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How successful Swedish organisations achieve sustaniable health
Luleå University of Technology.
Luleå University of Technology.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering, Physics and Mathematics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7621-2649
2005 (English)In: International Journal of Management Practice, ISSN 1477-9064, E-ISSN 1741-8143, Vol. 1, no 3, 233-250 p.Article 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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 1, no 3, 233-250 p.
Keyword [en]
Sustainable health, Methodologies, Lleadership, Partnership, Quality Technology and Management, TQM, Quality control
Keyword [sv]
Kvalitetsteknik, Kvalitet
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-3312DOI: 10.1504/IJMP.2005.008036Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-33846279584Local ID: 3249OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-3312DiVA: diva2:28344
Available from: 2008-09-30 Created: 2008-09-30 Last updated: 2016-10-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. On the Relationship between Sustainable Health and Quality Management: Leadership and organizational behaviours from Swedish organizations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On the Relationship between Sustainable Health and Quality Management: Leadership and organizational behaviours from Swedish organizations
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. 102 p.
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 71
Keyword
Quality Management, Sustainable health, Leadership, Values, Quality Technology and Management, TQM, Quality control, Kvalitetsteknik, Kvalitet
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-8985 (URN)978-91-86073-37-4 (ISBN)
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
2. Quality Management for Sustainable Health: Methodologies, Values and Practices taken from Swedish Organizations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Quality Management for Sustainable Health: Methodologies, Values and Practices taken from Swedish Organizations
2006 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In many Western countries today, not least in Sweden, there are a lot of organizations that have great problems with sickness absence. The costs connected to the high rates of sickness absence have also risen to alarming levels. Healthy co-workers and healthy organizations are obvious goals for many leaders, but this is not always so easy to establish. Work practices and leadership that are beneficial to co-worker health are thus vital to identify.

 

Studies have shown relationships between company-wide implementation of quality programs and improved co-worker satisfaction along with low co-worker turn over; in other words, co-worker health along with improved customer satisfaction and financial results. Despite the great problems concerning sickness absence, there are organizations that have been awarded prizes for excellence in leadership, internal partnership, working environment, and profitability.

 

The overall purposes of the research described in this thesis are to examine and describe how management and leadership can establish sustainable health among the co-workers and examine how the leadership for sustainable health is related to Quality Management. The in-depth purpose is to examine which aspects within the values derived from the quality movement are those that primarily influence the co-workers’ perceived health.

 

The results presented can be described in three parts and are results from four case studies carried out in five different organizations. Three of the organizations have received awards for establishing good working environment, good financial results, and low sick leaves among their co-workers; the fourth received an award for the successful implementation of quality programs.

 

The first part consists of results from case studies in three different organizations and describes how organizations can work to achieve sustainable health among their co-workers, with practical examples. The results are methodologies, values and organizational structure, which it is  considered possible for other organizations to adopt in their efforts to achieve good working conditions resulting in fewer sick leaves.

 

The second part is an attempt to investigate if leadership for sustainable health is related to Quality Management. Methodologies, leadership values, organizational structure, and general values found in organizations which have achieved sustainable health are analyzed in the light of Deming’s 14 points, and a correlation is indicated. There is also correlation found between the TQM values and the co-workers’ perception of their health.

 

The third part examines which of the aspects within the values grown from the quality movement are those that influence the co-workers perceived health. The results show significant correlation between the values and the co-workers’ perception of their health. Aspects found within the value “Top management commitment” were named; Empathy, Presence and Communication, Integrity, and Continuity. Within the value “Let everybody be committed” the aspects; Development, Influence and Being informed were found. These aspects are described in more detail and also in one model per value.

 

The result implies that the TQM values; “Top management commitment”, “Improve continuously” “Let everybody be Committed” and “Focus on customers” are important for achieving healthy organizations and sustainable health among co-workers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Universitetstryckeriet, 2006. 105 p.
Series
LTU-LIC, ISSN 1402:1757 ; 2006:49
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-9842 (URN)
Presentation
2006-09-28, Luleå, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-09-24 Created: 2009-09-24 Last updated: 2010-02-25Bibliographically approved

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