liu.seSearch for publications in DiVA
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Workplace Social Relations in theReturn-to-Work process
Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, Work and Rehabilitation . Linköping University, HELIX Vinn Excellence Centre. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this thesis was to explore the impact of workplace social relations on the implementation of return-to-work interventions. The thesis consists of four separate papers with specific aims. In Paper I, the overall purpose of the study was to analyse how a multi-stakeholder return-to-work programme was implemented and experienced from the perspective of the stakeholders involved, i.e. supervisors, occupational health consultants and a project coordinator. The objective was to identify and analyse how these stakeholders perceived that the programme had been implemented in relation to its intentions. In Paper II, the objective was to explore how workplace actors experience social relations, and how organisational dynamics in workplace-based return-to-work start before and extend beyond the initial return of the sick-listed worker to the workplace. In Paper III, the objective was to explore the meaning of early contact in return-to-work, and how social relational actions and conditions can facilitate or impede early contact among workplace actors. In Paper IV, the objective was to explore the role of co-workers in the return-to-work process, and their contribution to the process, starting from when a colleague falls ill, continuing when he/she subsequently becomes sick-listed and finally when he/she re-enters the workgroup.

The general methodological approach to the papers in this thesis has been explorative and interpretive; qualitative methods have been used, involving interviews, group interviews and collection of employer policies on return-to-work. The data material has been analysed through back-and-forth abductive (Paper I), and inductive (Papers II-IV) content analysis.

The main findings from Paper I show that discrepancies in the interpretations of policy intentions between key stakeholders (project coordinator, occupational health consultants and supervisors) created barriers for implementing the employer-based return-to-work programme, due to lack of communication, support, coaching and training activities of key stakeholders dedicated to the biopsychosocial intentions of the programme. In Papers II-IV, the workplace actors (re-entering workers, co-workers, supervisors and/or human resources manager) experienced the return-to-work process as phases (time before the sick leave, when on sick leave, when re-entering the workplace, and future sustainability). The findings highlight the importance and relevance of the varied roles of the different workplace actors during the identified phases of the return-to-work process. In particular, the positive contribution of co-workers, and their experience of shifting demands and expectations during each phase, is acknowledged. During the period of time before sick leave the main findings show how workplace actors experience the meaning of early contact within a social relational context, and how early contact is more than an activity that is merely carried out (or not carried out). The findings show how workplace actors experience uncertainties about how and when contact should take place, and the need to balance possible infringement that early contact might cause for the re-entering worker between pressure to return to work and their private health management.

The findings in this thesis show how the workplace is a socially complex dynamic setting, which challenges some static models of return-to-work. The biopsychosocial and ecological/case management models and policies for return-to-work have been criticised for neglecting social relations in a return-to-work process at the workplace. This thesis provides increased knowledge and explanations regarding important factors in workplace social relations that facilitate an understanding of what might “make or break” the return-to-work process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2010. , 62 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1197
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-57658ISBN: 978-91-7393-336-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-57658DiVA: diva2:327150
Public defence
2010-11-19, Berzeliussalen, ingång 64, plan 9, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-10-28 Created: 2010-06-28 Last updated: 2013-09-03Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Experience of the Implementation of a Multi-Stakeholder Return-to-Work Programme
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Experience of the Implementation of a Multi-Stakeholder Return-to-Work Programme
2009 (English)In: Journal of occupational rehabilitation, ISSN 1053-0487, E-ISSN 1573-3688, Vol. 19, no 4, 409-418 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction Employers can use several strategies to facilitate return-to-work for workers on sick leave, but there seems to be limited knowledge of how workplace-based interventions are actually implemented in organisations. One public Swedish employer initiated a return-to-work programme which incorporated interventions suggested by earlier research, e.g. multi-professional health assessment, case management, educational peer-support groups and adapted workplace training. The overall purpose of the study is to analyse how the programme was implemented and experienced in the organisation, from the perspective of involved stakeholders, i.e. supervisors, occupational health consultants and a project coordinator. The objective of this paper is to identify and analyse how these stakeholders perceived that the programme had been implemented in relation to its intentions. Methods A qualitative method was used, consisting of individual interviews with eight supervisors and the project leader. Two group interviews with five occupational health service consultants were also conducted. Results The study revealed barriers to the implementation of return-to-work interventions. Not all of the intended interventions had been implemented as expected in policy. One explanation is that the key stakeholders expressed a more biomedical, individual view of work ability, while the programme was based on a more holistic, biopsychosocial view. Conclusion Implementation of a return-to-work programme is an ongoing, long-term multi-level strategy, requiring time for reflection, stakeholder participation, openness to change of intervention activities, and continuous communication.

