All call centres are not “electronic sweatshops”! On leadership and psychosocial work conditions in Swedish
in-house call centres
Mid Sweden University Sundsvall, Sweden
Abstract Call centres have received increased attention during the past decades. The growth of this sector in the economy has led to research on its work conditions. Call centres are often described as “sweatshops” with inferior psychosocial work conditions in this research. There are different kinds of call centres, however. This study focuses on the psychosocial work conditions in Swedish in-house call centres compared with the same conditions in Nordic (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Finnish) organisations in general. The QPS Nordic questionnaire is used for the comparison. It is found that Swedish in-house call centre employees perceive work to be more controlled than employees in Nordic organisations in general do. At the same time the work load in in-house call centres is not perceived to be very high. The call centre leadership style appears to be different from leadership in general in Nordic organisations. Superiors are perceived to be quite supportive, people-oriented and empowering. Co-workers are also perceived to be supportive. In addition, work is not perceived to be as central in life by call centre employees as it is perceived by employees in Nordic organisations in general.
Keywords: In-house call centres, psychosocial work conditions, QPS Nordic, leadership.
1. Background The call centre organisation has received much attention during the past decades. This is due to the increased number of employees in such organisations: the call centre sector is
The Journal of E-working Pages 116-136, Vol 1, December 2007
one of the fastest growing sectors in today’s service economy (Paul and Huws, 2002). A complementary reason for the attention is that call centres are regarded as potential sources of alternative employment in places and regions with unemployment problems. Call centres are for instance regarded as an important employer in places like Ljusdal and Sveg in northern Sweden. The development of the information and communication technology (ICT) has also made it possible, in theory at least, to locate call centres almost anywhere, as long as there is a reliable ICT infrastructure in place. There is no precise definition of the call centre organisation that is generally endorsed. But as the concept implies it is a matter of organisations specialised in maintaining customer/client relations using the telephone and/or ICT technology. Taylor and Bain (1999) define call centres as organisations specialised on activities in which computer utilising employees receive inbound, or make outbound, telephone calls with those calls processed and controlled either by an Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) or predictive dialling system (p.102). Callaghan and Thompson (2001) see call centres as activities that integrate telephone and computer technologies. Cleveland and Minnucci (2000) emphasise that call centres use multiple channels of communication to co-create value for the customer and the organization.
It is part of the picture that there are different kinds of call centres (cf. Stoltz & Moberg, 2002). One major difference is that between (a) call centres like Sykes and Anthill that work as independent organisations undertaking outsourced customer-related services on behalf of other organisations, and (b) call centres like the call centre departments of the Swedish Nordea and Telia organisations, which are integrated organisational units. The latter kind of call centres are called in-house call centres, whilst the former call centres are labelled outsourced call centres or sub-contractors. The image of call centres in literature is much influenced by outsourced call centre conditions, but the majority of call centres are, in fact, in-house call centres. In Sweden, for instance, 3 out of 4 call centres are in-house call centres1.
In-house call centres are salient vehicles for customer service
A basic assumption behind this paper is that call centres – and in particular in-house call centres – are of growing importance to the competitiveness of organisations in today’s globalized and computerised economy. The tougher competition that follows from this globalisation and computerisation makes it increasingly essential for enterprises to develop their sensitivity to customer demands and wishes (Johnson, 1992). A core function in this context is the ability to manage the immediate relations with the customers, and this is precisely the responsibility of the in-house call centres. They are salient vehicles for the customer service function in the modern enterprise, and also crucial to the development of organisational sensitivity. This foreseen importance of the in-house call centres in the marketing strategy of organisations striving for survival and success in a globalized and computerised economy 1 Information from the ISA (Invest in Sweden Agency) in the form of Power Point slides, based on the ISA’s own information and information from consultant Philip Cohen and the Call Center Institute.
