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The impact of ownership on psychosocial working conditions: A multilevel analysis of 60 workplaces
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2006 (English)In: Economic and Industrial Democracy, ISSN 0143-831X, E-ISSN 1461-7099, Vol. 27, no 2, 245-284 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

With the expansion of the service sector, working conditions have changed during recent decades and it has become more relevant to highlight psychosocial factors as a complement to physical aspects of work. The main scope of this article concerns legal forms of ownership (i.e. the public sector, public enterprises, private enterprises and cooperatives), different types of operations within the service sector, and whether these organizational characteristics create differences in psychosocial working conditions for the individual employee. A total of 1384 employees in 60 workplaces within 25 establishments participated, and the data consisted of both a survey answered by the employees and structured interviews conducted with the local managers in each participating organization. Multilevel analysis showed that a rather high degree of variance in working conditions could be attributed to factors outside/above the individual level, and furthermore, that both ownership and type of operation were significant and relevant variables in order to explain differences in working conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Sage , 2006. Vol. 27, no 2, 245-284 p.
Keyword [en]
control, cooperative, human service, psychosocial climate, public, private
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-2323DOI: 10.1177/0143831X06063099OAI: diva2:140274
Available from: 2007-05-09 Created: 2007-05-09 Last updated: 2011-03-18Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Organisational characteristics and psychosocial working conditions in different forms of ownership
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Organisational characteristics and psychosocial working conditions in different forms of ownership
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The main aim of this thesis has been to compare psychosocial working conditions in workplaces with different forms of ownership, i.e. public, private and cooperative. A second aim has been to study how organisational characteristics of relevance for psychosocial working conditions (in terms of management control strategies and prerequisites for management) are manifested in these ownership forms. The empirical data is based on structured interviews with managers at 60 workplaces within the service sector and on a questionnaire to all employees working in the participating workplaces, resulting in a set of 1384 individuals. An additional seven interviews with first-line managers within geriatric care were also conducted for the last study. The results show that employees in cooperatives perceived that they had better opportunities to influence decisions concerning the workplace as a whole, although there were also results showing advantages for public and private employees. Regarding opportunities for employees to influence their own work situation, there were no differences between the ownership forms. Differences were found in the prerequisites for first-line geriatric care managers. As a result of an earlier organisational change, the public managers were now further away from the strategic level and had to focus on daily, operative work tasks, while simultaneously also being responsible for keeping within the budget. The private managers, on the other hand, having group leaders to deal with the daily work concerning personnel and operations, could focus more on strategic work related to financial results in terms of planning and follow-up of the budget. One conclusion is that there are certain differences in both psychosocial working conditions and organisational characteristics between the ownership forms, but when the comparisons were restricted to only one type of service, in this case the provision of care, it is rather the similarities within the care organisations, regardless of ownership form, that are most pronounced.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Sociologi, 2007. 48 p.
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Sociologiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 1104-2508 ; 49
Psychosocial working conditions, Prerequisites for management, Management control strategies, Cooperative, Public sector, Ownership, Welfare services, Geriatric care
National Category
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1125 (URN)978-91-7264-309-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-05-29, Hörsal F, Humanisthuset, Universitetsområdet, Umeå, 13:15
Available from: 2007-05-09 Created: 2007-05-09Bibliographically approved

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