08 SES 05.5 PS, General Poster Session
General Poster Session
The purpose of this paper is to describe school staff’s occupational well-being and leadership in a primary school located in Southern Finland. This longitudinal study was carried out in 2000-2009 and the school was part of the international Schools for Health in Europe (SHE) network (see Schools for Health in Europe, 2013). The frame of the study is based on the idea of action research, which has been fairly seldom used in the development of occupational well-being of school staff (e.g., Saaranen et al., 2012, 2013). On the basis of earlier studies, school community staff’s occupational well-being has an impact on the well-being of individual workers and the entire work community (e.g., Saaranen et al., 2007). In addition, the relationship between school manager and teachers affects their satisfaction with work and the entire school atmosphere (e.g., Price, 2012).The goal was to find out what kinds of interventions were realized to improve well-being and to investigate how managers have developed their leadership.
The main reason for failure in well-being programmes for workers seems to be the lack of agreement regarding what is meant by the concept ‘employee well-being’ at the start of the program (Juniper, 2011). Furthermore, the concepts of’ well-being’ and ‘workplace well-being’ are used in varying ways in different situations depending on, for example, the aims, context, discipline and the focus of the study on well-being at workplace. In this study, school’s occupational well-being is perceived to include four aspects: 1) worker and work, 2) working conditions, 3) occupational competence, and 4) working community. The aspect of worker and work consists of health, emotional and physical workload, individual resources, and factors affecting these. The section of working conditions includes the physical working environment (physical, chemical, and biological aspects) and work safety. Occupational competence consists of professional qualifications and possibilities for training. The aspect of working community is considered to cover, e.g., management and the work organization, leadership, social support, and communication. (Saaranen et al., 2012, 2013.)
The specific study questions were as follows:
(1) What kinds of interventions were carried out by the school’s work community in order to promote occupational well-being in the years 2000–2009?
(2) What kind of an importance does the school principal have for the promotion of occupational well-being?
(3) How has work community leadership developed in the school community in 2000–2009?
Juniper B. 2011. Defining employee wellbeing. Occupational Health, 63(10), 25. Saaranen T, Tossavainen K, Turunen H, Kiviniemi V & Vertio H. 2007. Occupational wellbeing of school staff members: a structural equation model. Health Education Research, 22(2), 248-260. Saaranen T, Sormunen M, Streimann K, Pertel T, Hansen S, Varava L, Lepp K, Turunen H & Tossavainen K. 2012. The occupational well-being of school staff and maintenance of their ability to work in Finland and Estonia - focus on the school community and professional competence. Health Education, 112(3), 236-255. Saaranen T, Tossavainen K, Ryhänen E & Turunen H. 2013. Promoting the occupational well-being of teachers for the Comenius Program. International Journal of Higher Education, 2(2), 159-174. Price HE. 2012. Principal – teacher interactions: how affective relationship shape principal and teacher attitudes. Educational Administration Quaterly, 48(1), 39-85. School for Health in Europe. 2008. SHE strategic plan 2008–2012. Available online at: http://www.schoolsforhealth.eu/ (accessed 29 January 2014).
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