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Sustainable small-scale enterprises – a case study in Norway and Sweden
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
2017 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Background: Small-scale enterprises (SSEs) with fewer than 20 employees are regarded as important contributors to economic development. In Norway and Sweden around one-fifth of the working population are employed in this enterprise group. The increasing importance of SSEs in today’s working life has led to an expansion of research on small-scale businesses in recent decades. However, there is a limited understanding about the importance of the psychosocial working conditions, the work-life balance, health and well-being in these enterprises. Also, workplace health management are rarely addressed in small business research.

Purpose and method: The overall aim of the study is two-fold: 1) to explore SSEs conditions for managing health promoting workplace from a leader perspective, 2) to investigate psychosocial working conditions and health outcomes in Norwegian and Swedish SSEs. Data from interviews with leaders in 18 SSEs were used together with questionnaire data from 179 individuals (149 coworkers and 30 leaders).

Findings: The findings revealed four main categories as important for creating health-promoting workplaces: Prerequisites for corporative a healthy workplace, Cultivating workplace health management, Restricted leeway and External Commitments. Examples of sub-themes were solidarity and flexibility among employees; self-steered task management; good and joyful working conditions; legal framework and regulations; advice from the board; guidance from mentors; work-related networks; family and friends as buffers. The quantitative data showed significant relations between changes of several psychosocial indices and health indices. The results also point at relative high values concerning salutogenic health indicators and work environment indicators for SSE coworkers and leaders compared to other occupational groups. However, especially the leaders express high and conflicting work demands.  

Conclusions: The leader’s view of health promoting workplaces point at great consciousness and maturity in their approach to create a health-promotive workplace. However, the leaders experience several obstacles and limited resources for health-promoting processes. The study results point at relative good psychosocial working conditions and employee health, although there is a potential for improvements concerning some working condition factors. There is a need for more adapted models, both at a societal and organizational level, to support SSEs when creating healthy and sustainable workplaces. The leader’s competence concerning working conditions and health-related issues is crucial for successful results in creating such workplaces.        

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
small-scale enterprises, sustainable workplaces, leadership, workplace health management
National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-31530OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-31530DiVA: diva2:1137954
Conference
7th International Community, Work and Family Conference, 25-27 May 2017, Milano
Funder
AFA Insurance, Dnr 130190
Available from: 2017-09-03 Created: 2017-09-03 Last updated: 2017-09-03

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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