Employees’ Conceptions of Coworkership in a Swedish Health Care Organization

Keywords: Health, Working Environment and Wellbeing, Organization & management

Abstract

The concept of coworkership is widely established as a top-down communication strategy within organizations. However, interpretations may differ between organizational levels, and the employees’ point of view is still largely unexplored. The aim of this study was to explore and describe conceptions of coworkership among employees with different professions in a Swedish health care organization. Twelve focus group interviews were conducted with 68 employees, and the data were analyzed using phenomenography. Coworkership was experienced as a collective process, which included colleagues but not explicitly managers. Five categories emerged, representing different conceptions of coworkership: group coherence and striving toward a common goal, cooperation over professional and organizational boundaries, work experience and trusting each other’s competence, social climate and sense of community, and participation and influence. The collective process in terms of cooperation is closely related to team climate, which in turn influences the quality of patient care and a health-promoting work environment.

Author Biographies

Caroline Bergman, The Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg
PhD candidate, Section for Social Medicine and Epidemiology, and  Institute of Stress Medicine, Region Västra Götaland. Mail: Caroline.bergman@vgregion.se
Jesper Löve, The Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg
PhD, researcher at Section for Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Annemarie Hultberg, Institute of Stress Medicine, Region Västra Götaland
Senior developer
Katrin Skagert, University of Borås
PhD, researcher at Faculty of Caring Science, Work Life and Welfare
Published
2017-12-13
How to Cite
Bergman, C., Löve, J., Hultberg, A., & Skagert, K. (2017). Employees’ Conceptions of Coworkership in a Swedish Health Care Organization. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, 7(4). https://doi.org/10.18291/njwls.v7i4.102359
Section
Articles