Article i 'Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv' no. 2 2008, page 30-45.
Workplace social capital
A new approach to the psychosocial workenvironment?
Tage Søndergård Kristensen, Peter Hasle og Jan Hyld Pejtersen
Since 1990 we have been witnessing a
comprehensive development in theory
and research concerning the concept social
capital in the fields of economy, aid to developing
countries, and public health. However,
the concept has only been applied to
the field of work environment research to
a very limited degree. In this article we introduce
the concept in a work environment
context. We suggest a definition of organizational
social capital comprising three key
factors: trust, justice, and collaborative capacity.
Furthermore, we illustrate our model by
analyzing data from two empirical studies:
The national Danish study of psychosocial
factors at work (the Copenhagen Psychosocial
Questionnaire (COPSOQ) Study) and
the BEST study (Better psychosocial work
environment: a study of workplace interventions).
In both studies we find clear associations
between organizational social
capital and the quality of the psychosocial
work environment. We also find positive
associations between workplace social capital
and job satisfaction, involvement in the
workplace, general health, and measures of
psychological well-being. We conclude that
a theory on organizational social capital
has potential as a framework for research
and development covering both psychosocial
work environment, productivity, and
the health of the employees.