umu.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
The importance of organizational characteristics for psychosocial working conditions and health
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The importance of organizations for understanding differences in the working conditions and health of employees is often emphasized but rarely explored empirically. The general aim of this thesis is to describe organizational characteristics of workplaces, and to assess their impact on the psychosocial working conditions and health of employees. In modern working life, it is assumed that employees' working conditions and health are affected by a general transformation of workplaces from bureaucracy to post-bureaucracy.

 The organizational data used are based on structured interviews with managers at workplaces in different types of operations in mid-Sweden, whereas the individual data consist of a questionnaire to all employees working in the participating workplaces, resulting in a dataset of 90 workplaces and 4306 individuals. Descriptive analysis was carried out for comparison of organizational characteristics in different types of operations, while multilevel analysis was applied to investigate the magnitude of the organizational impact on psychosocial working conditions, and to analyze associations between organizational characteristics, psychosocial working conditions and health.

The results showed that the workplaces were mainly displayed by a combination of bureaucratic and post-bureaucratic characteristics, and these were unequally distributed between types of operations. A systematic variation in the psychosocial working conditions and health of employees was found between workplaces, and the variation in psychosocial working conditions was attributed to several organizational levels. The variation between workplaces was explained by both organizational characteristics of the workplaces and individual characteristics of the employees. Formalization, centralization, job enrichment, individual responsibility, soft control systems, and performance control were associated with psychosocial working conditions when controlled for occupational class, gender and age of employees, and a high degree of customer adaptation was associated with increased sickness absence of employees.  

It is concluded that bureaucracy and post-bureaucracy should not be regarded as dichotomies. Organizational characteristics of workplaces have an impact on the psychosocial working conditions and health of employees beyond occupational class. This has implications for both the theory and the practice of occupational health research. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Print & Media , 2009. , 59 p.
Series
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Sociologiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 1104-2508 ; 54
Keyword [en]
Organization, workplace, bureaucracy, post-bureaucracy, psychosocial working conditions, JDC model, multilevel analysis, health, sickness absence
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-18285ISBN: 789-91-7264-735-0 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-18285DiVA: diva2:200888
Public defence
2009-03-27, Hörsal F, Humanisthuset, Umeå universitet, 901 87, Umeå , 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
The Healthy Workplace Study
Available from: 2009-03-11 Created: 2009-02-02 Last updated: 2009-03-27Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. An empirical study of bureaucratic and post-bureaucratic characteristics in 90 workplaces
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An empirical study of bureaucratic and post-bureaucratic characteristics in 90 workplaces
2008 (English)In: Economic and Industrial Democracy, ISSN 0143-831X, E-ISSN 1461-7099, Vol. 29, no 4, 541-564 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of the study was to explore bureaucratic and post- bureaucraticcharacteristics of organizational structure. A further aim was to investigate whether differences were related to types of industries. Eight organizational characteristics were measured, based on interviews with local managers at 90 workplaces in a broad sample of industries in mid-Sweden. The study showed that post-bureaucratic as well as bureaucratic characte ristics coexisted in most workplaces. The results are not in accordance with the rhetoric that considers bureaucracy obsolete in contemporary organizations. Significant differences were revealed between industries in seven of the eight characteristics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Sage Publications, 2008
Keyword
division of labour, flexibility, management, organization, working arrangements
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-19142 (URN)10.1177/0143831X08096228 (DOI)000260339300006 ()
Available from: 2009-03-04 Created: 2009-03-04 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
2. Organizational impact on psychosocial working conditions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Organizational impact on psychosocial working conditions
2008 (English)In: Work: A journal of Prevention, Assesment and rehabilitation, ISSN 1051-9815, E-ISSN 1875-9270, Vol. 30, no 4, 451-459 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Using a multilevel approach, this study explores how job demands and control are dependent on the organizational context in which work is performed. The data set consisted of 3,485 employees at 51 establishments divided into 141 sub-units and belonging to 10 parent organizations. Data were collected by means of a survey answered by the employees and structured interviews conducted with operative managers at participating establishments. The results showed that a significant proportion of the variance in job demands and control was attributed to the organization, and that the three organizational levels varied in terms of their impact on the two psychosocial dimensions. More specifically, job demands were mostly affected by the establishment level, while the sub-unit level seemed to be the most important for job control. It is concluded that in studies of working conditions, the organizational context should be considered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2008
Keyword
control, JD-C model, job demands, Multilevel analysis, organization
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-19144 (URN)000258695100013 ()
Available from: 2009-03-04 Created: 2009-03-04 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
3. Exploring the organizational framework of psychosocial working conditions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring the organizational framework of psychosocial working conditions
(English)Manuscript (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-19152 (URN)
Available from: 2009-03-04 Created: 2009-03-04 Last updated: 2012-02-02Bibliographically approved
4. Can individual health differences be explained by workplace characteristics?—A multilevel analysis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Can individual health differences be explained by workplace characteristics?—A multilevel analysis
2008 (English)In: Social Science & Medicine, Vol. 66, no 3, 650-662 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Research on work-related health has mainly focused on individual factors. The present study expands the focus by exploring the role of organizational characteristics of workplaces for different individual health outcomes. The aim of the study was to look at differences in relative effect of workplace variations on five health outcomes, and to explain those differences in health outcomes by organizational characteristics. The sample encompassed 90 workplaces in Sweden and about 4300 individuals employed within these workplaces. Measurement of the workplace characteristics was carried out independently of the measurement of the individual's working conditions and health. Organizational data were collected by interviews with local managers at participating workplaces, and individual data were obtained by means of a survey of the employees. The results showed that a significant proportion of the variance in sickness absence, work ability, general health, and musculoskeletal disorders was attributed to the workplace. Of eight tested organizational characteristics, customer adaptation, lean production, and performance control could explain some of this workplace variance. The results also showed that only one organizational effect remained significant when controlled for the individual confounder of age and gender. High customer adaptation is associated with higher sickness absence. This association is not mediated via differences in mental and physical job strain.

Keyword
Organizational characteristics, Working conditions, Sickness absence, Musculoskeletal disorders, Work ability, General health, Sweden
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-11095 (URN)doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.09.008 (DOI)
Available from: 2008-11-17 Created: 2008-11-17 Last updated: 2011-01-10Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(488 kB)1697 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT02.pdfFile size 488 kBChecksum SHA-512
39f040b945d04609e1c77c354ed02461c6952581f06a6d4d0981d6dfcada83592ec4a06b194a729193ff5a785dc2919ab465dbe251d02589eda65e8473ab098e
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Bolin, Malin
By organisation
Department of Sociology
Sociology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 1697 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 2429 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf