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Implementing health-promoting leadership in municipal organizations: Managers' experiences with a leadership program
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1965-7147
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7832-2155
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8256-4437
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0282-2820
2015 (English)In: Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, ISSN 2245-0157, E-ISSN 2245-0157, Vol. 5, no 1, 93-114 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to analyze how line and middle managers experience and describe barriers and enablers in the implementation of a health-promoting leadership program in municipal organizations. A qualitative case study design was applied to examine the leadership program in a case involving implementation of an organizational health intervention. Data were mainly collected using semi-structured interviews with line and middle managers participating in the leadership program. Interviews with senior managers, notes from meetings/workshops, and written action plans were used as complementary data. The interview data were analyzed using a thematic analysis, and the complementary data using a summative content analysis. The findings show that the interviewed line and middle managers experienced this leadership program as a new approach in leadership training because it is based primarily on employee participation. Involvement and commitment of the employees was considered a crucial enabler in the implementation of the leadership program. Other enablers identified include action plans with specific goals, earlier experiences of organizational change, and integration of the program content into regular routines and structures. The line and middle managers described several barriers in the implementation process, and they described various organizational conditions, such as high workload, lack of senior management support, politically initiated projects, and organizational change, as challenges that limited the opportunities to be drivers of change. Taken together, these barriers interfered with the leadership program and its implementation. The study contributes to the understanding of how organizational-level health interventions are implemented in public sector workplaces.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 5, no 1, 93-114 p.
National Category
Work Sciences
Research subject
Working Life Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27152DOI: 10.19154/njwls.v5i1.4767ISI: 000360069000007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-27152DiVA: diva2:773888
Available from: 2014-12-19 Created: 2014-12-19 Last updated: 2016-12-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Managing workplace health promotion in municipal organizations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing workplace health promotion in municipal organizations
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The workplace is a suitable setting for health promotion, not least due to the amount of time employees spend at work. Previous research indicates large variations in employers' handling of workplace health promotion (WHP) efforts. However, more empirical knowledge of how WHP is handled in public sector organizations is needed.

The overall aim of the thesis was to explore how WHP is managed and implemented in municipal organizations. The thesis draws on health promotion as the point of departure, further accompanied with concepts related to organizational change and implementation research.

The thesis is based on three studies using different empirical materials. Both quantitative and qualitative research designs were used. In the first study, questionnaires were sent to both top managers and employees in a nationwide random sample of 60 of the 290 municipal social care organizations in Sweden. Data were analysed at the organizational level, linking WHP measures provided by the employer to employee health. In the second study, interviews concerning the management of WHP were carried out with senior managers representing various departments in two municipalities. The third study analysed the implementation of a health-promoting leadership programme, and the interviews made, concerned the experiences of line and middle managers participating in the programme.

The results show that the provision of individual- and organizational-directed WHP measures was associated to employee health at the organizational level. Furthermore, the senior managers described WHP management as components contributing to the organization's capacity for WHP. However, they mainly described WHP as providing healthy lifestyle activities, and mapping working conditions and employee health. In the study analysing the implementation of the leadership programme, line and middle managers described employee involvement as an enabling factor, whereas high workload and lack of senior management support were barriers described. Recurrent organizational changes and other politically-initiated projects and routines were also pointed out as competing events in the implementation process.

From this thesis, it can be concluded that WHP management is dominated by measures directed towards the individual employee and needs to include more of psychosocial and organizational measures. Finally, the varied organizational conditions for municipal managers as well as the support from senior management and human resources staff needs to be considered and ensured as part of an active and continuous WHP practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2015
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 172
National Category
Work Sciences
Research subject
Working Life Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27245 (URN)978-91-7485-183-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-02-27, Beta, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-01-12 Created: 2014-12-30 Last updated: 2015-02-05Bibliographically approved

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