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Title: Workplace managers' view of the role of co-workers in return-to-work
Contributor(s): Dunstan, Debra  (author)orcid ; MacEachen, Ellen (author)
Publication Date: 2016
DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2015.1129447
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Abstract: Purpose: Theoretical and empirical research findings attest to the workplace being a social environment in which co-workers have a critical influence on the employment outcomes and return-to-work (RTW) success of other employees. However, co-workers do not have a formal role in RTW planning. The aim of this study was to explore how managers responsible for developing and implementing RTW procedures view the role of co-workers in this process. Method: An exploratory qualitative pilot study was conducted in Canada. Participants (1 male; 13 females; mean experience in RTW = 11.8 years) were workplace (n=8) or RTW managers (n=6) with direct oversight of RTW plans. The participants were recruited via invitation from a research institute and were drawn from three different provinces. Data were gathered via open-ended questions and were coded and subject to thematic analysis. Findings: Three key themes were identified: (1) Managers view RTW as having little relevance to co-workers but expect them to cooperate with the arrangements; (2) Formal procedures are inadequate when psychosocial barriers to work resumption are present, so managers use informal strategies to engage co-workers' emotional and social support; and (3) Managers have difficulty integrating RTW procedures with other legal obligations, such as privacy and confidentiality requirements. Conclusion: Existing arrangements for the development and implementation of RTW are sufficient most of the time, but may be inadequate when an injured worker presents with psychosocial barriers to work resumption.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Disability and Rehabilitation, 38(23), p. 2324-2333
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 0963-8288
Field of Research (FOR): 170107 Industrial and Organisational Psychology
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 920505 Occupational Health
920403 Disability and Functional Capacity
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Psychology

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