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On the Relationship between Sustainable Health and Quality Management: Leadership and organizational behaviours from Swedish organizations
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7621-2649
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Sickness absence not only causes significant costs for organizations but also leads to other negative consequences for individuals and societies. Previous research has shown that working with organizational values within Quality Management affects job satisfaction and results in increased profitability and customer satisfaction. There would, in addition, seem to be great gains if managers, by working with Quality Management, can manage to establish sustainable health among co-workers.

 

The purpose of the research described in this thesis was to examine how Quality Management could be practised in order to support sustainable health among co-workers and what it is within Quality Management that influences sustainable co-worker health. Accordingly, the purpose was also to contribute to the understanding of the relation between sustainable health and Quality Management. To fulfil this purpose, three research questions were asked. The results are described in three parts related to the three research questions and are the product of six case studies carried out in seven different organizations.

 

Interviews with managers and workshops with co-workers were carried out to investigate how Quality Management can be practised within organizations in order to promote sustainable co-worker health. These investigations took place in four organizations that had received awards. Three had been awarded for their excellence in leadership, work environment and co-workership, along with improved profitability; one for its successful implementation of quality programmes. The results are descriptions of methodologies, behaviours, values and organization structure used by the organizations to support sustainable health. These are exemplified with practical examples. The methodologies, behaviours, values, and organizational structure are considered possible for other organizations to adopt and all of them are already supported in the quality, management and leadership literature. Support from the health literature is also found for most of the behaviours, methodologies, values, and organizational structure.

 

Surveys and focus groups interviews were carried out in five different organizations in order to find out what is of most importance when practising Quality Management in order to influence sustainable co-worker health. The results pointed to ‘Leadership Commitment’ as the most central of the values for achieving sustainable health among the co-workers. Furthermore, the values ‘Continuous Improvements’, ‘Participation of Everybody’ and ‘Customer Orientation’ were found to be related to sustainable health among the co-workers. The values ‘Leadership Commitment’ and the value ‘Participation of Everybody’ were then further elaborated to find aspects of importance for sustainable co-worker health. From the value ‘Leadership Commitment’ four aspects were extracted. These were labelled ‘Empathy’, ‘Presence and Communication’, ‘Integrity’, and ‘Continuity’. The results showed relations between the value ‘Leadership Commitment’ within Quality Management and sustainable health among the co-workers. Thus it is essential for leaders to work in accordance with that value to achieve results in the work towards sustainable co-worker health. The results indicate that this requires management and leadership that are characterized by the aspects above. The leaders have to:

 

• Really understand the co-workers and their work situation.

• Be present and available for co-workers and communicate with them.

• Act as a role model, be fair and keep their promises.

• Stay in their positions long enough to build up trust and confidence.

 

The value ‘Participation of Everybody’ has also been shown to be related to sustainable health among the co-workers. This indicates that it is important to work in accordance with that value in the struggle to achieve sustainable health among the co-workers. The results imply that this value is characterized by the aspects ‘Development’, ‘Influence’ and ‘Being informed’. This could be done by:

 

• Giving the co-workers opportunities to develop their skills and develop personally.

• Letting the co-workers influence their work situation and taking suggestions and proposals from them seriously.

• Having good communication within the whole organization.

 

To manage this; the managers have to delegate more and empower the co-workers.

 

