Health promoting personnel policies? A critical discourse analysis of personnel and health policies in Region Zealand, and a reception study with employees in Region Zealand

Betina Fabricius Lademann & Mette Højberg Bjerregaard

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Title: Health promoting personnel policies? A critical discourse analysis of the personnel policy and
health policy in Region Zealand, and reception study with employees in Region Zealand.

Background: It has become common in the workplace for employers to develop personnel policies that affect employees to a greater or lesser extent in a number of areas. The areas include health, lifestyle, appearance, abuse, smoking and stress. Personnel policies such as these are believed to affect employees. On this basis the thesis seeks to investigate the health-promoting effects of two specific personnel policies.

Objective: The purpose of the thesis is to investigate which health understanding is expressed in Region Zealand’s personnel policy and health policy. This includes investigating the discourses and the positions expressed by the policies. Furthermore, the thesis seeks to investigate how the policies are received by employees in Region Zealand, which counter-discourses the employees express and the existence of the policies in the daily practice.

Method: The thesis is based on Norman Fairclough's three-dimensional model for critical discourse analysis. The method is used to analyze the personnel policy and health policy in Region Zealand. The critical discourse analysis is complemented by a reception study, which consists of a semi- structured focus group interview with employees from Region Zealand.

Results: The results show that Region Zealand exhibits divergent health understandings. In addition, it appears that Region Zealand and its employees draw on different discourses when they address health at work. The discursive and social structures that are expressed through the personnel policy and health policy in Region Zealand, have a negative impact on employee acceptance of these policies, as well as reducing the value of the policies in practice.

Conclusion: The thesis concludes that the personnel policies in Region Zealand have a low degree of health-promoting significance for the employees, since the way the policies are constructed make them appear disconnected from practice and do not exist as a part of the employees’ perception.
In addition, the subjective ratings in Region Zealand’s policies, are not received by the employees who do not recognize Region Zealand’s intentions to increase their health. This means that the policies have a low degree of importance in the employees' daily practice.

EducationsHealth Promotion and Health Strategies, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Graduate
LanguageDanish
Publication date1 Jun 2018
Number of pages98
SupervisorsAnne Liveng