Working environment interventions – Bridging the gap between policy instruments and practice

Peter Hasle, Hans Jørgen Limborg, Klaus T. Nielsen

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

    30 Citationer (Scopus)
    416 Downloads (Pure)


    In spite of progress in intervention research, our understanding of the transformation of knowledge from
    the research into national working environment programmes is limited. Research in state regulation is
    mainly aimed at compliance and efficiency of public administration, while little attention is paid to
    why and how public and private organisations subsequently are to improve their working environment.
    This paper suggests a model which can bridge this gap. It is based on a combination of theories about
    basic policy instruments (regulation, incentives and information) with realistic analysis focusing on
    mechanisms and context, and finally institutional theory proposing coercive, normative and mimetic
    mechanisms as explanations for organisational behaviour.
    The model is applied to an intervention aimed at reduction of the risk of musculoskeletal disorders
    among bricklayers in Denmark. Our analysis of the case shows how various actors, including the authorities,
    employers, unions and bi-partite committees, developed a programme combining the policy instruments
    over a considerable period of time and that all three institutional mechanisms affected the
    outcome. This integration of various actors and instruments, which was not necessarily planned from
    the beginning, proved to be an effective way of facilitating the implementation of new preventive
    measures in bricklaying. The analysis also indicates new intermediary mechanisms, such as programme
    development, as an iterative process, and the importance of joint messages from employers and unions.
    The model thus provides new insights into the relationship between policy instruments and workplace
    health and safety outcomes.
    TidsskriftSafety Science
    Sider (fra-til)73-80
    Antal sider8
    StatusUdgivet - 2014


    • Institutional Theory
    • Realist analysis
    • Mechanism
    • Bricklaying

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