These results were then further elaborated within another organization in order to develop a measurement approach that can clarify the extent to which the values, ‘Leadership Commitment’ and ‘Participation of Everybody’ permeate an organization. The developed measurement approach can be used to clarify the extent to which the organization is practising the health-promoting values within Quality Management and in what areas improvement is needed to increase co-worker health. The approach can also help the organization to detect those shortcomings within the management which are important for co-worker well-being. The developed measurement approach can be used to establish and enhance co-worker health by improving their well-being, satisfaction and motivation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University , 2009. , p. 102
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 71
Keywords [en]
Quality Management, Sustainable health, Leadership, Values, Quality Technology and Management, TQM, Quality control
Keywords [sv]
Kvalitetsteknik, Kvalitet
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-8985ISBN: 978-91-86073-37-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-8985DiVA, id: diva2:219294
Public defence
2009-05-28, Q221, Mittuniversitetet, Akademigatan 1, Östersund, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-05-27 Created: 2009-05-27 Last updated: 2009-09-04Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Learning from others to adapt Quality Management to the future
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Learning from others to adapt Quality Management to the future
2011 (English)In: Total Quality Management and Business Excellence, ISSN 1478-3363, E-ISSN 1478-3371, Vol. 22, no 2, p. 187-196Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to compare leadership behaviours from two different approaches with the leadership behaviours within Quality Management in order to find possible areas for developing leadership within Quality Management. A case study has been carried out at a Swedish award-winning organisation in order to study leadership behaviours. In-depth interviews have been carried out with the intention to explore how the manager has worked to become one of Sweden’s best workplaces. Leadership behaviours from three different approaches are summarised in ‘The Core Leadership Behaviours’. The analysis of the leadership methodologies and behaviours used by the leaders and the ‘Core Leadership Behaviours’ from the three different approaches has been summarized for each approach. The comparison indicates that there are interesting leadership behaviours in Change Oriented Leadership as well as in KaosPilots that are not established within Quality Management. The leadership behaviours could complement Quality Management to meet new and challenging demands from customers and co-workers

Keywords
Quality Management; Change Oriented Management; Leadership Behaviours; KaosPilots; Creativity; TQM, Kvalitetsteknik, Ledarskapsbeteenden, Kaos Piloterna, Kreativitet, TQM
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-8654 (URN)10.1080/14783363.2010.530800 (DOI)000287487700005 ()2-s2.0-79951825434 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2009-02-24 Created: 2009-02-24 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
2. Are healthy and successful organizations working accordingly to Quality Management?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Are healthy and successful organizations working accordingly to Quality Management?
2009 (English)In: International journal of workplace health management, ISSN 1753-8351, Vol. 2, no 3, p. 245-257Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine if healthy and successful organizations are working accordingly to Quality Management. The purpose is also to describe in more detail how they are working.

 

Methodology/Approach

Three Swedish organizations that have shown excellence in leadership, internal partnership, working environment and profitability have been examined, to find out what methodologies they have used for their success. To discover whether these healthy and successful organizations are working accordingly to Quality Management, Deming’s 14-point list has been used as an analytical tool.

 

Findings

Identified methodologies used by the healthy and successful organizations are described.  Viewed in the light of our analysis, a relationship between the three examined healthy and successful organizations and Quality Management is indicated.

 

Practical implications

Working with the methodologies described in the paper, the three organizations have improved co-worker health. Other organizations could probably adopt the identified and described methodologies to improve the health of their co-workers and effectiveness in the organization.

 

Originality/value

Concerning the performance evaluation and the continuous improvement component in Quality Management, substantial contributions could be made to the health area by applying the tools that the quality area have used over a considerable period to improve the quality outcomes.

Quality and health aspects have common success factors, and a focus on high quality could be seen as positive for health outcomes.

Keywords
Quality Management, health, leadership, methodologies, performance, effectiveness., Kvalitetsteknik, Kvalitet
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-6385 (URN)10.1108/17538350910993430 (DOI)2-s2.0-76749122827 (Scopus ID)4496 (Local ID)4496 (Archive number)4496 (OAI)
Available from: 2009-02-23 Created: 2009-02-23 Last updated: 2018-11-27Bibliographically approved
3. How successful Swedish organisations achieve sustaniable health
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How successful Swedish organisations achieve sustaniable health
2005 (English)In: International Journal of Management Practice, ISSN 1477-9064, E-ISSN 1741-8143, Vol. 1, no 3, p. 233-250Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The costs connected to the rapidly increasing sick leaves have risen to alarming levels in Sweden and, for instance, Norway and the Netherlands. To find out how to handle the situation on an organizational level, a case study of two organizations has been carried out, which are recognized and have been awarded for their excellence in methodologies for decreasing the number of sick leaves. One is a small manufacturing company and the other one is a large public health care organization. Both organizations are non-hierarchical with responsibility and authority delegated to different groups. The data collection has mainly been carried out through brainstorming in groups, structured in tree diagrams, complemented by interviews. Important working methods for mangers are low-prestige, visibility and functioning as coaches with activities aimed at building relations. On the basis of the result of this study, suggestions are presented which are considered possible for others to adopt.

