Handbook of Research on Stress and Well-Being in the Public Sector
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Handbook of Research on Stress and Well-Being in the Public Sector

Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Silvia Pignata

This timely Handbook addresses the concepts of stress and well-being among workers in various public sector roles and occupations across the globe. Emphasizing the importance of well-being and stress prevention initiatives in ever-changing workplace environments, this Handbook highlights successful organizational initiatives and provides insight into best practice for promoting healthy employees and workplaces. Containing contributions from leading international experts in their respective fields, the contributors hope that this multi-disciplinary Handbook will help to enhance the health and well-being of public sector employees.
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Chapter 4: Psychosocial factors and worker health: comparisons between private and public sectors in Australia

Tessa S. Bailey, Mikaela S. Owen and Maureen F. Dollard


Worker health and well-being are important for the positive impact they can have on employees and their families, and productivity outcomes for employers and the community. Psychosocial factors at work include job demands, resources and supports that influence worker health and motivation, thus impacting upon health, safety and productivity outcomes. The authors examine the latest data from the Australia Workplace Barometer 2014–15 project to compare work environments for 1571 public sector and 2260 private sector employees. They use the psychosocial safety climate (PSC) model to test how these factors impact upon worker health and well-being for each sector. The results show that public sector workers report higher levels of job demands and lower levels of resources compared to private sector employees. The PSC model analyses reveal that by strengthening the climate for worker psychological safety, both public and private sector organizations can expect to see an improvement in worker health, well-being and engagement.

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