Special Issue "Sustainable Working Conditions: Occupational health in the 21st Century"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. María del Mar Molero Jurado
Website
Guest Editor
University of Almería, Ctra. de Sacramento s/n, 04120, Almería, Spain
Interests: psychology of sustainability; engagement work; occupational health; psychosocial; organizational environments; personality; emotional intelligence; burnout; emotions; public health
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. José Jesús Gázquez Linares
Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Psychology, Universidad de Almería, Calle Universidad de Almería, 04120 Almería, Spain
2. Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Av. Pedro de Valdivia 425, Providencia, Región Metropolitana, Chile
Interests: psychology of sustainability; engagement work; occupational health; psychosocial; organizational environments; personality; aggressive behavior; emotional intelligence; emotional intelligence; burnout, public health
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The psychology of sustainability highlights the importance of building organizational environments promoting employees’ well-being, and positive relationships are of major importance for promoting well-being and fostering healthy and sustainable organizations.

Pathologies associated with the workplace pose a current unsustainable and public health problem, which places professionals at high risk. This Special Issue therefore intends to analyze the protection and risk factors involved in the development of occupational diseases, which are very important not only for scientific research but also for adequately planning an organizational policy in a sustainable organizational environment. At the present time, occupational health is the focus of interest both in terms of research and action, through analyzing epidemiological reality and incidence, but we must take another step forward by analyzing each of the factors related to finally propose methods to achieve health risk-free environments. Healthcare services which evaluate and intervene to reduce exposure to occupational risk are necessary, as are medical surveillance services for the early detection of occupational diseases and work-related injuries.

Of the many aspects related to the presence of occupational problems, this issue will focus its attention on the variables related to distress/burnout, as well as, from a positive approach, wellbeing/engagement of personnel. The conditions of employment, occupation, position in the hierarchy in the workplace, psychosocial factors, personal factors, etc. affect employees’ health. For example, persons who work under pressure or who do not have strategies for overcoming the pressure of their work are more prone to eating and sleep problems, aggressiveness, more use of medication, doing less physical activity, smoking more, etc.

For this Special Issue, we invite you to send in articles on high-quality original research or reviews that provide new robust discoveries broadening current knowledge. Preference will be given to contributions which analyze the psychology of sustainability and propose action to be taken for building organizational environments promoting employees’ well-being. All manuscripts will be reviewed by experts in the field and must be submitted no later than the end of February 2020.

Dr. María del Carmen Pérez-Fuentes
Dr. María del Mar Molero Jurado
Dr. José Jesús Gázquez Linares
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • psychology of sustainability
  • sustainable working conditions
  • occupational health
  • psychosocial
  • organizational environments
  • personality
  • emotional intelligence
  • burnout

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Creating a Sustainable Workplace Environment: Influence of Workplace Safety Climate on Chinese Healthcare Employees’ Presenteeism from the Perspective of Affect and Cognition
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2414; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062414 - 19 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Based on the stimulus-organism-response theory and cognitive-affective personality system theory, this paper explores how the theoretical model of the workplace safety climate (WSC) influences presenteeism. Affect-based trust and cognition-based trust are assessed, and the situational role of organization formalization is examined. Using a [...] Read more.
Based on the stimulus-organism-response theory and cognitive-affective personality system theory, this paper explores how the theoretical model of the workplace safety climate (WSC) influences presenteeism. Affect-based trust and cognition-based trust are assessed, and the situational role of organization formalization is examined. Using a time-lagged research design, data from 396 healthcare employees were gathered and multiple regression and bootstrapping were used to test each hypothesis. The results show that: (1) WSC significantly reduces presenteeism. (2) Both affect-based trust and cognition-based trust mediate the relationship between WSC and presenteeism. Affect-based trust exerts a complete mediating role, while cognition-based trust exerts a partial mediating role. (3) Cognition-based trust completely mediates the relationship between affect-based trust and presenteeism. (4) Organization formalization exerts a positive moderating effect on the relationship between WSC and affect-based trust. However, it exerts no significant moderating effect on the relationship between WSC and cognition-based trust. This study overcame the single research perspective. Combined with organizational, work-related, and person-related factors, the internal logic of the impact of WSC on the decision-making process in presenteeism was identified. The research results provide practical information for enterprises to create a sustainable organizational environment, reduce risks related to human resources, and effectively manage organizational health. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Psychological Capital Protects Social Workers from Burnout and Secondary Traumatic Stress
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2246; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062246 - 13 Mar 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Summary: To counteract the negative consequences inherent to the emotionally demanding professions like social work, we need to advance the understanding of the resources that preserve the employees’ well-being. This study investigated the role of Psychological Capital (PsyCap) in protecting social workers from [...] Read more.
