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Control and partcipation for employees within geriatric care: does ownership make a difference?
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2007 (English)In: Work: A journal of Prevention, Assesment and rehabilitation, ISSN 1051-9815, E-ISSN 1875-9270, Vol. 30, no 2, 137-147 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The welfare sector in Sweden has undergone extensive changes during the last 15 years, and private and cooperative actors have entered the public market. In the light of high sick-leave rates, especially in female-dominated professions, it is important to identify factors that can help to improve the working conditions and promote health among employees. The purpose of this study was to compare how two of these factors, participation and control, are perceived by employees in three different forms of ownership: public, cooperative and private. In all, 186 employees working at seven geriatric care institutions with three ownership forms were invited to participate in the study. 82% responded to a questionnaire containing issues related to working conditions, e.g. control and participation. The one-way ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis were used to analyse the findings among the three groups of employees working in public, cooperative or private setting. Results showed that employees in cooperatives experienced more participation than employees working in the public and private sectors in two out of four variables - employee's voice concerning work environment issues and sympathetic response from the manager and decision-making concerning work activities at large. As expected, there were no difference in perceived control between ownership forms, which might be explained by the fact that the work nature in geriatric care is rather regulated, restricted and formalized, regardless of ownership form, resulting in limited freedom over the work situation for the individual employee.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2007. Vol. 30, no 2, 137-147 p.
Keyword [en]
Control, participation, health promotion, public, cooperative, private
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-2325ISI: 000256525300005OAI: diva2:140276
Available from: 2007-05-09 Created: 2007-05-09 Last updated: 2016-08-26Bibliographically 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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