Appointing in-house employee facilitators in organizational level interventions in SMEs – experiences of bricoleurs

Christine Ipsen, Signe Poulsen, Liv Gish

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Facilitation of interventions play a key role in successful interventions and typically are conducted by people with professional facilitator competences. Therefore, facilitation is a priority for any workplace implementing organizational level changes. In practice, however, developing effective and sustainable interventions and integrating facilitators as part of the process has been challenging and a low priority for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). One reason is that they do not have professional facilitators in-house like larger corporations nor do they have the resources to employ them. While large companies often have the financial means and structures to effectively initiate and implement such interventions, SMEs on the other hand lack the proper knowledge and resources, including calling on external expertise, to manage organizational level interventions and thus need support mechanisms tailored to their specific circumstances (González, Cockburn, & Irastorza, 2010). Studies of in-house facilitators are scarce in the field of organisational-level interventions. Existing studies focus on external consultants e.g. Kompier et al. (1998) report than out of ten intervention cases they reviewed, seven had an external consultant involved. A reported advantage of using external consultants in interventions is that the person is neutral, which can make it easier for employees to express their opinions and concerns (Saksvik, Nytrø, & Dahl-Jørgensen, 2002). The disadvantages of using external consultants are that participants risk to lack ownership of the intervention, it can be difficult to sustain the changes after the consultant has left and external consultants can be expensive (Dahl-Jorgensen & Saksvik, 2005). Seen in this light, using in-house facilitators is an advantage with respect to involve employees and sustain changes when the intervention ends. A disadvantage could be that the in-house facilitators do presumable not have the same neutrality as an external consultant.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Work Stress and Health Conference 2019
Publication date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventWork, Stress and Health 2019 : What does the future hold? - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: 6 Nov 20199 Nov 2019


ConferenceWork, Stress and Health 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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