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  • 1.
    Larsson, Robert
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Stier, Jonas
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Åkerlind, Ingemar
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Sandmark, Hélène
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Implementing health-promoting leadership in municipal organizations: Managers' experiences with a leadership program2015In: Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, ISSN 2245-0157, E-ISSN 2245-0157, Vol. 5, no 1, p. 93-114Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 2.
    Wihlman, Thomas
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Hoppe, Magnus
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Wihlman, Ulla
    Independent Researcher, Sweden.
    Sandmark, Helene
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Employee-driven Innovation in Welfare Services2014In: Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, ISSN 2245-0157, E-ISSN 2245-0157, Vol. 4, no 2, p. 159-180Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There is a growing interest in both employee-driven innovation (EDI) and innovation in welfare services, but a lack of empirical studies addressing innovation from the employee perspective.

    Accordingly, this study was designed to contribute with well-grounded empirical knowledge, aiming

    to explore the barriers to and opportunities for participation in innovation experienced by employees of the Swedish welfare services. In order to reach the aim, a qualitative thematic analysis of

    27 semi-structured interviews with employees in four municipalities was performed.

    The study identified three main themes, with a great impact on the innovative performance of the studied organizations: support, including leadership and innovation processes; development, including creativity and learning; and organizational culture, which includes attitudes and communication, all essential ingredients in EDI. Experienced barriers for innovation were unclear or non-existing innovation processes with ambiguous goals, insufficient learning, and deficient organizational slack, thus creating a tension between day-to-day work and innovation and hindering reflection and exploration.

    Attitudes of colleagues and lack of communication were also barriers to implementing innovation, suggesting the need for better management support for a communicative and open culture.

    Opportunities were found, including commitment to innovation and willingness to try new ideas, but the employees must be given the mandate and sufficient time to develop the potential that emerges from continuous learning, time for reflection, and user dialogue. The conclusion was that incremental innovations existed, but the full potential of these did not benefit the entire organization due to inadequate communication and lack of innovation processes.

    The study improves our understanding of how employees regard their involvement in innovation.

    It also discusses how to make better use of employees’ resources in innovation processes andcontributes to important knowledge about EDI in the public sector. On the basis of our results, we suggest a model of EDI for use in practice.

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