Managers’ experiences of engagement with workplace health promotion activities within small and medium-sized enterprises.

Ann Moore, Kader Parahoo, Paul Fleming

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Abstract

    Introduction: The key to success in promoting WHP activity within SMEs is in making managers aware of the benefits and improving strategies to overcome obstacles to engagement. This study aims to provide clarity for key stakeholders of managers’ unique experiences, the problems they face implementing WHP activities and the contextual influences on the choices they make. Methodology: A Heideggerian interpretive phenomenological approach was used to contemplate WHP in the day-to-day life of an SME manager and to reveal rich new insights and a deeper understanding of context specific WHP activity, not achievable or overlooked by empirical approaches. The study was conducted within one Health and Social Care Trust area of Northern Ireland. Data was collected from a purposive sample of 18 managers, using in-depth telephone interviews and analysed using Benner’s (1994) data analysis strategy. Findings: A tension was experienced between the benefits participants perceived to be gained from engagement with WHP activity and the struggles and constraints they currently face within the SME setting. These tensions were found to be mediated contextually by having a ‘home-like’ culture within the business, rural setting familiarity, personal experiences of ill-health, small numbers of employees, fears of invading employees’ privacy, and, increasing numbers of migrant workers. Conclusions: When marketing WHP, policy planners and practitioners need to pay more attention to contextual tensions SME managers may experience between what they expect they should do legally and morally, and, limitations imposed upon them by virtue of their size, access to resources and geographical location. In particular, there is a need to focus on the provision of appropriate advice, guidance and support for SME managers to meet the unique health, safety and social needs of migrant employees.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
    PublisherNone
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2009
    EventUSE2009: Understanding small enterprises - a healthy working life in a healthy business - Elsinore, Denmark
    Duration: 22 Oct 2009 → …

    Conference

    ConferenceUSE2009: Understanding small enterprises - a healthy working life in a healthy business
    Period22/10/09 → …

    Keywords

    • ‘Workplace health promotion’
    • ‘SME managers’ experiences’
    • ‘contextual influences’
    • ‘migrant employees’
    • ‘phenomenological approach’

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