Learning to deal with psychosocial strains at hospitals

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


This paper examines the psychosocial work environment in the hospital sector from a learning perspective. The paper is based on case studies in the Danish hospital system, characterized by professionalism, centralized management and constant organizational change. In all cases, the psychosocial burdens are primarily related to the managerial structure the hospital system is subject to. Employees experience that the psychosocial strain is related to external conditions to the workplace and as a result of decisions taken far away. As such it is difficult to eliminate the causes locally. Managers and employees in the individual departments must learn to cope with the stress imposed. Learning-related concepts are found to be suitable for analysing how they actually do cope locally. However, these concepts not only pave the way for an analysis. They also open for reflection, interpretations and learning at the work site as a result of the incremental practice intervention. This might have a positive effect in reducing psychosocial stress. The paper focuses on one of the cases – a specialized hospital section with approx. 400 employees. It is investigated how learning-related activities, studied through three concepts – jobcrafting, temporality and relational coordination – contribute to the improvement of the psychosocial work environment.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date6 Dec 2017
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2017
Event10th international conference on researching work & learning - Rhodes University, Rhodes, South Africa
Duration: 6 Dec 20178 Dec 2017
Conference number: 10


Conference10th international conference on researching work & learning
LocationRhodes University
Country/TerritorySouth Africa
OtherThe theme for RWL10 is Transitions, Transformations and Transgressions in Work and Learning & Work and Learning Research. While the organisers will consider a variety of contributions, RWL10 will in particular seek to encourage deliberative engagement around these questions: •What transitions, transformations or transgressions are influencing work and learning, as societies confront socio-ecological risks like climate change, economic stagnation, social insecurity and inequalities? •What are the implications of these transitions, transformations and transgressions for the nature of work, worker identity and agency, careers and career guidance, and work-based learning, among other areas of interest? •Does a focus on broader transitions, transformations and transgressions challenge traditional boundaries and framings of work and learning, and the relationship between society, economy, education and work? What is transformative (or not) in RWL research? The conference programme will offer a variety of session types to suit a range of presentation styles and learning needs. This will include keynote presentations, panel and plenary discussions, parallel presentations, roundtables and workshops. Conference numbers will be capped at 350 and delegates can look forward to a convivial environment conducive to exploring collaborations and discussing solutions to meet challenges in current and future scenarios. In addition, the Eastern Cape and South Africa offer unsurpassed Cultural and Eco-tourism Opportunities , exposure to a variety of challenging work environments, and excellent value for money to the discerning and engaged traveler.
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