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Title: Understanding physical and psychosocial workplace characteristics affecting fruit & vegetable intake : a study of whitecollar employees in Germany's manufacturing industry
Author: Klein, Christian Theodor
Awarding Body: University of Worcester
Current Institution: University of Worcester
Date of Award: 2020
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Abstract:
The purpose of this quantitative-based study is to explain the workplace characteristics affecting the fruit and vegetable intake of white-collar employees at work. It explores whether any differences found are related to employee hierarchy position. It puts the implications on organizations in relation to the financial impacts occurring through presenteeism. Presenteeism is a loss in employee productivity, which can be positively impacted through the consumption of fruit and vegetables. The research focus is to understand the requirements affecting the actual intake of fruit and vegetables. The urgency of the research is given by the high costs of presenteeism in the German manufacturing industry and the need for additional management perspectives. The research looks at white-collar employees in the German manufacturing industry. These employees show the highest rate of presenteeism. Availability, Accessibility, Workplace Design, Social Climate and Communication are the workplace characteristics considered. In addition, insights in terms of barriers and needs are explored, allowing the consideration of other relevant angles from the perspective of contribution to practice. This allows recommendations for a business to be derived. The research was carried out using the philosophy of positivism, assuming that existing characteristics in the workplace environment are explored. The data were collected using a questionnaire. The quantitative data were the primary source of information and were collected using a 5-point Likert-style scale and multiple-choice approach. In total, 374 participants completed the quantitative section of the survey. The quantitative data were used to understand the contribution of the pre-selected workplace characteristics Availability, Accessibility, Workplace Design, Social Climate and Communication to explaining the fruit and vegetable intake. Additional qualitative data from open-ended questions were used to identify any other barriers or needs employees may have in the workplace related to the consumption of fruit and vegetables. The survey found that the Workplace Design and Social Climate are small positive predictors for the consumption of fruit and vegetables of employees with a managerial job role. Accessibility is a weak negative predictor for Administrative Staff. It was found that 11.2% of the variance in the fruit and vegetable consumption of managers and the related workplace characteristics can be explained with the model of this research. It was further found that 13.9% of the same variance for the Administrative Staff can be explained. Not all considered and pre-selected workplace characteristics used in this research have an effect on the intake of fruit and vegetables. It is recommended that organisations set priorities on workplace characteristic-based interventions which depend on the employee hierarchy position. Interrelations between workplace characteristics may exist. From the perspective of academic contribution to future research, this thesis found that a difference in the workplace characteristics predicting fruit and vegetable intake is seen when multiple workplace characteristics are considered simultaneously. An increased fruit and vegetable consumption can be expected through an intervention in the Workplace Design and Social Climate, while the increase of the actual consumption might be small. The intervention can be supported by new and additional workplace characteristics such as appropriate Hygienic Conditions and Free F&V Products. From the perspective of contribution to practice, this thesis supports investments in workplace characteristics positively affecting the fruit and vegetable intake of employees and thereby reducing the rate of presenteeism and its related costs. The expense of identifying relevant workplace characteristics and executing related interventions becomes justifiable. Stand-alone solutions are probably less successful than a multicomponent approach. It is recommended to carefully choose the interventions which meet the requirements of the targeted employee hierarchy group and ensure a positive effect on the actual fruit and vegetable intake.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.823893  DOI: Not available
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