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‘Balancing out’ the Management Standards risk model: Associations between the Irish Management Standards Indicator Tool and the WHO-Five Well-being Index

Boyd, Suzanne, Kerr, Robert and houdmont, Jonathan (2014) ‘Balancing out’ the Management Standards risk model: Associations between the Irish Management Standards Indicator Tool and the WHO-Five Well-being Index. In: European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology Conference, London. EAOHP. 365 pp. [Conference contribution]

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Introduction: The Management Standards (MS) were developed by the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to help organisations control workplace psychosocial hazards. Although lauded as an example of international best practice, several weaknesses have been identified. In particular, it has been argued that the emphasis on risk and harm is a critical barrier to its widespread adoption by organisations (Cox et al., 2009). Unlike physical hazards, psychosocial hazards can not only impair but also contribute to the promotion of health and well-being. It has therefore been argued that the model could be ‘balanced out’ to include consideration of both negative (risk) and positive (salutogenic) drivers of employee health. Considering these arguments, we explored associations between the Irish MS Indicator Tool (ROI-MSIT) and the WHO-Five Well-being Index (WHO-5), a measure of positive mental health. We hypothesised that individuals who obtained better (higher) scores on the ROI-MSIT and its sub-scales would be more likely to experience positive mental health. We also investigated whether better scores were associated with a greater likelihood of experiencing mental ‘flourishing’, following Huppert and So (2009; 2013). Method: Between February 2011 and June 2012 we collected data from a wide range of public and private sector organisations that used the ROI-MSIT and WHO-5 (N = 4794). Scores on the overall ROI-MSIT and its sub-scales were collapsed into ordinal categories following the UK HSE’s percentile scoring bands. Logistic regression was performed treating WHO-5 scores as a dichotomous dependent variable (poor or good well-being) and as a trichotomous variable (i.e. including a ‘flourishing’ category). Odds ratios were calculated to estimate the ‘downside risk’ of experiencing poor well-being and the ‘upside risk’ of experiencing good well-being and flourishing in relation to MS scores. Results: Those in the top ROI-MSIT category were 22 times (95% CI: 16.54-28.79) more likely to experience good well-being than those in the bottom. Ordinal logistic regression revealed those in the top category were 25 times (95% CI: 20.00-33.33) more likely to experience good well-being, and 25 times (95% CI: 20.00-33.33) more likely to experience flourishing. Strong results were also found for the ROI-MSIT sub-scales.Conclusions: Although additional research is needed to determine the full salutogenic potential of the MS model, our initial findings suggest that following the approach may help employees experience positive mental states rather than just the absence of psychological harm. Small shifts in mean MS scores could potentially move the population towards mental flourishing.

Item Type:Conference contribution (Paper)
Faculties and Schools:Ulster Business School > Department of Management and Leadership
Ulster Business School
ID Code:29366
Deposited By: Dr Robert Kerr
Deposited On:28 Apr 2014 14:58
Last Modified:28 Apr 2014 14:58

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