Healthy Work: Stress, Productivity, and the Reconstruction of Working Life

Healthy Work: Stress, Productivity, and the Reconstruction of Working Life

Healthy Work: Stress, Productivity, and the Reconstruction of Working Life

Healthy Work: Stress, Productivity, and the Reconstruction of Working Life

Synopsis

Evidence is accumulating that in many contemporary work environments people are literally working themselves to death. But what do we really know about job-related stress and illness? Based on a ten-year study of nearly five thousand workers, this path-breaking book by a distinguished industrial engineer and sociologist and a specialist in industrial medicine identifies a clear connection between work-related illness and workers' lack of participation in the design and outcome of their labors.

Excerpt

This book is both very narrow and very broad in its focus. It examines a very simple theme about workplace control and psychological demands, but does so in the context of a broad range of intellectual disciplines. We are attempting to find ways to bridge what we feel are dysfunctionally wide gaps between medical science, psychology, sociology, industrial engineering, and economics. Such interdisciplinary spans are necessary to achieve the ultimate goal of the book: the redesign of work organizations to make them more psychosocially humane than those upon which our economy is now based.

Our aspiration has been to make the book readable by a wide audience. The real audience would be workers and managers if we could successfully integrate enough specialized issues to illuminate new problems in a way that helped promote solutions relevant to their daily lives. Failing that, the book is designed to be a readable presentation of our perspective on psychosocial job design and its health and productivity consequences, integrated with relevant materials from the related disciplines, for a broad range of practicing professionals and university students in the medical sciences, industrial psychology, industrial engineering, organizational sociology and managerial behavior, and job design and organizational change. We have also tried to contribute to public policy debate, since government policies for and against the positions we advocate have had an important impact on their success in many countries.

In spite of its breadth, the book includes much specialized material. Many general readers might wish to be spared such details, but because these discussions are often our own syntheses, new in this book (see, in particular, the second half of chapter 2 and the middle sections of chapters 5 and 6), they require the detailed support more usually found in academic journal articles. Lesser methodological support would weaken our case unacceptably for a number of important audiences. To experts in each of these areas, the coverage will still undoubtedly seem insufficient, but there is no alternative given our own restricted capabilities and our hope of reaching a more general readership. While the limited treatment of topics itself could inspire criticism, we hope to generate more interdisciplinary critiques: rival approaches that link the facts and logic of our diverse fields in a manner different than our own.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.