European Ways to Combat Psychosocial Risks Related to Work Organisation

Towards Organisational Interventions?

2004 – The PEROSH* pilar group on ‘psychosocial factors and workorganisation’ had a meeting November 2002 on: Organizational interventions to combat psychosocial factors of stress.

The participants were asked to prepare a ‘Statement-paper on the situation of their home country’.

Represented were: Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Poland, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands and United Kingdom.

These statements were gathered and edited to become an extended report (see below).


Common framework

‘Stress’ was described as: ‘all work related psychosocial factors’. To support the description of the situation in their home countries, four possible approaches of projects on stress along two dimensions were distinguished: A) Focus on explaining stress and stress effects and B) Focus on interventions and measures to combat stress. In a quadrant (low/high) the two dimensions lead to four approaches:

  1. psychological and sociological approaches to explain stress by job and organisational characteristics;
  2. psychological approaches to explain stress by individual behavioural characteristics;
  3. psychological, sociological and management science approaches to combat stress by job and organisational interventions;
  4. psychological approaches to combat stress by interventions at individual level.


Shared findings

Many contextual factors were differing. However there were some interesting shared findings:

  1. a legal framework (1989 European Framework Directive),
  2. general models for diagnosing stress (like Karasek’s),
  3. the observation that the body of organisational intervention experiences is fairly small compared to individual interventions experiences,
  4. Methodological difficulties to evaluate the impact of measures.



Peter R.A. Oeij & Evelyne Morvan (Eds), ‘European Ways to Combat Psychosocial Risks, Related to Work Organisation: Towards Organisational Interventions?’; © 2004 TNO Work and Employment / PEROSH. ISBN 90-5986-134-5

  • PEROSH: Partnership for European Research on Occupational Safety and Health

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