Keywords
Sustainable health, Methodologies, Lleadership, Partnership, Quality Technology and Management, TQM, Quality control, Kvalitetsteknik, Kvalitet
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-3312 (URN)10.1504/IJMP.2005.008036 (DOI)2-s2.0-33846279584 (Scopus ID)3249 (Local ID)3249 (Archive number)3249 (OAI)
Available from: 2008-09-30 Created: 2008-09-30 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
4. Approach for measuring health-related quality management
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Approach for measuring health-related quality management
2012 (English)In: The TQM Journal, ISSN 1754-2731, E-ISSN 1754-274X, Vol. 24, no 1, p. 59-71Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to develop an approach to measuring health-related quality management based on earlier research on the connection between quality management and employee health. Design/methodology/approach - A questionnaire was developed and a research study was carried out at a manufacturing company. The constructs were tested for internal reliability using Cronbach's alpha tests. The dimensions' correlations with employee health were checked using Pearson correlation. Findings - Three of the dimensions were correlated with the perception of employee health: "presence/ communication" and "integrity" derived from leadership commitment, and "influence" derived from everybody's participation. These findings substantiate earlier studies indicating a relationship between visible, clear leadership and employee health. They are also in line with earlier findings of how the possibilities to influence their own work promote employee health and work ability. The paper provides a proposal as to how managers can proceed in the measurement and evaluation of quality management efforts related to employee health. Research limitations/implications - The research is conducted as a single research study in one industrial manufacturing company. Further research should be conducted in other organizations from different lines of business with the same conditions and in organizations with different conditions. Practical implications - This approach can be used by managers for gaining insight into underlying mechanisms in the organizational culture related to employee health from a quality management perspective. This could lead to improved employee well-being, satisfaction and motivation. It could be used as a first step for improvements when implementing health-related quality management "to break the ice" and it could be followed up by qualitative methods. Originality/value - Traditional ways of measuring health are rarely connected to quality management. Only requiring small resources, this approach to measuring health-related quality management can add to an understanding of underlying mechanisms.

Keywords
quality management, employee health, TQM, measures, leadership commitment, participation of everybody, Quality Technology and Management, TQM, Quality control, Kvalitetsteknik, Kvalitet
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-8653 (URN)10.1108/17542731211191221 (DOI)2-s2.0-84555197162 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2009-02-24 Created: 2009-02-24 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
5. Quality management and health: a double connection
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Quality management and health: a double connection
2007 (English)In: International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, ISSN 0265-671X, E-ISSN 1758-6682, Vol. 24, no 1, p. 49-61Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to examine and discuss the effects of quality management in the health care sector and the general effects of quality management on the health of the employees. Methodology/approach The empirical basis consists of three case studies in one industrial manufacturing company and two hospitals. The empirical data have been gathered with both qualitative and quantitative methods. Findings: The twofold value of quality management, of preventing disease by supporting more rewarding working conditions as well as improving the treatment of disease by increasing the effectiveness of health care organisations it indicated. Leadership commitment was found to be the most crucial common prerequisite for successful quality management implementation and for creating a healthy work environment. In addition, continuous improvements and participation of everybody were found to have importance for well functioning quality management as well as for health. Research limitations/implications: The paper provides additional understanding of the influence of quality management on health and a model is presented. A limitation is that the factors studied are fairly broad and for further research it will be useful to go deeper into the mechanics of them. Practical implications: The three factors leadership commitment, participation of everybody and continuous improvements have been shown to be vital contributors for health and managers should make every effort to implement them. Originality/value: The double effect of quality management on health has not been studied before and knowledge of the factors contributing to it is valuable.