Keyword
Implementation; Qualitative; Return-to-work programme; Sweden; Workplace
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-21801 (URN)10.1007/s10926-009-9195-y (DOI)
Available from: 2009-10-05 Created: 2009-10-05 Last updated: 2013-09-03
2. Exploring Workplace Actors Experiences of the Social Organization of Return-to-Work.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring Workplace Actors Experiences of the Social Organization of Return-to-Work.
2010 (English)In: Journal of occupational rehabilitation, ISSN 1053-0487, E-ISSN 1573-3688, Vol. 20, no 3, 311-321 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction: There is a limited body of research on how the actual social exchange among workplace actors influences the practice of return-to-work. The objective of this study was to explore how workplace actors experience social relations at the workplace and how organizational dynamics in workplace-based return-to-work extends before and beyond the initial return of the sick listed worker to the workplace. Method An exploratory qualitative method approach was used, consisting of individual open-ended interviews with 33 workplace actors at seven worksites that had re-entering workers. The workplace actors represented in these interviews include: re-entering workers, supervisors, co-workers, and human resource managers. Results The analysis identified three distinct phases in the return to work process: while the worker is off work, when the worker returns back to work, and once back at work during the phase of sustainability of work ability. The two prominent themes that emerged across these phases include the theme of invisibility in relation to return-to-work effort and uncertainty, particularly, about how and when to enact return-to-work. Conclusion The findings strengthen the notion that workplace-based return-to-work interventions need to take social relations amongst workplace actors into account. They also highlight the importance and relevance of the varied roles of different workplace actors during two relatively unseen or grey areas, of return-to-work: the pre-return and the post-return sustainability phase. Attention to the invisibility of return-to-work efforts of some actors and uncertainty about how and when to enact return-to-work between workplace actors can promote successful and sustainable work ability for the re-entering worker.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SpringerLink, 2010
Keyword
Social relations, Social organization, Workplace-based return-to-work, Qualitative
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-51369 (URN)10.1007/s10926-009-9209-9 (DOI)19844778 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2009-10-29 Created: 2009-10-29 Last updated: 2013-09-03
3. Exploring the meaning of early contact in return-to-work from workplace actors' perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring the meaning of early contact in return-to-work from workplace actors' perspective
2011 (English)In: Disability and Rehabilitation, ISSN 0963-8288, E-ISSN 1464-5165, Vol. 33, no 2, 137-145 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose. The objective of this article was to explore the meaning of early contact in return-to-work, and how social relational actions and conditions can facilitate or impede early contact among actors in the workplace. Method. An exploratory qualitative method was used, consisting of individual open-ended interviews with 33 workplace actors at seven worksites across three public employers in Sweden. The workplace actors represented in these interviews included re-entering workers, supervisors, co-workers and human resources managers. Organisational policies on return-to-work were collected from the three employers. Results. The analysis indicated that early contact is a complex return-to-work measure with shifting incentives among workplace actors for making contact. For instance, the findings indicated obligation and responsibilities as incentives, incentives through social relations, and the need to acknowledge and balance the individual needs in relation to early contact. Conclusion. The findings strengthen the importance of early contact as a concept with a social relational context that comprises more than just an activity carried out (or not) by the employer, and suggest that early contact with a sick-listed worker is not always the best approach for a return-to-work situation. This study provides a starting point for a more articulated conceptualisation of early contact.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Informa, 2011
Keyword
Early contact, return-to-work, Sweden
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-57253 (URN)10.3109/09638288.2010.489630 (DOI)000284952300007 ()20513163 (PubMedID)
Note
Original Publication: Åsa Tjulin, Ellen MacEachen and Kerstin Ekberg, Exploring the meaning of early contact in return-to-work from workplace actors' perspective, 2011, Disability and Rehabilitation, (33), 2, 137-145. http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/09638288.2010.489630 Copyright: Informa Healthcare http://informahealthcare.com/ Available from: 2010-06-15 Created: 2010-06-15 Last updated: 2013-09-03Bibliographically approved
4. The social interaction of return-to-work explored from co-workers experinces.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The social interaction of return-to-work explored from co-workers experinces.
2011 (English)In: Disability and Rehabilitation, ISSN 0963-8288, E-ISSN 1464-5165, Vol. 33, no 21-22, 1979-1989 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose The objective was to explore the role and contribution of co-workers in the return-to-work process. The social interaction of co-workers and supervisors are analysed within the framework of the Swedish national and local employer organisational return-to-work policies.

Methods An exploratory qualitative method was used, consisting of open-ended interviews with 33 workplace actors across seven work units. Organisational return-towork policies were collected from the three public sector employers.

Results Three key themes about the return-to-work process emerged during analysis: (1) policies and organizational structure for return to work do not take co-workers into account; (2) return-to-work social demands and expectations interact with broader social interaction and attitudes in the workgroup; (3) supervisory management of return to workis linked to workgroup communication and management.

Conclusion An examination of the role of co-workers suggests that the social location matters, and highlights how different return-to-work actors interpret the return-to-work situation differently. Employers and workplaces should consider re-integration of sicklisted workers in the light of workgroup social relations and acknowledge social interaction and the heterogeneous experiences of returning workers, supervisors and coworkers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Informa Healthcare, 2011
Keyword
Return to work, Sweden, Co-workers, Social relations, Qualitative
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-57655 (URN)10.3109/09638288.2011.553708 (DOI)000295340600006 ()
Note
Funding agencies|Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CHIR)| FRN: 53909 |HELIX Vinn Excellence Centre, Linkoping University, Sweden||Institute for Work & Health, Toronto, Canada||Available from: 2010-06-28 Created: 2010-06-28 Last updated: 2013-09-03

Open Access in DiVA

The influence of the workplace and social relations in return to work(672 kB)3877 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 672 kBChecksum SHA-512
ffcc211f59825aa200b6e5252e070ce28e449dbd5e36ae2711fc22df5797e25ee8b64b35e2e8c092cfc748282097a3c7f57551ba5430c6a6de3c6f9e732becbc
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf
Cover(80 kB)92 downloads
File information
File name COVER01.pdfFile size 80 kBChecksum SHA-512
cf0f536534ede292469ac29f3e2ea269d110255564eda1f27f71598c5c102b0fe53497e8f7abe762d7e689fd7155ca2234d821ef03bd7e5c011d569e3b6c4b02
Type coverMimetype application/pdf

Authority records BETA

Tjulin, Åsa

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Tjulin, Åsa
By organisation
Work and Rehabilitation HELIX Vinn Excellence CentreFaculty of Health Sciences
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 3877 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 4127 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf