by combining information from the two models was observed.

  • 3.
    Leineweber, Constanze
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Bernhard-Oettel, Claudia (Contributor)
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nyberg, Anna (Contributor)
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Trajectories of effort-reward imbalance in Swedish workers: Differences in demographic and work-related factors and associations with health2019In: Work & Stress, ISSN 0267-8373, E-ISSN 1464-5335Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the study was to identify trajectories of effort-reward imbalance (ERI), to examine these with respect to demographic (age, gender, socio-economic position) and work-related (employment contract, work hours, shift work, sector) factors, and to investigate associations with different health indicators (self-rated health, depressive symptoms, migraine, sickness absence). The study used four waves of data (N = 6702), collected biennially within the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH). Using latent class growth modelling, we identified four trajectories: a stable low imbalance trajectory, which comprised 90% of all participants, and three change trajectories including a decreasing trajectory (4% of the participants), an inverted U-shaped trajectory and an increasing imbalance trajectory, both in 3% of the participants. Results indicate that a sizeable proportion of Swedish employees’ experience imbalance between efforts and rewards at work. The most favourable trajectory comprised relatively more men and was characterised by better work-related characteristics than the less favourable ERI trajectories. All change trajectories were dominated by women and employees in the public sector. Health developments followed ERI trajectories, such that less favourable trajectories associated with impaired health and more favourable trajectories associated with better health. Sickness absence increased among all ERI trajectories, most so for the decreasing and increasing ERI trajectory.

  • 4.
    Näswall, Katharina
    et al.
    University of Canterbury, New Zealand.
    Sverke, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. North-West University, South Africa .
    Göransson, Sara
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Is work affecting my health?: Appraisals of how work affects health as a mediator in the relationship between working conditions and work-related attitudes2014In: Work & Stress, ISSN 0267-8373, E-ISSN 1464-5335, Vol. 28, no 4, p. 342-361Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigates the role of appraisals by employees of how work is affecting their health, or could end up affecting it in the future. The study tests a model of health appraisals as a mediator of the effect of demands and control on employee attitudes (job satisfaction, organizational commitment and turnover intentions). This was investigated in a sample of employees in a Swedish white-collar organization, who participated in three waves of a longitudinal study conducted in 2007, 2008 and 2009; a final sample of 292 employees participated at all three waves. The results indicate that employee appraisals of how work affects their health have an important role in how working conditions relate to subsequent work-related attitudes. The study supports the importance of including employee appraisals when studying the effects of working conditions.

  • 5.
    Näswall, Katharina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Sverke, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Hellgren, Johnny
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    The moderating role of personality characteristics on the relation between job insecurity and strain2005In: Work & Stress, ISSN 0267-8373, E-ISSN 1464-5335, Vol. 19, no 1, p. 37-49Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The experience of job insecurity has been linked to several different outcomes, such as negative attitudes towards work and the organization, turnover intention, as well as health complaints. However, since the strength of these effects have been found to vary across studies, it is vital to identify factors that could influence the relationships. The present study examines the moderating role of three personality characteristics (negative affectivity, positive affectivity, and external locus of control) on the relation between job insecurity and outcomes (mental health complaints, job dissatisfaction, and job-induced tension). Data from 400 nurses at a Swedish acute care hospital (response rate 71%; 91% women, aged 20-68 years) showed that both job insecurity and personality were related to strain. Also, the data indicated some buffering effect of personality. Despite the gender bias of the sample, the study provides additional support for the notion that job insecurity affects strain even after controlling for individual characteristics. The study also expands the literature on job insecurity by pointing out the influence of personality characteristics on the relationship between stressors and strain.

  • 6.
    Rissén, Dag
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Melin, Bo
    Sandsjö, Leif
    Dohns, Ingela
    Lundberg, Ulf
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Psychophysiological stress reactions, trapezius muscle activity, and neck and shoulder pain among female cashiers before and after introduction of job rotation2002In: Work & Stress, ISSN 0267-8373, E-ISSN 1464-5335, Vol. 16, no 2, p. 127-137Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of the introduction of a job rotation model on supermarket cashiers, with respect to psychophysiological stress reactions, muscle activity of the trapezius muscle (which covers the upper back, the neck and the shoulder), and musculoskeletal symptoms in the neck and shoulders. Thirty-one female cashiers were investigated before and after job rotation was introduced. Before the reorganization the participants were only performing cash register work at the checkout counters. After the reorganization they shifted between cash register work and work in different departments in the supermarket. At follow-up the participants, all right-handed, had a significantly lower diastolic blood pressure, and surface electromyography (EMG) showed a significantly decreased muscle activity in the trapezius muscle on the left side. Musculoskeletal symptoms of the neck and shoulders were only partly changed, and there was no change in prevalence of musculoskeletal pain, which was around 70%. From questionnaires, but not from self-ratings during work, it was found that the introduction of job rotation had been experienced as positive in several regards, although the perceptions of stress and hurry were the same at follow-up.

