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Are Health Care Organizations Healthy? Quality of Work and Private Life in Northern and Southern Europe

Paper i proceeding
Författare Margareta Bäck-Wiklund
Maria das Dores Guerreiro
Stefan Szücs
Leila Billquist
Publicerad i Work and Family Researchers Network Inaugural Conference, June 14-16, 2012, New York City
Publiceringsår 2012
Publicerad vid Institutionen för socialt arbete
Språk en
Länkar https://workfamily.sas.upenn.edu/wf...
Ämnesord healthy organizations, self-reported health, human service organization, women, medicine, policy, career paths, domestic support
Ämneskategorier Sociologi, Statsvetenskap


In this paper we study healthy organization and gender through exploring the dual agenda from the perspective of the human service organization. Looking at employee survey data from public hospitals in eight countries across the Europe (Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and the UK), we analyze the empirical support for concept of the healthy organization. Quantitative and qualitative methods have been used in a mixed methods approach, collected across four types of service sector organizations in each participating country (public hospitals, ITC, retail, and bank/insurance), within the framework of the EU project Quality of Life in a Changing Europe (QUALITY). Two case studies of hospitals are selected: one gender equal in average self-reported health status (Sweden) and one where women share a much lower average (Portugal). We explore the dual agenda from two perspectives – the work-household duality (engagement/work-life balance) and workforce-organization duality (social support/life satisfaction). Three hypotheses are advanced: (1) that human service organizations, and the hospital employee in particular, harbour a latent healthy organizations perception, indicated by an individual consistency of social support, life satisfaction engagement, work-life balance; (2) that due to gendered differences, women in medicine share a stronger such healthy organizations perception, and; (3) gender matters for the healthy organizations perception because of work organizational policy, career paths and home related resources. The findings in large verify these hypotheses. Among employees at the eight hospitals across Europe, there is a significant latent dimension of perceiving the healthy organization measure, based on social support, engagement, satisfaction with life and work-life balance, and this construct is significantly higher among women, mainly because of formal work time flex policies, formal supervisory position combined with low education level, and domestic resources that includes the availability of child care and a stronger social network. These findings are further verified/ explored by in depth analysis of our two case studies.

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