Summary: To counteract the negative consequences inherent to the emotionally demanding professions like social work, we need to advance the understanding of the resources that preserve the employees’ well-being. This study investigated the role of Psychological Capital (PsyCap) in protecting social workers from developing burnout and Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS). The design of the study builds on the job demands-resources model and the conservation of resources theory. A national sample of 193 Romanian social workers participated in the study. We used the structural equation modeling framework for data analysis. We tested two structural models that had burnout as a mediator for the relationship between PsyCap and STS: A partial mediation model and a total mediation model. Findings: The total mediation model was supported by our data suggesting that PsyCap has a protective role against burnout, and subsequently, STS. Moreover, the results indicate that burnout is the critical link between personal resources and STS. Applications: The results of the study contribute to enhancing the protection of the social workers’ well-being in their professional settings, by advancing the knowledge about the resources that need to be developed in order to prevent or reduce the negative job consequences associated with helping professions. As such, increasing PsyCap levels of employees enhance the sustainability of their working conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Organizational Citizenship Behavior Motives and Thriving at Work: The Mediating Role of Citizenship Fatigue
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2231; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062231 - 12 Mar 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Employees can affect the sustainability of organizations, yet the different effects of employee organizational citizenship behavior motives on employee thriving at work, as elements of organization sustainability, are not clear. Based on self-determination theory and conservation of resource theory, this study examined whether [...] Read more.
Employees can affect the sustainability of organizations, yet the different effects of employee organizational citizenship behavior motives on employee thriving at work, as elements of organization sustainability, are not clear. Based on self-determination theory and conservation of resource theory, this study examined whether organizational concern motives and impression management motives behind employees’ organizational citizenship behaviors are differently associated with their citizenship fatigue and their subsequent thriving at work, and whether task performance moderates these relationships. Results from a multi-wave and multisource study using a sample of 349 employees show that organizational concern motives had a positive indirect effect on thriving at work through reducing employees’ citizenship fatigue, while impression management motives will undermine thriving at work through inducing citizenship fatigue. This study further found that task performance strengthened the positive relationship between impression management motives and citizenship fatigue. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Crafting Jobs for Sustaining Careers during China’s Manufacturing Digitalization
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2041; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12052041 - 06 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Accelerated digitalization coupled with ever-growing new job demands in China’s manufacturing industry has led to serious concerns about rising work stress and the loss of the sustainability of careers among production workers. They are trapped within an organization due to the lack of [...] Read more.
Accelerated digitalization coupled with ever-growing new job demands in China’s manufacturing industry has led to serious concerns about rising work stress and the loss of the sustainability of careers among production workers. They are trapped within an organization due to the lack of career alternatives in the labor market; under such occupational stress, some proactive workers may engage in expansive job crafting (JC) behaviors to get more resources to meet their career goals and make better career plans. As a result, this paper aims to investigate how Chinese manufacturing workers perform JC behaviors to translate perceived work stress into more control over their careers in today’s shrinking job market. Drawing on the job demands-resources (JD-R) theory, this study thus investigates how employee continuance commitment (CC), as a manifestation of work stress, influences career control that can reflect the sustainability of careers in such a turbulent time and how the three dimensions of employees’ JC (i.e., increasing structural job resources, increasing social job resources, and increasing challenging job demands) mediate the CC‒career control relationship, respectively. A time-lagged survey was carried out with a sample of 476 Chinese production workers. The results show that crafting jobs is instrumental in translating the degree of CC that embodies the level of work stress to the degree of career sustainability during the digital transformation of Chinese manufacturing. The article concludes with a discussion of the theoretical and practical implications. Limitations and their implications for future studies are also reviewed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Nurse Practitioners’ Work Values and Their Conflict Management Approaches in a Stressful Workplace: A Taiwan Study
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 1040; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12031040 - 01 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Globalization has created an urgent need to understand management practices in different cultures. This study examines Confucianism-based work values of nurse practitioners in Taiwan and explores their impact on conflict management approaches in order to help health practitioners maintain sustainable work relationships and [...] Read more.