makes it important also to analyse the working conditions in such call centres and to discuss their management style and organization. The image of call centre work Even though there are high expectations in today’s economic discussion on the role call centres can play as employers, the image of the call centre work is not entirely positive. It is alleged in the discussion, as well as concluded in research, that work conditions in call centres are inferior to those in “normal” organisations. In particular, it is claimed that the psychosocial work conditions are a problem in call centres. The image is that that the employees in such organisations are tightly controlled, have monotonous work tasks and stressful work (cf. Knights and McCabe, 1998; Taylor and Bain, 1999; Wallace et al, 2000). Garson (1988) describes call centres as “electronic sweatshops.” In the same vein, Taylor and Bain (1999) refer to “sweatshop” conditions when they describe work conditions in call centres and suggest that call centres are little more than a return to Taylorism and “an assembly line in the head”. Several studies suggest that organisational control and efficiency are central to work in call centres at the expense of employee wellbeing and turnover (Gilmore, 2001; Richardson and Marshall, 1999; Taylor and Bain, 1999; Wallace et al., 2000). It is also noted that quantitative goals are central to the controlling practices in call centres at the expense of qualitative goals (cf. Gilmore, 2001; Denny, 1998; MacDonald, 1998; Gilmore and Moreland, 2000). This focus on quantitative goals is much due to the technology deployed in many call centres. The technology has enabled the measuring of queue-time, number of calls, call-time, abounded calls etc., while qualitative aspects remain difficult to measure (cf., Gilmore and Moreland, 2000; Torn, Burns and Zeng, 1997). Knights and McCabe (1998) use the metaphor “panoptical” when they describe the tight control and limited discretion of call centre employees. Sprigg et al. (2003) compare the perceived work conditions in call centres with observations made by Jackson and Parker (2001) and Mullarkey et al. (1999) about perceived work conditions in a variety of manufacturing organisations. They find that call centre employees perceive they have less control on the work design than blue collar workers, and that their levels of both job-related anxiety and depression are higher than those of other benchmark groups. Sprigg et al. also find that call centre employees have a much lower intrinsic job satisfaction than almost every other benchmark group, largely related to a lack of opportunities to use their skills. As implied by the references above, the research on work conditions in call centres has an Anglo-Saxon bias. I.e., the observations presented in research are largely based upon evidences from British and North American call centres. Findings from studies of Swedish call centres are in line, however, with those of the Anglo-Saxon studies. It is concluded in Swedish studies that call centre work tends to be monotonous, and that the employees are closely watched and supervised in their work (Toomingas et al, 2003,
Norman, 2005). A majority of Swedish call centre employees (78%) perceive their discretion and influence over the work situation to be very limited (Toomingas et al, 2003, p15). It is also notable that the majority of the call centre employees report that they have physical health problems or have suffered from such problems in the recent past. 83% has of the women working in call centres has, for instance, suffered from headache (Norman et al., 2004). The call centre employees also reported that they often have sleeping difficulties: in average the employees in Toominga’s et al. study (2003) reported that had suffered from sleeping problems 50% of the days of the latest month. Positive aspects of the job mentioned in the same study include a good team spirit (by far the most emphasised positive psychosocial condition), good contact with customers, and flexible working hours (p 29-30).
