Work and health in a changing world: The implications of job demands and resources for job satisfaction and health at work
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- Institutt for psykologi 
The theoretical framework of this thesis is guided by three different approaches: the Job Demand-Control(-Support) model, the Job Demands-Resources model, and the Conservation of Resources theory. These theories contribute to form the underlying assumption that demands and personal and job-related resources influence employees’ job satisfaction and health experiences. Although the included papers represent individual studies, taken together they also form a larger picture. The papers were based on cross-sectional surveys, including two qualitative interview samples and five samples based on quantitative questionnaire surveys. The empirical research in this thesis, presented in five papers, was developed over two phases. The first phase (Papers I, II, and III) involved investigations of how a downsizing process or lay-offs in a local cornerstone industry affected, especially, employees in social service organisations, i.e., the “problem solvers” of the local social, labour, and health services. Paper I aimed at investigating how employees in the local health and labour administration services experienced downsizing of a cornerstone industry and concurrent internal reorganisation. The overall aim of Paper II was to develop, test, and partly validate a set of organisational communication factors related to change processes in an organisation. The aim of Paper III was to investigate how downsizing in a cornerstone industry, internal reorganisation in the local services, and aspects of the psychosocial work environment, contributed to job satisfaction among employees working in the local health, social, and labour services. The second phase of the thesis work (Papers IV and V) aimed to investigate whether or not positive factors have an additional explanatory effect, in addition to the traditional demands and psychosocial work factors on health at work, including positive health. Paper IV aimed at examining the impact of organisational and individual factors on health at work, and involved three separate health categories: excellent health, normal health, and impaired health. The main aim of Paper V was to investigate how the four categories of the Job Demand-Control model contributed to creating positive affect, optimism, and longterm health, and further test to what extent optimism, positive affect, job demands, perceived control, and social support were predictors of long-term health. The results from the first phase show that the perceived consequences of downsizing in cornerstone industries in Norway are related to characteristics of the municipality in which they are located, including the geographical location, historical background, size, and economy of the municipality. For employees working in local services, it is essential to have well-functioning psychosocial work environments as well as communication and information structures in a setting characterised by increased demands and ongoing changes. The results also show that the importance of the different psychosocial factors in explaining job satisfaction varied across work situations, i.e., whether the employees experienced no internal reorganisation, ongoing reorganisation, or completed reorganisation. The results from the second phase contribute to the discussion concerning the multi-dimensionality of health at work, e.g. whether excellent health and ill health are two separate and qualitatively different dimensions. Employees who were long-term healthy or had excellent health experienced a higher degree of resources and less demands at work than others. The results indicate that there is more to health at work than the absence of illness.