Globalization has created an urgent need to understand management practices in different cultures. This study examines Confucianism-based work values of nurse practitioners in Taiwan and explores their impact on conflict management approaches in order to help health practitioners maintain sustainable work relationships and improve organizational effectiveness in an increasingly stressful workplace. Based on the data from 259 nurse practitioners in Taiwan, this study shows that nurse practitioners in Taiwan consider holistic rewards, self-fulfillment and personal growth, challenge and responsibility, autonomy, and meaningfulness as important work values. Hierarchical regression results further indicate that nurse practitioners with strong group-centered needs, such as needs for holistic rewards, preferred collaborative methods to manage conflicts in the workplace, and individuals with strong self-centered needs, such as needs for personal growth and self-fulfillment and needs for autonomy, preferred competitive methods to manage conflicts. Interestingly, this study also finds that self-centered needs such as needs for self-fulfillment and personal growth, and needs for challenge and responsibility are also related to collaborative approaches. Managerial implications are then discussed for conflict management training for nurse practitioners under stressful work conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Predicting Nurses Burnout through Quality of Work Life and Psychological Empowerment: A Study Towards Sustainable Healthcare Services in Malaysia
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 388; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010388 - 03 Jan 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The nursing profession is a much-demanded profession that requires the individual capacity to work under intense physical and emotional dynamics in the workplace. Work related factors cause burnout and need attention from scholars and professionals to reduce the effects of the burnout among [...] Read more.
The nursing profession is a much-demanded profession that requires the individual capacity to work under intense physical and emotional dynamics in the workplace. Work related factors cause burnout and need attention from scholars and professionals to reduce the effects of the burnout among nursing staff. This study aimed to examine the meditational role of psychological empowerment and work-life quality on the burnout experiences of nursing staff in Malaysia. This study investigated a sample of 432 nursing staff from 10 registered hospitals in the Selangor area that have been listed on the Malaysian Health Tourism Council (MHTC) website. The responses collected via a self-reported questionnaire, and the data was analyzed using partial least square regression structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM). The findings statistically support the argument that the provision of quality of work-life (adequate and fair compensation, constitution in the work organization, safe and healthy working conditions, social integration in the work organization, social relevance of work-life, and work and life span) could promote psychological empowerment among nurses. Psychological empowerment statistically resulted in reducing the burnout effects by mediating the effect of work-life quality (QWL) on burnout. This study contributes to the literature that QWL factors need to be studied separately, and its affects on psychological empowerment, and how psychological empowerment permits curtails the effects of the burnout among nursing staff providing the services to health tourists. This study also provided important implications for the management staff of the nursing industry to initiate the management of burnout with the provision of psychological employment. The present study contributed to the current literature of burnout management through the psychological empowerment provided by the factors of the quality of work life. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Compassion Fatigue, Compassion Satisfaction, and Burnout in Oncology Nurses: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010072 - 20 Dec 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Professionals working in cancer care are exposed to strong sources of stress. Due to the special characteristics of this unit, the appearance of burnout, compassion fatigue, and low compassion satisfaction is more likely. The principal aim was to analyze the levels and prevalence [...] Read more.
Professionals working in cancer care are exposed to strong sources of stress. Due to the special characteristics of this unit, the appearance of burnout, compassion fatigue, and low compassion satisfaction is more likely. The principal aim was to analyze the levels and prevalence of burnout, compassion fatigue, and low compassion satisfaction in oncology nurses and interventions for its treatment. The search for the systematic review was done in Medline, ProQuest, Lilacs, CINAHL, Scopus, Scielo, and PsycINFO databases, with the search equation “burnout AND nurs* AND oncology AND compassion fatigue”. The results obtained from the 15 studies confirmed that there are levels of risk of suffering burnout and compassion fatigue among nursing professionals, affecting more women and nurses with more years of experience, with nurses from oncology units having one of the highest levels of burnout and compassion fatigue. The oncology nurse sample was n = 900. The meta-analytic estimations were 19% for low compassion satisfaction, 56% for medium and high burnout, BO, and 60% for medium and high compassion fatigue. The increase in cases of burnout and compassion fatigue in nursing staff can be prevented and minimized with a correct evaluation and development of intervention programs, considering that there are more women than men and that they seem to be more vulnerable. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Emotional Intelligence, Sense of Coherence, Engagement and Coping: A Cross-Sectional Study of University Students’ Health
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 6953; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11246953 - 06 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
It is important to consider university settings as sustainable environments that promote student well-being. Our aim in this study was to determine how the variables of engagement, emotional intelligence, sense of coherence, and coping influence the health of students at a Spanish university. [...] Read more.
It is important to consider university settings as sustainable environments that promote student well-being. Our aim in this study was to determine how the variables of engagement, emotional intelligence, sense of coherence, and coping influence the health of students at a Spanish university. This was a descriptive, cross-sectional study. The instruments of measures administered were: The General Health Questionnaire, Trait Meta-Mood Scale, Uterch Work Engagement Scale, sense of coherence and brief coping scale to 463 students. The results showed that better-perceived health was associated with higher scores for dedication, vigor, clarity, repair, sense of coherence, active coping, positive reframing, and humor. Conversely, poorer perceived health was associated with higher scores for attention, instrumental support, self-distraction, venting, religion, denial, self-blaming, emotional support, and behavioral disengagement. In addition, the variables analyzed presented differences by sex. Our proposed predictive model of health and the associations between variables indicate the need to cultivate emotional skills, such as mood repair, a sense of coherence, and coping strategies, in order to promote student health. Facilitating students’ acquisition of knowledge and resources by analyzing these and other variables can contribute to individual well-being and help university students to cope with present and future academic challenges. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of the Risk and Protective Roles of Work-Related and Individual Variables in Burnout Syndrome in Nurses
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5745; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205745 - 17 Oct 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Aims: Burnout syndrome is a phenomenon that is becoming ever more widespread, especially in workers such as nurses who have heavy workloads and time pressures. The progression of burnout syndrome has been shown to be related to both individual and work-related variables. The [...] Read more.
