Organizational values and employee health initiatives : influence on performance and functioning




Nagel, Kevin Frederick

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This study was an exploratory investigation of the perceived existence and importance of values and their influence on organizational performance. The study also included an examination of the methods used to operationalize health values; rationale used to justify the implementation of employee health programs and activities (EHPAs); importance of incentives and organizational factors for enhancing employee involvement and commitment to EHPAs; and the attributes of EHPAs and management approaches used with respect to employee health in Canada. The study was conducted among a diverse group of 187 public (including federal, provincial and municipal government entities) and private sector organizations in 1997. Conclusions of the study included that Health values were perceived to exist and be important values in respondent organizations; values heavily influence organizational performance systematically through their affect on decision-making as it relates to the identification of "desired" outcomes; the values deemed most important by participant organizations were those values perceived to influence the achievement of the identified desired organizational outcomes and the typology of those values was consistent with Hodgkinson's Value Paradigm. Conclusions drawn also included that the values held by decision-makers in positions of power and authority were more likely to influence organizational direction than those values held by members at lower levels of the organizational power structure. These values were also more likely to be included in value, mission and vision statements and other plans, policies and documentation of a strategic or directional nature. Conclusions drawn with respect to EHPAs included that programs and activities such as EHPAs are often initiated as a result of values integration or clustering which involves two or more values coming together to influence the creation of a program or initiative; organizations who agreed or strongly agreed that Health values were important values in their organizations had more extensive EHPAs and/or budgets for EIHPAs than organizations who did not agree with this statement; Health values are in transition due to the cut backs in provincial health budgets that have taken place since 1990; and, EHPAs are increasingly being recognized as a means of maintaining or controlling health costs and enhancing performance in Canadian organizations.



Organizational effectiveness, Employees