Workplace health promotion within small and medium-sized enterprises

Ann Moore, Kader Parahoo, Paul Fleming

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose - This study aimed to explore managers’ understanding of workplace health promotion (WHP) and experiences of WHP activity within small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in a Health and Social Care Trust area of Northern Ireland. This paper focuses on engagement with activities within the context of prevention of ill-health and health protection, lifestyle issues, and, working culture and the environment as defined in the Luxembourg Declaration on WHP (European Network for Workplace Health Promotion, 1997). Design/ methodology/ approach - A Heideggerian (1962) interpretive phenomenological methodology was adopted, using in-depth telephone interviews with a purposive sample of 18 small and medium sized enterprise managers. Data was analysed using Benner’s (1994) strategy for data analysis.Findings - ‘Levels of awareness of workplace health promotion activity’ were revealed as a central theme and interpreted as ‘high awareness activities’, including the need to (a) preserve and protect employee health and safety, (b) prevent ill-health and injury, and, (c) promote employees quality of daily living, and, ‘low awareness activities’, including the provision of training and development, human resource management, and, environmental considerations. Practical implications - A modified version of Green and Kreuter’s (1991) model advances political strategists and practitioners’ understanding of the planning process within the SME context.Originality/ value - An ‘Iceberg’ model, grounded in the data, draws attention to the limited awareness of what constitutes WHP activities and the untapped meaningfulness of organisational and environmental activities. Key wordsWorkplace health promotion, managers, SMEs, qualitativePaper typeResearch paper
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)61-76
    JournalHealth Education
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


    • Workplace health promotion
    • managers
    • SMEs
    • qualitative research


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