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Title: Pursuing great work : exploring the impact of the psychosocial work environment and how to promote greater organizational commitment to its management
Author: Andreou, Nicholas John Artin
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 3812
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis revolves around the idea of ‘great work’; work that is meaningful, enjoyable, and highly productive in the broadest sense. While the commonly held belief is that very few people are lucky enough to have such jobs, it turns out that great work is not something magical, which happens by chance, but actually something which can be cultivated. Several common psychological and social (psychosocial) factors including the ability to influence decisions which affect yourself at work, and whether you feel adequately rewarded (including non-financial rewards) have been identified as key contributors. As work is something that most people around the world do for most of their lives, the implications of whether work is great or much less are sizeable and could be viewed from many perspectives. Chapter One reviews these ideas. It culminates in the presentation of the Psychosocial Risk Management Excellence Framework (PRIMA-EF) which highlights the link between psychosocial factors and several outcomes. The thesis adopts this framework as its theoretical backing. In Chapter Two, this thesis breaks down the outcomes associated with the working environment, as envisioned in PRIMA-EF, into individual, organizational and societal, drawing on different aspects of the literature. Individual outcomes can be split into individual psychological states (such as health, engagement, and creativity), and work outputs (including productivity and quality of that productivity). At an organizational level, what happens to individual employees influences the group as a whole, for example productivity and innovation may be affected thus impacting upon overall performance of the organization. At a societal level, once again, smaller units of individuals and organizations can be thought of as having a macro level effect. For example, unhealthy modes of working will ultimately affect public health. Chapter Three moves on to the question of how organizations can be further motivated to better manage psychosocial factors. In particular, organizational change theory has identified political, competitive, and social categories of drivers that are relevant. Chapter Three reviews the evidence of whether more is required from organizations and what specific pressures could arise from these three categories. Following this review of the existing literature and status quo, Chapter Four describes the philosophical position underlying the subsequent research. It goes on to establish the operational aspects of the methodology and methods selected for the subsequent studies, providing details on the sources of data used and the analyses conducted. The first two studies explore some of the aforementioned relationships between psychosocial factors and outcomes as existing research on these associations could be added to. Outcomes considered include, work engagement, innovation, quality, productivity, and financial performance. The overarching conclusion from these investigations is that the psychosocial work environment is associated with a number of important outcomes, much more broadly than traditionally thought. Given this importance, the third and final study of the thesis considers how to drive organizations into improved management of the psychosocial work environment. Political, competitiveness and social drivers are considered with results emerging that were somewhat contrary to expectations. In particular, social drivers emerged as the strongest reason for organizations implementing interventions to manage the psychosocial work environment. The final chapter discusses the insights and contributions emerging from this thesis whilst also picking up on some important considerations regarding the psychosocial work environment, and directions for moving work carried out in this area forward.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available