The role of managers in organizational interventions and non -interventions – at intra and inter- organizational work places

Christine Ipsen, Karina Nielsen

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    Over the years, workplaces and employees have become more dispersed due to organizational changes in large traditional organizations and the development of new business opportunities across the world, such as shifts from production to service- or knowledge- based work environment (Hinds & Kiesler, 2002). As companies move toward globalization companies use distance work (Fisher & Fisher, 2001) to accomplish work more effectively and efficiently. Distance work and management occur at different locations, such as from home (telework), in satellite offices (intraorganizational work), or at the customers’ or clients’ locations (inter-organizational work) (Cropper, Huxham, Ebers, & Ring, 2008; Verburg, Bosch-Sijtsema, & Vartiainen, 2013). According to Fisher and Fisher (2001), time, space, and/or culture constitute the distance between managers and employees. In a systematic review, Crawford et al. (2011) found that only a few studies have investigated the wellbeing of employees who work at clients’ or customers’ offices (inter-organizational work) over a long period of time and how to best manage these employees. In inter-organizations, distance employees are employed by one company (the provider) but work at a different company (the customer) (Cropper et al., 2008; Hinds & Kiesler, 2002) ; here, the customer’s working conditions influence the employees. Taken together, studies of distance management and managers employ a performance perspective on leadership, while studies of the link between distance management and employees’ wellbeing are rare—knowledge about distance work and employees’ wellbeing is altogether missing (Crawford et al., 2011). Organizational-level occupational health interventions is the recommended psycho-social risk management approach for improving health and well-being at work (EU-OSHA, 2016) It has therefore been suggested that we need to incorporate elements of the implementation process and context into these evaluations, to better understand the mechanisms producing the outcomes (Karina Nielsen & Randall, 2012). Occupational health intervention literature has consistently suggested line managers’ supportive behaviour as an important implementation factor that influence how the intervention unfolds (K. Nielsen, 2013). The need for new knowledge about the influence of line managers’ implementation-supportive behavior on intervention for health management at work, but also about the role of OHS practitioners and applicable management tools, forms the basis for this symposium where three studies are presented. Overall the studies look at the role of leaders in interventions and non-interventions to ensure employee wellbeing and and/or geography) between the managers and the employees and type of organization (intra and inter). The main objective of the symposium is thus to create an awareness of the role that managers have in both organizational interventions and non-interventions and how distance has an impact on their behavior. More specifically, this symposium highlights the role of leaders’ behavior in interventions at three different types of work sites and presents new finding about best practices. This symposium is one of several symposia submitted by the “International Network for Sustainable Organizational Interventions (INSOI)” and consists of three contributions: The first presentation, presents a longitudinal intervention process study that has examined the influence of line managers’ implementation-supportive behavior on initial use and sustained use of a web-based intervention for health management at work. The scope for the study is the line managers and their work group, i.e. intraorganizational work. In the second presentation, the authors present a three-level crosssectional study of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) practitioners, line managers and their employees working in intra-organizational distance work and how they can influence the OHS of the distance workers . The managers and employees work within the same company but are dispersed as they work at different locations. The third presentation presents a qualitative study of managers’ roles in interorganizational distance work and which tools they apply to create a sense of proximity to ensure both organizational performance and employee well-being across distances, both time and geography. The scope for this study is distance work where the employees are employed in one company but work for a longer period in a different company under their working conditions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2017
    Number of pages2
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    Event12th International Conference on Occupational Stress and Health: Contemporary Challenges and Opportunities - Hilton Minneapolis, Minneapolis, United States
    Duration: 7 Jun 201710 Jun 2017
    Conference number: 12


    Conference12th International Conference on Occupational Stress and Health
    LocationHilton Minneapolis
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    Internet address

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