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Societies 2017, 7(4), 31;

Ambiguity among Managers in Small-Scale Enterprises: How to Handle Business and Workplace Health Management

Department of Health Sciences, Mid Sweden University, 831 25 Östersund, Sweden
Faculty of Nursing and Health Science, Nord University, Høgskolevegen 27, 7600 Levanger, Norway
Department of Social Work, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Tungasletta 2, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
Levanger Hospital, Nord-Trøndelag Hospital Trust, 7600 Levanger, Norway
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 September 2017 / Revised: 1 November 2017 / Accepted: 3 November 2017 / Published: 9 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards a Sustainable Community, Work and Family Interface)
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Despite extensive research on health in working life, few studies focus on this issue from the perspective of managers in small-scale enterprises (SSEs). To gain deeper knowledge of managers’ perceptions and strategies for dealing with workplace health management, 13 Norwegian and Swedish SSE managers were interviewed after participating in a workplace health development project. The methodical approach was based on Grounded Theory with a constructivist orientation. The main theme that emerged was ‘ambiguity in workplace health management and maintaining the business’, which was related to the categories ‘internal workplace settings’, ‘workplace surroundings’, and ‘leadership strategies’. The managers experienced ambiguity due to internal and external demands. These requirements were linked to the core challenges in dealing with multitasking leadership, financial decision-making, labour legislation, staff development and maintaining business. However, the managers developed new skills and competence and thereby a more reflexive approach and readiness to create a health-promoting workplace from being part of a development project. The implications are that managers in SSEs need to exchange experiences and discuss workplace health issues with other managers in networks. It is also important that occupational health services and social and welfare organizations use tailor-made models and strategies for supporting SSEs. View Full-Text
Keywords: small-scale enterprises; managers; workplace health management; interviews; Grounded Theory small-scale enterprises; managers; workplace health management; interviews; Grounded Theory

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Vinberg, S.; Hansen, E.; Hedlund, M.; Landstad, B.J. Ambiguity among Managers in Small-Scale Enterprises: How to Handle Business and Workplace Health Management. Societies 2017, 7, 31.

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