  • 7. Simonsen Abildgaard, Johan
    et al.
    Nielsen, Karina
    Sverke, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Work and organizational psychology. North-West University, South Africa.
    Can job insecurity be managed? Evaluating an organizational-level intervention addressing the negative effects of restructuring2018In: Work & Stress, ISSN 0267-8373, E-ISSN 1464-5335, Vol. 32, no 2, p. 105-123Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although downsizing and reorganisation are recognised as serious threats to the psychological well-being of employees, intervention strategies for addressing these events are limited. This study evaluated the effects of a participatory organisational-level intervention in which employees and managers chose to address the psychosocial consequences, specifically job insecurity, of restructuring. The intervention was conducted among postal service letter carriers in Denmark and was evaluated based on quantitative and qualitative data. Using interviews (N = 24) and observations, the programme theory of the intervention and to what extent the intervention had been implemented were assessed. Using survey data (N = 238), repeated measures ANOVAs were conducted to test for differences in the development of job insecurity between the intervention group and a comparison group. The results indicate that the intervention group had a significantly smaller increase in one dimension of job insecurity as compared to the comparison group. Therefore, we conclude that employees’ experiencing of job insecurity, which typically follows in the wake of restructuring, can be addressed by planned efforts at the workplace level.

  • 8.
    Stengård, Johanna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Work and organizational psychology.
    Bernhard-Oettel, Claudia
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Work and organizational psychology.
    Berntson, Erik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Work and organizational psychology.
    Leineweber, Constanze
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Aronsson, Gunnar
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Work and organizational psychology.
    Stuck in a job: Being “locked-in” or at risk of becoming locked-in at the workplace and well-being over time2016In: Work & Stress, ISSN 0267-8373, E-ISSN 1464-5335, Vol. 30, no 2, p. 152-172Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this study, being “locked-in” at the workplace is conceptualized as being in a non-preferred workplace while at the same time perceiving low employability. The aim of the study was to investigate how being locked-in or at risk of becoming locked-in (being in a non-preferred workplace yet currently satisfied, combined with perceiving low employability) relates to well-being (subjective health and depressive symptoms). The hypotheses were tested in a Swedish longitudinal sample (T1 in 2010 and T2 in 2012) of permanent employees (N = 3491). The results showed that stability with regard to locked-in-related status (being non-locked-in, at risk of becoming locked-in, or locked-in at both T1 and T2) was related to significant and stable differences in well-being. The non-locked-in status was associated with better well-being than being at risk of becoming locked-in. Moreover, those at risk of becoming locked-in showed better well-being than those with stable locked-in status. Changes towards non-locked-in were accompanied by significant improvements in well-being, and changes towards locked-in were associated with impairments in well-being. The relationships that were found could not be attributed to differences in demographic variables and occupational preference. The findings indicate that being locked-in is detrimental to well-being. This has implications for preventative interventions.

  • 9. Vander Elst, Tinne
    et al.
    Richter, Anne
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Sverke, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. North West University, South Africa.
    Naeswall, Katharina
    De Cuyper, Nele
    De Witte, Hans
    Threat of losing valued job features: The role of perceived control in mediating the effect of qualitative job insecurity on job strain and psychological withdrawal2014In: Work & Stress, ISSN 0267-8373, E-ISSN 1464-5335, Vol. 28, no 2, p. 143-164Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Quantitative job insecurity, relating to threat of job loss, has received considerable research attention, but relatively little is known about qualitative job insecurity. The latter relates to uncertainty regarding valued job characteristics, such as career and wage progression. The aim of this study was to investigate whether situational appraisals of control may account for the relationship between qualitative job insecurity and both job strain (depressive symptoms and upper musculoskeletal complaints) and psychological withdrawal (affective organizational commitment and turnover intentions). The hypotheses were tested by means of two-wave longitudinal data (time lag of 14 months) from 722 Swedish white-collar workers in four samples. The results of cross-lagged structural equation modelling showed that qualitative job insecurity was negatively related to subsequent perceived control. Furthermore, perceptions of high control over the job situation were associated with decreased depressive symptoms and increased affective organizational commitment over time. Formal tests pointed at a significant indirect effect of qualitative job insecurity on affective organizational commitment through perceived control. No effects of perceived control on upper musculoskeletal complaints and turnover intentions were found. This study indicates the importance of qualitative job insecurity for employees' functioning and highlights perceived control as an explanation of job insecurity outcomes.

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