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Health and Performance in Small Enterprises: Studies of Organizational Detminants and Change Strategy
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present thesis focuses on relations between work organizational factors and outcomes related to health and performance, and how these factors and outcomes are related to change strategies in small enterprises. Reasons for this work are the growing interest in entrepreneurship, small business development, statements to the effect that small enterprises lack adequate resources and competence needed for successful management of workplace change processes and fragmented small business research about mentioned relations. The thesis comprises four empirical studies with a total sample of 118 small enterprises and 50 small public workplaces that include a total of 1206 co-workers and leaders, and one more theoretically based study. Data was collected by the use of questionnaires, structured interviews and by register sources about economical outputs. Correlation analyses presented in Paper II showed strong or rather strong relationships between the outcome indicators related to health and performance. The relations between these outcomes and indicators of assumed determinant organizational factors resulted in a rather large number of relationships (Paper I, II and V). A general result is that there are more strong relationships between determinants and performance than between determinants and health. However, there are strong relations between, on the one hand, leadership indicators and team spirit and, on the other hand, health. Structural analyses in two studies presented in Paper I and II resulted in the identification of six components. Thus, it was possible to group indicators into larger “bundles” which have similarities to some results for larger enterprises. In one study (Paper II), analyses using multidimensional scaling resulted in a grouping of enterprises with high positions versus enterprises with low positions on two main dimensions. Results in one study (Paper IV) showed that studied micro-enterprises attached less priority to goals related to workplace health and work organization compared to the studied public workplaces. The micro- enterprises attached more priority to goals connected with the physical working environment, production and quality development. In another study (Paper V) different change strategy approaches were studied with a longitudinal design. The results concerning changes of determinants and outcomes, after versus before workplace related interventions indicates that change processes with a broad learning strategy and high top management involvement can apply to small enterprises, and help to improve their health and performance. This is partly in line with the discussion in Paper III about the need of integrated planning and participative approaches in workplace change processes. The thesis findings point at the importance of organizational factors and health related aspects for small business development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet , 2006.
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå Tekniska Universitet, ISSN 1402-1544 ; 2006:13
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-9974DOI: http://epubl.luth.se/1402-1544/2006/13/index.htmlOAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-9974DiVA, id: diva2:241983
Public defence
(English)
Available from: 2009-10-06 Created: 2009-10-06 Last updated: 2009-10-06Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Information technology levels, competence development and performance in Swedish small business enterprises
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Information technology levels, competence development and performance in Swedish small business enterprises
2000 (English)In: Behavior and Information Technology, ISSN 0144-929X, E-ISSN 1362-3001, Vol. 19, no 3, p. 201-210Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper analyses relations between leaders' and co-workers' competence, IT-levels and organizational aspects within ten small business enterprises in Sweden. Data from questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were used for statistical data analyses organized in four steps. A result is that IT-levels and change competence go together with higher levels of educational investment, and that companies with high levels on these aspects also tend to have a proneness for joining change programs. Another finding is that the higher the rate of IT in a company, the lower the incidence of musculoskeletal problems among employees. The study shows that an increase in leader change competence, a flat organization, a higher leader than co-worker change competence, and an ongoing program contribute significantly to profit per capita at the company level. The analysis model seems to give a good integration of the results, but underlying mechanisms must be dealt with in future research.

 

Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-9969 (URN)000088043300007 ()
Available from: 2009-10-06 Created: 2009-10-06 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
2. Organizational and health performance in small enterprises in Norway and Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Organizational and health performance in small enterprises in Norway and Sweden
2005 (English)In: Work: A journal of Prevention, Assesment and rehabilitation, ISSN 1051-9815, E-ISSN 1875-9270, Vol. 24, no 3, p. 305-316Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article focuses on relationships between organizational factors such as leadership, learning, psychosocial work environment and quality aspects as they relate to organizational and health performance outcomes in 42 small enterprises in Norway and Sweden. A rather explorative analysis model was created using indicators that were based on theoretical concepts from a literature review and questionnaire data, concerning 988 employees and leaders. These indicators were then used for correlation analysis. The enterprise is the unit of analysis. Some strong links between organizational factors and organizational and health performance were found. There was also a strong relation between health performance and sickness absence. Using structural analyses, a structure containing six general components, and strong interrelationships between some indicators of organizational performance and health performance were found. It was also possible to position the enterprises according to two general dimensions. As a general guideline for action, the results tend to support the perspective that positive organizational development is related to health performance and a lowering of absence due to sickness. The findings support the strategies of practitioners who use a concept-driven or holistic approach that integrates several facets of workplace development.

 

 

Keywords
organizational performance, sickness absence, organizational development, leadership, learning, psychosocial work environment
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-9970 (URN)
Available from: 2009-10-06 Created: 2009-10-06 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
3. Information technology and learning strategies in small enterprises
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Information technology and learning strategies in small enterprises
2000 (English)In: Behavior and Information Technology, ISSN 0144-929X, E-ISSN 1362-3001, Vol. 19, no 3, p. 221-227Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to define and explain information technology strategic dispositions and competence development within small enterprises. Small enterprises are a heterogeneous group of firms and for that reason, a universal explanation of strategic dispositions and learning strategies makes it advisable to draw upon a diverse range of methods, practices and approaches. 'Competence ergonomics' that fosters learning, empowerment and participation offers the flexibility within which to frame this strategy description. Introduction of information technology into small enterprises is treated as being of strategic importance to the future growth and survival of a firm. Methods and theories now being used in The Swedish National Institute of Working Life's (Arbetslivsinstitutet) Balanced Information Technology Project are those described. The Project is located in the area of Ostersund, Sweden where small industries have the need to adopt information technology as a means of promoting continuing competitiveness.

 

Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-9971 (URN)000088043300009 ()
Available from: 2009-10-06 Created: 2009-10-06 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
4. Change processes and health outcomes in microenterprises and small public workplaces in rural areas
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Change processes and health outcomes in microenterprises and small public workplaces in rural areas
2004 (English)In: Finnish journal of rural research and plicy, Vol. 12, no 4, p. 151-162Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-9972 (URN)
Available from: 2009-10-06 Created: 2009-10-06 Last updated: 2009-10-06Bibliographically approved
5. Workplace health interventions in small enterprises: a Swedish longitudinal study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Workplace health interventions in small enterprises: a Swedish longitudinal study
2008 (English)In: Work: A journal of Prevention, Assesment and rehabilitation, ISSN 1051-9815, E-ISSN 1875-9270, Vol. 30, no 4, p. 473-482Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article has a two-fold approach. First, it investigates relationships between work organizational factors, and health and performance outcomes. Second, it compares two change strategy approaches in workplace health interventions by studying changes of these factors and outcomes. The sample consisted of ten Swedish small enterprises including 102 individuals, who answered a before and after questionnaire about organizational factors and outcomes. The leaders were interviewed and answered a questionnaire about performed workplace health interventions. Statistical methods used were reliability tests, correlation analyses and t-tests. Results indicate rather strong links between indicators of respectful leadership, creative work and team spirit, and the outcome indicators self-assessed health and judged workplace adaptability in association with customer satisfaction. The results concerning changes of determinants and outcomes (after workplace health interventions) showed significant differences between enterprises using a broad change strategy and those using an expert/problem-based strategy with the former having more favourable results. The leader interview results also point at obstacles concerning workplace change processes as lack of resources, insufficient competence and influence of external factors. The study results suggest that work organizational factors and integrated models for workplace health intervention are of importance for health and performance outcomes in small enterprises.

 

 

Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-9973 (URN)18725710 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2009-10-06 Created: 2009-10-06 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved

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