New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper
There is ample scientiﬁc evidence that working (and other organizational) life and its conditions are powerful determinants of health, for better or for worse. The relationship works both ways. Work aﬀects health but health, more often than not, also aﬀects a person’s productivity and earning capacity as well as his or her social and family relationships. Needless to say, this holds true for all aspects of health, both physical and mental (Levi, 2002). The many causes and consequences of work-related and other organizational exposures are widespread in the 15 European Union member states. Over half of the EU’s 160 million workers report working at very high speeds (56 per cent), and to tight deadlines (60 per cent). More than a third have no inﬂuence on task order. Forty per cent report having monotonous tasks. Such work-related ‘stressors’ are likely to have contributed to the present spectrum of ill health: 15 per cent of the workforce complain of headaches, 23 per cent of neck and shoulder pains, 23 per cent of fatigue, 28 per cent of ‘stress’, and 33 per cent of backache (European Foundation, 2001), plus a host of other illnesses, including life-threatening ones, such as depressive disorders. Such disorders are the fourth biggest cause of the global disease burden. It is further likely that sustained work-related stress is an important determinant of metabolic syndrome (Folkow, 2001; Björntorp, 2001), probably contributing to ischaemic heart disease and Diabetes Type 2 morbidity. In these ways, virtually every...