Work related Changes And New Understandings Of Prevention: Results Of Multi-Level Participatory Interventions In Four SMEs

Christine Ipsen, Signe Poulsen, Liv Gish

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    This paper presents the result of four SMEs’ use of a multi-level participatory self-help intervention model (the PoWRS model – Prevention of Work Related Stress). The model itself supports a new view on prevention of work-related stress in the participating companies besides the concrete development of organizational level changes. By employing the model the companies became capable of developing new work practices in a multi-level participatory process using local in-house resources as facilitators.
    The PoWRS model was developed as part of the research project:”Productivity and Well-being”. The aim of the research project was to develop and test a multi-level participatory intervention model which could be applied by SMEs which are often characterized by their lack of resources such as not having access to HR-resources to facilitate change processes. The PoWRS model targets the work (primary interventions) rather than the employees and builds on the work processes and how they are perceived by the employees. The implementation of the organizational-level changes is a multi-level participatory process with the aim to develop new preventive practices.The activities included a FishBone Workshop to explicate tacit knowledge about what creates enthusiasms and stress at the work place, Multi-voting which decided two work-related changes to be initiated, a KickOff session to mark the start-up of the actual changes, continuous interviews of colleagues by the in-house facilitators, and ongoing status meeting among both managers and employees to evaluate the process. Examples of work-related changes are improved project management, recognition and feedback, well-defined tasks, and improved management.
    The research data (i.e. surveys, interviews and Chronicle Workshop) and the derived results have made it clear that the PoWRS model provides a collective learning process about the work place which supports new insights among both managers and employees. They state that having collective reflections about work, issues and potential solutions and changes is an eye-opener to how change processes can be addressed and how prevention of work-related stress can be understood. In addition to supporting a new understanding of prevention, the use of the model also results in concrete changes which become solutions to the work-place’s current and specific problems. The use of the PoWRS model thus enables an SME to address their own problems and implement the changes without support of an external consultant.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 11th European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology Conference: Looking at the past - planning for the future: Capitalizing on OHP multidisciplinarity
    Number of pages1
    PublisherEuropean Academy of Occupational Health Psychology
    Publication date2014
    ISBN (Print)978-0-9928786-0-3
    ISBN (Electronic)978-0-9928786-1-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    Event11th European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology conference 2014 - Birkbeck College, University of London, London, United Kingdom
    Duration: 14 Apr 201416 Apr 2014
    Conference number: 11


    Conference11th European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology conference 2014
    LocationBirkbeck College, University of London
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


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