TH-P01-112 - Knowledge workers: how are they doing? An assessment of knowledge workers’ psychological health

Work stressors
Poster Presentation
3 hours 30 minutes
O'Brien Foyer
Employee stress and burnout
Work stressors
Knowledge workers: how are they doing? An assessment of knowledge workers’ psychological health
J. Bérard*, C. Francoeur-Marquis 1, C. Vandenberghe 2, F.  Montani 3, J.-S. Boudrias 3
1Université de Montréal, 2HEC, 3Montpellier Business School, Montréal, Canada
Content: Purpose
Knowledge workers represent about 25% of the Canadian workforce and are key factor for economic growth (OCDE, 2013). Workers’ psychological health is a crucial resource to perform and innovate in the workplace. However, there is no clear consensus on how the presence of high demands associated with their work impacts their psychological health. While some point out that the increased demands associated with knowledge jobs could have a deleterious effect, others propose that the challenging nature of the knowledge workers jobs should positively influence their psychological health. This study aims to address this problem by providing an assessment of knowledge workers’ psychological health using a multidimensional conceptualization which encompasses both well-being and distress.
Using a cross-sectional design, a sample of 452 workers from various organizations located in Eastern Canada made an assessment of the correspondence of their work with the characteristics of knowledge work. They also completed a psychological health questionnaire.
Results from t-tests indicate that knowledge workers (n = 306) have good psychological health, even better than other types of workers (n = 146).
Research/Practical implications
These findings are consistent with theoretical work stating that the inclusion of knowledge work’s characteristics in the design of jobs would have a positive effect on workers’ psychological health (Brinkley, Fauth, Mahdon & Theodoropoulou, 2010).
The cross-sectional nature of this study raises issues about common method bias.
These findings highlight the importance for today’s organizations to design work tasks in order to promote independence, accountability and creative power.

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