On the importance of managing psychosocial work conditions A common denominator of the call centre work conditions remarked upon above is that they can all be related to the psychosocial work environment, as opposed to the physical work environment, which is perceived to be quite satisfactory in call centres (cf. Isberg and Påhlsson, 2005). This can be put into perspective of the increased importance laid upon the management of psychosocial work conditions in the general discussion about the work environment. For a long time, the work environment was regarded as synonymous with the physical work environment. In the latter part of the 20th century, it was recognised, however, that a good physical work environment is not a guarantee of well-being at work (cf. Westlander, 1980). The psychosocial work environment has, since then, received increased attention in the discussion about conditions at work and their importance for the individual’s well-being and illness; both mental and physical (cf. Karasek and Theorell, 1990). Contributing to the interest in the psychosocial work conditions is also the assumption that they are important to motivate employees to do a good job and thus lead to better organisational performance (cf. Angerlöw, 2002; Rubenowitz, 2004). A basic assumption behind this paper is that the long-term efficiency of the in-house call centre organisations hinges upon the management of the psychosocial work conditions in those organisations. It is through the development of work conditions that foster commitment and job satisfaction that the efficiency and quality of the customer service is promoted. There is no definition of the psychosocial work environment that is generally endorsed. It is rather a concept that captures almost anything in the work environment that is not per
definition a physical work condition. But in general terms, it includes the individual’s perception of features of the work tasks, the social interactions at work, the leadership behaviour, the possibilities for personal development and growth, and the meaningfulness of the work tasks. It should be noted that the perception of work conditions is also recognised to be a result of the psychological attitudes of the employees. The individual’s work orientation and his/her commitment to work are therefore often included in research on the psychosocial work conditions. (c.f., Møller Christiansen et al., 2005)
The QPS Nordic questionnaire
The lack of a common definition of the psychosocial work environment is recognised to be a problem in research, particularly as it reduces the comparability of research findings. In 1994, the Nordic Council of Ministers thus initiated a project with the purpose of improving the scientific quality as well as the comparability of results from measurements of the psychosocial work environment. A number of researchers from the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland) cooperated in the developmentt and validating of a questionnaire called the General Nordic Questionnaire for Psychological and Social Factors at Work – the QPS Nordic – which includes a number of conditions that are held to be generic to the psychosocial work environment (Lindström et al., 2000). The questionnaire measures features of the work task, the organisational context and the work-related attitudes of the individual. The psychosocial work environment is seen as the interaction of features on all these “levels”. The aspects or “levels” covered by the QPS Nordic questionnaire are:
• Work task level: Demands, control, role expectations and predictability • Social/organisational level: Social interaction, leadership, communication,
organisational culture and climate, and team work • Individual level: Commitment, mastery, preference for challenges, preference for
predictability, work orientation, the centrality of work in life, and the interaction between work and private life.
The questionnaire consists of 123 questions covering these levels and issues (see Lindström et al., 2000).
The purpose of this study is to (a) compare the psychosocial work conditions in Swedish in-house call centres with those in organisations in general in the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland), and (b) to discuss the managerial problems that this comparison imply, with a particular focus on the choice of leadership style in an in-house call centre organisation. Propositions
Based upon the description of call centres in literature, we expect that: P1. Swedish in-house call centres are perceived as “sweatshops” to a higher extent than
organisations in general are perceived to be. In particular, we expect that the work load is perceived to a higher in Swedish call centre organisations than in organisations in general.
P2. Work in Swedish in-house call centres is perceived to be more tightly controlled than what is the case in organisations in general. This also implies a relatively low degree of discretion concerning performing of work tasks.
P3. Employees in Swedish in-house call centres have lower intrinsic job satisfaction than employees in organisations in general.
2. Research Method
To collect data about the psychosocial work conditions, the QPS Nordic questionnaire was used. This questionnaire is composed of 123 5-degree scales (see Lindström et al., 2000). This questionnaire is a well established and validated research instrument measuring the psychosocial work environment (Dallner et al., 1999). It should be noted that this research instrument is not designed to match the propositions above in the first place. It rather opens up for an analysis of psychosocial conditions on a wider basis – and thus to findings of a serendipity character. The questionnaire was administered to 9 in-house call centres in Sweden. These call centres were chosen to represent the three industries that have the most developed call centre operations, namely bank/finance, insurance and telecom (cf. Strandberg and Sandberg, 2007; Holman, Batt and Holtgrewe, 2007). All nine call centres, except one, are in the private sector. The number of respondents was 165. The youngest respondent was 21 years and the oldest 64 years. The average age was 38 years. 