Keywords
Quality Management, Health, Health-care, Leadership Commitment, Society, Quality Technology and Management, TQM, Quality control, Kvalitetsteknik, Kvalitet
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-3721 (URN)10.1108/02656710710720321 (DOI)2-s2.0-33846117654 (Scopus ID)3887 (Local ID)3887 (Archive number)3887 (OAI)
Available from: 2008-09-30 Created: 2008-09-30 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
6. The relationship between quality management and employee health -: exploring the underlying dimensions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The relationship between quality management and employee health -: exploring the underlying dimensions
2010 (English)In: International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, ISSN 1746-6474, Vol. 5, no 2, p. 109-123Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The first purpose of this study was to verify the relationship between workplace health and quality management, particularly the values ‘leadership commitment’ and ‘participation of everybody’ whose importance previous research has pointed to. The second purpose of the study was to examine the constituents and mechanics of the relationships between health and those values. A case study was carried out in a Swedish manufacturing company using data triangulation in the form of in-depth interviews and focus-group interviews on three levels.

 

The findings show that the perceptions of the quality management values were significantly correlated with the employees’ perception of their health. This finding substantiates earlier studies indicating a relationship between quality and health. Important dimensions of ‘leadership commitment’ and ‘participation of everybody’, regarding health, were identified and described in models. The paper provides additional understanding of the connection between quality management and health, particularly regarding the role of leadership.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
InderScience Publishers, 2010
Keywords
Employee health, Quality management, TQM, values, workplace health, leadership commitment, participation of everybody, Quality Technology and Management, TQM, Quality control, Kvalitetsteknik, Kvalitet
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-6381 (URN)10.1504/IJPQM.2010.030737 (DOI)2-s2.0-80051999326 (Scopus ID)4425 (Local ID)4425 (Archive number)4425 (OAI)
Available from: 2008-12-07 Created: 2008-12-07 Last updated: 2017-05-03Bibliographically approved
7. Leadership and organizational behaviour: Similarities between three award-winning organizations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Leadership and organizational behaviour: Similarities between three award-winning organizations
2009 (English)In: International Journal of Management Practice, ISSN 1477-9064, E-ISSN 1741-8143, Vol. 3, no 4, p. 327-345Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine if healthy and successful organizations are working accordingly to Quality Management. The purpose is also to describe how the organizations are working.

 

Methodology/Approach

Three Swedish organizations that have shown excellence in leadership, internal partnership, working environment and profitability have been examined, to find out what methodologies they have been used for their success. To find out if the healthy and successful organizations are working accordingly to Quality Management, Deming’s 14 point list have been used as analysing tool.

 

Findings

Indentified methodologies used by the healthy and successful organisations are described.  Viewed through our analysis, a relationship between the three examined healthy and successful organizations and Quality Management is indicated.

 

Practical implications

Working with the methodologies described in the paper, the three organizations have improved co-worker health. Other organizations could probably adopt the identified and described methodologies to improve the health of their co-workers and effectiveness in the organization.

 

Originality/value

Concerning the performance evaluation and the continuous improvement component in Quality Management, substantial contributions could be made to the health area by applying the tools that the quality area have used for such a long time to improve the quality outcomes.

Quality and health aspects have common success factors, and a focus on high quality could be seen as positive for health outcomes.

 

Keywords
Quality Management, health, leadership, methodologies, performance, effectiveness, Quality Technology and Management, TQM, Quality control, leadership; successful organisations; quality management; organisational effectiveness; organisational behaviour; workplace health promotion; management practice; work environment; hospitals; manufacturing; Sweden; corporate strategy; corporate vision; communication strategies; learning culture; worker conversations; management by walking around; customer satisfaction; leadership chain modelling; Best Workplace in Sweden award, Kvalitetsteknik, Kvalitet
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-6166 (URN)10.1504/IJMP.2009.026960 (DOI)2-s2.0-68049130008 (Scopus ID)4500 (Local ID)4500 (Archive number)4500 (OAI)
Available from: 2008-12-07 Created: 2008-12-07 Last updated: 2018-11-27Bibliographically approved

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