Aims: Burnout syndrome is a phenomenon that is becoming ever more widespread, especially in workers such as nurses who have heavy workloads and time pressures. The progression of burnout syndrome has been shown to be related to both individual and work-related variables. The objective of this study is to examine the risk and protective roles played by work-related and personal variables, both sociodemographic and psychological, in the development of burnout in nurses. Method: The sample was composed of 1236 nurses aged between 21 and 57 years, with a mean age of 31.50 years (SD = 6.18). Women accounted for 84.5% (n = 1044), and the remaining 15.5% (n = 192) were men. Exploratory tests were performed to understand the relationships between burnout and other variables, and a binary logistic regression was conducted to understand the roles of these variables in the incidence of this syndrome. Lastly, a regression tree was constructed. Results: The results show that the sociodemographic variables examined are not related to the level of burnout in nurses. However, certain work-related variables, such as spending more time with colleagues and patients and reporting good-quality relationships, exhibit a negative relationship with the occurrence of burnout. Of the psychological variables, the stress factors conflict-social acceptance and irritability-tension-fatigue, as well as informative communication, are shown to be risk factors for the appearance of burnout in nurses. In contrast, the communication skills factor, empathy, and energy-joy exert a protective function. Conclusion: Identifying the variables that influence the occurrence of burnout syndrome and understanding the manner in which they exert their influence are key elements in the development of effective prevention and intervention of burnout in nursing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Teacher Profiles of Psychological Capital and Their Relationship with Burnout
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 5096; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11185096 - 18 Sep 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
This study adopts a person-centered approach to identify the possible existence of different teacher profiles of psychological capital, according to the way in which its four components combine (efficacy, hope, optimism, and resilience). The study aimed to examine whether the identified profiles differed [...] Read more.
This study adopts a person-centered approach to identify the possible existence of different teacher profiles of psychological capital, according to the way in which its four components combine (efficacy, hope, optimism, and resilience). The study aimed to examine whether the identified profiles differed in their levels of burnout. In total, 1379 non-university teachers participated in the study. A latent profile analysis was performed using MPlus 7.11 software. Seven teaching profiles of psychological capital were identified, differing both quantitatively and qualitatively. The differences between the profiles in burnout were estimated using SPSS 26 software. Teachers with a profile of low psychological capital (i.e., low confidence of successfully completing challenging tasks—efficacy; lack of energy for establishing personal goals and working towards achieving them —hope; little tendency to make positive causal attributions and develop expectations of success—optimism; and low capacity to recover or emerge stronger from adverse situations—resilience) exhibited significantly higher levels of burnout. The lowest levels of burnout were found in the profile of high psychological capital (i.e., higher in efficacy, hope, optimism, and resilience). These results suggest that teachers who can muster the four components of psychological capital are more protected against burnout. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Motivations for Volunteerism, Satisfaction, and Emotional Exhaustion: The Moderating Effect of Volunteers’ Age
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4477; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164477 - 19 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This investigation aims to explore the moderating role of volunteers’ age in the relation between motivations for volunteering and, respectively, satisfaction with volunteerism and emotional exhaustion. A longitudinal study was conducted with a sample of 241 Spanish healthcare volunteers. Results show that volunteers’ [...] Read more.
This investigation aims to explore the moderating role of volunteers’ age in the relation between motivations for volunteering and, respectively, satisfaction with volunteerism and emotional exhaustion. A longitudinal study was conducted with a sample of 241 Spanish healthcare volunteers. Results show that volunteers’ age moderates the relations between social motivations and satisfaction, and social motivations and volunteers’ emotional exhaustion, and also between growth motivations and satisfaction, and volunteers’ emotional exhaustion. The relationships between security motivations and satisfaction and emotional exhaustion are not moderated by age. Our findings underline that, for younger volunteers, satisfaction decreases when social motives are high, rather than low, and, in the opposite, emotional exhaustion increases when growth motives are high, rather than low. For older volunteers, instead, the only significant effect concern satisfaction, which is higher when social motives are high, rather than low. Full article
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