67 % of the respondents were females. Almost all respondents, 86 %, have a secondary school education. 2 out of 10, also had a university degree. All measures need a reference point to be interpreted. A benefit of using the QPS Nordic questionnaire is that there is a database comprising research data collected during the development and validating of the questionnaire. This database comprises more than 2015 responses on the questions in the questionnaire from a wide variety of organisations, including organisations from both the public and the private sectors in Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark. The reference data in this data base are presented as means and standard deviations. This database facilitates a comparison, since data in it can be used as points of reference when data gathered are analysed. Part of the database consists of a number of indexes representing latent psychosocial work conditions. 26 such indexes are presented with mean value and standard deviation in the data collected from the Nordic organisations. 79 questions in the questionnaire are used to compose these indexes (see appendix). The indexes are: (1) Quantitative job demands, (2) Decision demands, (3) Learning demands, (4) Role clarity, (5) Role conflict, (6) Positive challenges at work, (7) Control of decisions, (8) Control of work pacing, (9) Predictability during the next month, (10) Predictability of next two years, (11) Preference for challenge, (12) Perception of mastery, (13) Support from superior, (14) Support from co-workers, (15) Support from friends and relatives, (16) Empowering leadership, (17) Fair leadership, (18) Social climate, (19) Innovative climate, (20) Inequality, (21) Human resource primacy, (22) Work centrality, (23) Commitment to the organisation, (24) Perception of group work, (25) Intrinsic motivation to work, and (26) Extrinsic motivation to work. The analysis of the psychosocial work conditions in in-house call centres is based upon a comparison of mean values of these indexes in call centres with those in the QPS Nordic
data base. Particular emphasis is laid upon the indexes where the differences are more/less than +/- 0.4 in the comparison. When the difference is 0.4 or larger, this is interpreted as an indication on a condition that is different enough to be commented upon.
3. Findings Table 1 below shows the mean values for the 26 different indexes presented above in the call centres compared with the mean values in the QPS Nordic data base2: The table implies that there are virtually no differences in the psychosocial work environment in the in-house call centres compared with the same work environment in companies regarding most of the conditions measured. In some of the indexes the difference was, in fact, zero: (i) On a work task level, the perceived decisions demands did not differ; (ii) On an organisational level, the perceived predictability two years ahead and the perceived social climate at work did not differ; (iii) On an individual level, the employees’ preferences for challenges did not differ. In a number of other indexes, the differences are small – between 0.1 and 0.3. These are (difference in brackets): Positive challenges at work (-0.3), Inequality (-0.3), Control of work pacing (-0.2), Innovative climate (-0.1), Intrinsic motivation to work (-0.1), Role conflict (0.1), Support from friends and relatives (0.1), Commitment to the organisation (0.1), Perception of group work (0.1), Learning demands (0.2), Role clarity (0.2), Fair leadership (0.2), and Perception of mastery (0.3). The table implies that there are some differences, however, between the in-house call centres in the study and average Nordic organisations. These differences are presented below:
• The work load is not perceived to be less in the call centres The image of call centre work is that it is combined with a high work load (P1). A comparison of the mean values for perceived quantitative job demands, including having to work overtime and a work load that is so irregular that work tends to pile up, does not corroborate this image. The quantitative job demands are, in fact, perceived to be higher in the companies in the data base than in the call centres in the study.
Database Difference 1. Quantitative job demands 2.7 3.3 -0.6 2. Decision demands 3.6 3.6 0 3. Learning demands 2.8 2.6 0.2 4. Role clarity 4.4 4.2 0.2 5. Role conflict 2.5 2.4 0.1 6. Positive challenges at work 3.6 3.9 -0.3 7. Control of decisions 2.3 2.8 -0.5
2 The responses on the questions composing the indexes are presented in appendix.
8. Control of work pacing 2.6 2.8 -0.2 9. Predictability during the next month 4.6 4.0 0.6 10. Predictability of next two years 2.8 2.8 0 11. Preference for challenge 3.4 3.4 0 12. Perception of mastery 4.2 3.9 0.3 13. Support from intermediate superior 3.9 3.5 0.4 14. Support from co-workers 4.4 3.9 0.5 15. Support from friends and relatives 4.0 3.9 0.1 16. Empowering leadership 3.1 2.7 0.4 17. Fair leadership 4.1 3.9 0.2 18. Social climate 3.7 3.7 0 19. Innovative climate 3.3 3.4 -0.1 20. Inequality 1.6 1.9 -0.3 21. Human resource primacy 3.2 2.8 0.4 22. Work centrality 3.4 3.9 -0.5 23. Commitment to the organisation 3.4 3.3 0.1 24. Perception of group work 3.9 3.8 0.1 25. Intrinsic motivation to work 3.8 3.9 -0.1 26. Extrinsic motivation to work 3.9 3.9 0 Table 1: A comparison of psycosocial work conditions in Swedish in-house call-centres and in the
average Nordic organisation
• The perceived control is relatively high in the call centres
The image of work as very controlled in call centres (P2) is corroborated by the responses in this study. The employees in the call centres perceive that they have fewer possibilities to choose working methods, to influence with whom they shall collaborate, to decide when they shall contact the clients or to influence decisions of importance for their work tasks. It is also notable that the call centre employees perceived their control over the length of the breaks is lower than what the employees in the data base perceived it to be.
