Sense of coherence at work. Two investigations of creative and salutogenetic factors in human service organizations
Research question: Is the experience of sense of coherence at one’s work influenced by creativity and other factors pertaining to different levels in the organization? Starting from a systems perspective, the leadership level, the work group level, as well as the level of the individual employee were investigated in two studies. Background: Based on empirical and theoretical work it is first proposed that sense of coherence, i.e. meaningfulness, manageability, and comprehensibility, is important for organizations (cf. Feldt, Kinnunen, & Mauno, 2000). Secondly, it is proposed that creativity implies a systems perspective (cf. Csikszentmihalyi, 1999, Sternberg & Lubart, 1999) and that organizational creativity depends on the concerted work of actors at different levels. Both the psychological resources of the individual employee, the organizational climate and cooperation in the working team and support from superiors are thus proposed to be important in human service organizations, with the goal of promoting health and development in clients. Results: In study 1, the first multiple regression analysis showed that a creative climate, employee-directed leadership and position as co-ordinator of the rehabilitation cases were significantly positively related to WSOC, while change-directed leadership, position as initial investigator and part-time work were negative (R2 = .34, p < .000). In a second analysis (n = 104) coping styles were added. Here, creative climate, employee-directed leadership and engagement coping were significantly positively for WSOC, while part-time work and disengagement were negative (R2 = .36, p < .000). The interviews revealed a heavy workload and problems due to previous changes in the organization. In study 2, a multiple regression analysis showed that employee-directed leadership, positive feedback, and ability to follow guidelines for one’s own profession were significantly positive for WSOC, while stress had a negative influence (R2 = .54, p < .001). Conclusions: The surveys and qualitative results supported a systems view. A democratic leadership style, a creative working team, as well as individual coping style and stress level, were all of importance for the experience of a coherent and meaningful work. Future studies are warranted, where gender issues and questions about family are included, of the effects on the health of the employees, and the effects on the goal, the health and development of the clients.
European Health Management Association 2005 Annual Conference: Managing Innovation in the Health Sector