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    Evaluating organizational-level work stress interventions: beyond traditional methods

    Cox, Tom and Karanika, M. and Griffiths, A. and Houdmont, J. (2007) Evaluating organizational-level work stress interventions: beyond traditional methods. Work & Stress: An International Journal of Work, Health & Organisations 21 (4), pp. 348-362. ISSN 0267-8373.

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    Since the early 1990s, there has been a growing literature on organizational-level interventions for work-related stress, and associated calls for such interventions to be evaluated. At the same time, doubts have been expressed about the adequacy of traditional scientific research methods in applied psychology (the natural science paradigm) in providing an effective framework for such evaluations. This paper considers some of the philosophical and methodological issues raised by evaluation research in relation to organizational-level interventions for work-related stress. Four key issues are discussed: the concept of a study being “fit for purpose” in relation to research designs and the nature of acceptable evidence; the issue of control of research conditions in real-world studies; the need to evaluate process as well as outcome, including the interrelated nature of process and outcome; and the interpretation of imperfect evidence sets. The starting point of this paper is the reality of organizational life, which is complex and continually changing. Its main objective is not to offer an alternative to a scientific approach but to argue for a more broadly conceived and eclectic framework for evaluation that acknowledges the limitations of the traditional approach. It espouses an approach that is reflective of the reality of organizational life and in which the methods used for evaluating an intervention are fit for purpose. The paper concludes by offering an outline framework for this broader approach to the evaluation of interventions.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Work-related stress, risk management, organizational level interventions, evaluation, methodology, process, fit for purpose, control
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2013 07:11
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:05


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