• Work is of less importance to call centre employees The proposition that call-centre employees have lower intrinsic job satisfaction than employees in organisations in general (P3) is corroborated by the comparison. Work and working appear to be perceived as less important and significant in life to call centre employees than it is to employees in organisations in general.
• The call centre employees perceived the social support at work to be higher As noted above, the call centre employees perceived that they have possibilities to control their own work to a less extent than employees in the data base perceived that they have. At the same time they perceived, however, that the support at work was higher. This includes the support from superiors as well as from co-workers.
• The leadership style is perceived to be more people oriented in the call
Closely related to the support given by superiors to the subordinates is the people oriented leadership style. The human resource primacy index measures the people-orientation of the leadership style applied. The measures imply that this is, in fact, more pronounced in the call centres than in organisations in the data base. The differences are biggest for two included questions; rewarded (money, encouragement) for a job well done and that the employees are taken care of in the organisation. For the third question included in the index for human resource primacy – to what extent the management in the organisation is interested in the health and well-being of the personnel – there is only a slight difference between the perception of the call centre employees and that of employees in organisations in general.
• The leadership is perceived to be more empowering by the call centre
Another leadership style aspect that is closely related to the people oriented leadership style is the degree of empowering leadership style applied. The comparison above implies that the call centre employees perceive the leadership style applied to be somewhat more empowering than what the employees in organisations in general perceive it to be. They are more encouraged by their superiors to take part in organisational decision making, and to speak up if they have different opinions. The superior is also perceived to help the employees to develop their skills to a higher extent in the call centres.
• The predictability of work is perceived to be better by the call-centre
The possibility to foresee the future is an aspect of the psychosocial work environment. The comparison made implies that the call centre employees perceived their work situation, including their work, co-workers and superior, to be more predictable – at least in a month’s perspective.
• The plans and objectives are perceived to be clearer in the call centres There are a couple of notable differences on a 0.4 level or more at a question level. One such difference is that the employees in the in-house call centres perceive that they have clear, planned goals and well defined goals to a higher extent than the employees in the data base do.
• The call centre employees perceived the support from friends/relatives to be
Another difference on a question level that was larger than 0.4 is the question about the perceived support from friends and relatives when things get tough at work. This question belongs to the index support from friends and relatives, and the responses on the question show the absolute biggest difference of all questions (1.5).
• In-house call centre work is quite controlled
The literature describes work in call centres as highly controlled by superiors and technology. The findings in this study corroborate this part of the image of call centre work. The employees perceive that they have relatively less control over their own work tasks and situation than is the case with employees in Nordic organisations in general. The higher perceived predictability in call centre work is another aspect of the controlled call centre work. There are clear plans and objectives, and the employees know quite well what to do, when, and how, to a relatively greater extent in call centres than in Nordic organisations in general.
• The leadership style in the Swedish in-house call centres is designed to cope
with the stress perceived at work
The leadership style applied in the in-house call centres is perceived to be more people-oriented and supportive than the general leadership style in Nordic countries. This can be seen as a response to features of work in call centres. A very limited control over work tasks and conditions, combined with the stress that must be assumed to be generic to call centre work in general, and contact with complaining and demanding customers are stress causing factors in call centre work. The relatively small possibility to influence and control work tasks and environment can also be assumed to add to this stress through perceptions of anxiety. The perceptions of stress and anxiety may thus be regarded as a generic managerial problem in call centres. These problems must be coped with in a way that enhances organisational effectiveness. The result could be the implied reliance on a supportive and people-oriented leadership style. Such a leadership style represents a means to reduce stress and anxiety in an organisation. In in-house call centres these benefits of a supportive and people-oriented leadership style could have resulted in corresponding leadership practices.
