Health and Safety in Organizations: A Multilevel Perspective

Health and Safety in Organizations: A Multilevel Perspective

Health and Safety in Organizations: A Multilevel Perspective

Health and Safety in Organizations: A Multilevel Perspective

Synopsis

Health has often been defined as the absence of illness and as the state of well-being. This definition, however, actually constitutes two different criteria: the absence of illness and the presence of health. For example, a person may not have any signs of illness but may still have a cholesterol level that is too high. When thinking about healthy organizations, we often make the same distinction. A healthy organization, for example, is not only free from illness and doesn't harm employees but also possesses the presence of health as exemplified by its long-term adaptability and ability to thrive. This book considers this broader definition of health and safety in organizations--one that encompasses both the absence of illness as well as the presence of health--and the implications it has for industrial/organizational psychology and human resources. A distinguished group of contributors provides a review and integration of different lines of research focusing on health and safety in organizations, including a broad array of topics ranging from the role of individual differences and training to human resource management strategy. They explore cross-level theoretical linkages between aspects of health and safety at the individual, group, and organizational level. These discussions examine the linkages between individual health and certain aspects of the overall health of the organization, as well as how certain aspects of organizations can influence individual health and well-being.

Excerpt

Webster's Dictionary defines health as the absence of illness and as the state of well-being (i.e., flourishing). This definition, however, actually constitutes two different criteria: the absence of illness and the presence of health. For example, a person may not have any signs of illness but still have a cholesterol level that is too high, not exercise sufficiently, and have a few extra pounds to lose. Thus, that person's fundamental internal systems work well (i.e., show no illness or disease), yet he or she may not show signs of being healthy if we consider health to be long-term well-being and flourishing. When thinking about healthy organizations, we often make the same distinction. For example, we could think about organizations lacking illness (e.g., not harming employees or the environment) as well as possessing the presence of health (e.g., long-term adaptability and thriving). The overall objective of this volume is, therefore, to consider a broader definition of health and safety in organizations—one that encompasses both the absence of illness and the presence of health—and the implications it has for industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology.

In light of this broader definition of health, we believe that within I/O psychology specifically and applied psychology generally, a great deal of research into traditional research domains bears on individual and organizational health but without explicitly considering these linkages nor integrating them into a coherent framework. Thus, the first purpose of this volume is to consider the impact of certain more traditional areas of inquiry within our field in the context of health and safety outcomes. In addition to these more traditional areas, a number of areas of research have either not received high visibility in our field or are new and emerging areas that also affect health and safety in organizations. Thus, the second purpose of this volume is to provide a mechanism not only . . .

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