Is Social Innovation Fostering Satisfaction and Well-being at work?

Is social Innovation Fostering Satisfaction and Well-Being at Work? Insights from Employment in Social Enterprises Providing Long-Term Eldercare Services.


2018 – The authors of this article, all working at the Catholic University of Leuven (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium), report about a multi variate analysis on an existing dataset (from the WISDOM-study) of 1.134 employees of Social Enterprises (SE) working in home care for elderly in Wallonia.

Research question
The main question they try to answer is whether working in a Social Enterprise brings job satisfaction and well-being and will working in a Social Innovative (SI) project within a SE enhance the chance on high satisfaction and well-being. To test that, the population is divided in a group that is engaged in SI projects (SI, 238 pp. of which 222 women) and a group that is not NSI (896 pp. of which 858 women). Within the concept of Social Innovation two different meanings are distinguished: service innovation and workplace innovation (WPI).

H1. Employees in every kind of Social Enterprise will experience high levels of job satisfaction and well-being.
H2. Being engaged in a Social Innovation, more specific a service innovation, will improve job satisfaction and well-being, due to the pursuit of a novel and challenging social mission.
H3. Employees’ job satisfaction and well-being will increase when workplace innovation rather than service innovation principles are implemented.

The employees of 10 SE’s in elder care participated in the research. The researchers are satisfied to have a respons percentage of 40,6%.
By using the Delphi method 15 Social Innovative projects within these enterprises were selected; 238 employees were involved in these projects.
To measure the different variables the COPSOQ II scales were used. The scales for ‘commitment to the job’ and ‘meaning of the work’ were – conform literature – considered as a proxy for job satisfaction. Well-being is measured by the scales for emotional exhaustion and somatic stress symptoms.
Workplace innovation is measured by three sets of scales:
a.     two for ‘management and leadership’, namely: ‘justice’ and ‘trust regarding management’;
b.     two for ‘flexible organization’, namely: ‘predictability’ and ‘work-family conflict’;
c.     two for ‘working smarter’, namely: ‘workpace’ and ‘place for new ideas’.

H1. is confirmed: employees in a Social Enterprise experience relatively high levels of job satisfaction and well-being, probably because the SE endorse a social mission that motivate them. Moreover employees experience a high level of ‘justice’ and ‘trust in management’ and of ‘predictability’. They feel a low level of ‘work-family conflict’ and ‘workpace’. They are able to ‘implement new ideas’ and benefit from good development opportunities. However they do not perceive having adequate influence on their work.
H2. was not confirmed: being engaged in a service innovation was not a predictor for higher job satisfaction and well-being.
H3. the analyses revealed that ‘remodeling management and leadership, implementing positive flexibility and smart working, as well as offering opportunities for employees to develop their skills and competences are robust predictors for job satisfaction and well-being.’

Casini, Annalisa, Ela Callorda Fossati, Richida Bensliman, Florence Degrave. In: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations. May 2018.
The article is attached.

Themes: Workplace innovation, Monitoring and Evaluation.
Sector: Care
Source: Article