• The support from co-workers reduces the stress in call centres The support from co-workers is another stress reducing function that is perceived to be more pronounced in the in-house call centres than in Nordic organisations in general. Again, this is part of an organisational climate that could be assumed to have emerged in in-house call centres due to a high degree of perceived stress and anxiety. A support from co-workers is a means to cope with stress and anxiety.
• Work does not have the same centrality in life to the employees in the in-
house call centres it has to employees in Nordic organisations in general
The benefits of participation and of possibilities to influence work tasks and work conditions echo in management and leadership literature. A lack of influence over work and work conditions is, on the other hand, assumed to result in the perception of anxiety due to a gap in expectation. The benefits of participation and possibilities to influence work tasks are based on the assumption, however, that the employee considers work to be an important part of his or her life. If not, there is not the same discrepancy between what is offered and what is expected.
The results from this study imply that employees in the in-house call centres do not perceive work to have the same central position in life as employees in Nordic organisations in general do. This may be regarded both as the result of experiences acquired at work and as the result of a self-selection when employees who expect more from work choose other jobs. It is part of the picture that the employees in call centres consider their social network outside work to be supportive when things are tough at work to a higher extent than employees in Nordic countries in general do.
• Swedish in-house call centres are no ”sweatshops” It may be concluded that the image of call centres as veritable “sweatshops” does not correspond to the image that emerges from this study of Swedish in-house call centres. In particular, the work load is not perceived to be very tough. It is, in fact lower than what the employees in organisations in Nordic organisations in general perceive it to be. It is also part of the image that emerges that the employees in the call centres studied are not treated as simple cogs in the machinery by their immediate superiors. The leadership style is rather quite supportive and empowering. This discrepancy compared with the image in literature may be a matter of differences in call centre features: the image presented in literature is much influenced by experiences from outsourced call centres, whilst the call centres in this study are in-house call centres. It is concluded elsewhere in literature that there are differences in in-house and outsourced call centres (cf. Toomingas et al, 2003; Deoellgast, 2004; Walsh and Deery, 2006; Strandberg and Sandberg, 2006; Holman, Batt and Holtgrewe, 2007; Strandberg, 2007): There seems to be less emphasis on quantitative measures and more emphasis on quality in customer relations in in-house call centres, and the work load tends to be less. Contributing to the difference is that in-house call centres appear to have a different business model than outsourced call centres: Whilst outsourced call centres to a high extent apply a production line oriented view, the in-house call centres apply a more empowerment oriented view (cf. Gilmore, 2001; Strandberg, 2007).
It shall also be noted that the image of call centre work in literature is much influenced by observations about call center work in the Anglo Saxon countries (Britain, Ireland, Australia and the USA). Call centre work may show country variations, but this is not made a point in the general discussion, even though Holman, Bath and Holtgrewe (2007) indicate that there may be differences in different economic systems.
5. Suggestions for future research
A basic assumption behind this paper is that in-house call centres are of growing importance to the competitiveness of organisations in today’s globalized and computerised economy. The challenge for in-house call centres is to be more integrated with other marketing functions in the company (cf. Strandberg, 2003). We can see such a development in Sweden (Strandberg, 2007). An integration of this kind is in line with the recent emphasis on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in marketing literature.
The integration of all functions in the organisation with the ultimate goal of creating customer value is the very essence of a CRM approach (cf. Payne and Frow, 2005). An emphasis on CIT based CRM systems is another part of the CRM approach (Osarenkhoe and Bennani, 2007).
A research question is how such an integration of call-centre functions and marketing functions is managed – and could be managed. The management of psychosocial work conditions may be crucial in this integrative process. Another research question is how the acceptance of CIT based CRM systems used in call centre operations could be promoted in the marketing department – and the consequences for organisational operations at large. A third research question is how the marketing department and ICT department can and should align their activities to promote a customer focused organisation.
