Seeking Individual Health and Organizational Sustainability : The Implications of Change and Mobility
Abstract: Extensive changes are taking place in working life and creating new and important areas for research. New knowledge is needed in order for individuals and organizations to be able to maintain long-term development. The aim of this thesis is to increase our understanding of how change and (im)mobility in the labor market are related to employees’ health, wellbeing, and work-related attitudes. The thesis comprises three studies, based on questionnaire data from different samples. Study I examined the potential consequences of downsizing in two organizations that had implemented change in two different ways (proactively and reactively). A proactive approach seems to lessen change-related demands and provide an opportunity for increased participation, which helps lessen the negative effects on employee work attitudes and wellbeing. The descriptive data from a representative sample in Study II revealed that 28 percent of the permanent and 50 percent of the temporary employees did not work in their preferred occupations. The results indicate that those individuals who were involuntarily embedded (locked-in position), especially among the permanent employees, had more health problems and less development at work. Study III utilizes a newly developed construct (work-related health attributions) that focuses on the individual’s perception of the relation between work and health. The results indicate that it seems to be a promising construct for predicting job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover intention. For employees to have the opportunity to participate in organizational change, as well as the opportunity to exercise mobility and alter their circumstances when the organization, occupation, or job is not contributing to their better health appear to be factors that help improve health and sustainability for both employees and organizations.
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