The conclusions made in this study derive from observations about psychosocial work conditions Swedish in-house call centres. This implies that they may not be applicable to in-house call centres in other countries, with other cultural features. It is suggested that the Nordic cultural cluster, including Sweden - has features that makes it different from other cultural clusters, and that this is reflected in leadership and organising practices (cf. Hofstede, 1996; Trompenaars, 1997). The supportive leadership style in call centres is also observed in Leed’s et al. (2001) study of UK call centres, but it is still of importance to study call centre organisations in a wider cultural perspective to make findings generalisable.
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Appendix: A comparison of mean values of responses on QPS questions
Quantitative job demands In-house QPS
12 Is your work load irregular so that the work piles up? 2,7 3,2
13 Do you have to work overtime? 1,8 2,7
14 Is it necessary to work at a rapid pace? 3,7 3,7
15 Do you have too much to do? 3,1 3,3
Total 2,7 3,3
Q Decision demands In-house QPS
17 Does your work require quick decisions? 3,7 3,6
19 Does your work require maximum attention? 4,2 4,2
22 Does your work require complex decisions? 3 2,9
Total 3,6 3,6
Q Learning demands In-house QPS
18 Are your work tasks too difficult for you? 1,8 1,9
25 Do you perform work tasks for which you need more training? 2,5 2,4
29 Does your work require that you get new knowledge and skills 3,9 3,6
Total 2,8 2,6
Q Role clarity In-house QPS
38 Have clear, planned goals and objectives been defined for your work 4,4 4
39 Do you know what your responsibilities are? 4,5 4,4
40 Do you know exactly what is expected of you at work? 4,4 4,2
Total 4,4 4,2
Q Role conflict In-house QPS
41 Do you have to do things that you feel should be done differently? 2,9 2,8
42 Are you given assignments without adequate resources to complete them? 2,5 2,7
43 Do you receive incompatible requests from two or more people? 2 2,2
Total 2,5 2,4
Q Positive challenges at work In-house QPS
26 Are your special skills and experiences useful in your work? 3,7 4,1
27 Is your work challenging in a positive way? 4,2 3,7
28 Do you consider your work meaningful? 3 4,1
Total 3,6 3,9
Q Control of decisions In-house QPS
45 If there are alternative methods for doing your work, can you choose which method to use? 3,2 3,7
46 Can you influence the amount of work assigned to you? 2,3 2,5
51 Can you influence decisions concerning the persons you will need do collaborate with? 1,6 2,1
52 Can you decide when to be in contact with clients? 2 2,6
53 Can you influence decisions that are important for your work? 2,5 3
Total 2,3 2,8
Q Control of work pacing In-house QPS
47 Can you set your own work pace? 2,9 3
48 Can you decide yourself when you are going to take a break? 3 3
49 Can you decide the length of your break? 2 2,6
50 Can you set your own working hours (flex time)? 2,4 2,7
Total 2,6 2,8
Q Predictability during the next month In-house QPS
54 Do you know a month ahead what work tasks you are going to have? 4,2 3,6
55 Do you know a month ahead which people you are going to work with? 4,7 4
56 Do you know a month ahead who is going to be your immediate superior? 4,8 4,5
Total 4,6 4
Q Predictability of nest two years In-house QPS
60 Do you know what has to be learned and which new skills have to be acquired in order for you to maintain a job that you consider attractive for the next 2 years? 2,8 2,7
61 Do you know what is required in order for you to maintain a job that you consider attractive for the next 2 years? 2,9 2,9
Total 2,8 2,8
Q Preference for challenge In-house QPS
64 Do you prefer the challenge presented by working with new people? 3,7 3,4
65 Do you prefer the challenge presented by working in different places? 3,1 3
Total 3,4 3,4
Q Perception of mastery In-house QPS
66 Are you content with the quality of the work you do? 4,2 4
67 Are you content with the amount of work that you get done? 3,9 3,8
68 Are you content with your ability to solve problems at work? 4,2 3,9
69 Are you content with your ability to maintain a good relationship with your co-workers at work? 4,4 4,1
Total 4,2 3,9
Q Support from immediate superior In-house QPS
73 If needed, can you get support and help with your work from your immediate superior? 4,2 3,5
75 If needed, is your immediate superior willing to listen to your work-related problems? 4,3 3,8
78 Are your work achievements appreciated by your immediate superior? 3,3 3,2
Total 3,9 3,5
Q Support from co-workers In-house QPS
72 If needed, can you get support and help with your work from your co-workers? 4,4 3,8
74 If needed, are your co-workers willing to listen to your work-related problems? 4,3 4
Total 4,4 3,9
Q Support from friends/relatives In-house QPS
76 If needed, can you talk with your friends about your work-related problems? 3,8 3,6
77 If needed, can you talk with your spouse or any other close person about your work-related problems? 4,1 4,1
80 Do you feel that your friends/family can be relied for support when things get tough at work? 4,1 2,6
Total 4 3,9
Q Empowering leadership In-house QPS
84 Does your immediate superior encourage you to participation in important decisions? 2,9 2,7
85 Does your immediate superior encourage you to speak up, when you have different opinions? 3,2 2,8
86 Does your immediate superior help you develop your skills? 3,2 2,7
Total 3,1 2,7
Q Fair leadership In-house QPS
89 Does your immediate superior distribute the work fairly and impartially? 3,9 3,6
90 Does your immediate superior treat the workers fairly and equally? 4,1 3,8
91 Is the relationship between you and your immediate superior a source of stress to you? 4,4 4,2
Total 4,1 3,9
Q Social climate In-house QPS
93 Encouraging and supportive 3,6 3,3
94 Distrustful and suspicious 4,1 4,1
95 Relaxed and comfortable 3,5 3,5
Total 3,7 3,7
Q Innovative climate In-house QPS
97 Do workers take initiatives at your workplace? 3,3 3,4
98 Are workers encouraged to thing of ways to do things better at your workplace? 3,4 3,4
99 Is there sufficient communication in your department? 3,3 3,3
Total 3,3 3,4
Q Inequality In-house QPS
100 Have you noticed any inequalities in how man and women are treated at your workplace? 1,6 1,9
101 Have you noticed any inequalities in how older and younger workers are treated at your workplace? 1,7 1,9
Total 1,6 1,9
Q Human Resource primacy In-house QPS
102 At your organisation are you rewarded (money, encouragement) for a job well done? 3 2,3
103 Are workers well taken care of in your organisation? 3,5 3,2
104 To what extent is the management of your organisation interested in the health and well-being of the personnel? 3,2 3,1
Total 3,2 2,8
Q Work centrality In-house QPS
107 c The importance of work 2,9 3,4
108 a Most of the goals in my life concern my work 3,2 3,5
108 b How important and significant is working in your life as a whole? 4,2 4,8
Total 3,4 3,9
Q Commitment to the organisation In-house QPS
109 To my friends I praise this organisation a great place to work 3,6 3,5
110 My values are very similar to the organisation’s values 3,2 3,2
111 This organisation really inspires me to give me very best job performance 3,2 3,1
Total 3,4 3,3
Q Perception of group work In-house QPS
113 Do you appreciate being a member of this group or team? 4,4 4,1
114 Is your group or team work flexible? 3,5 3,8
115 Is your group or team successful at problem solving? 3,9 3,8
Total 3,9 3,8
Q Intrinsic motivation to work In-house QPS
117 That the work contribute to develop my own personality 3,7 3,8
120 That the work give me a sense of accomplishing something worthwhile 4 4,1
123 To be able to put my imagination and creativity to good use at work 3,8 3,9
Total 3,8 3,9
Q Extrinsic motivation to work In-house QPS
119 That the work is peaceful, safe and orderly 3,7 3,6
121 That the work is secure and provides regular income 4,1 4
122 To have a safe and healthy physical work environment 3,9 4
Total 3,9 3,9