Short communication

Scand J Work Environ Health 2018;44(2):219-223    pdf full text | Published online: 27 Oct 2017, Issue date: 01 Mar 2018

Can illegitimate job tasks be reduced by a participatory organizational-level workplace intervention? Results of a cluster randomized controlled trial in Danish pre-schools

by Framke E, Sørensen OH, Pedersen J, Rugulies R

Objectives We examined whether a cluster randomized controlled participatory organizational-level workplace intervention affected the level of unnecessary, unreasonable, and illegitimate tasks.

Methods A cluster randomized controlled trial was implemented in municipal pre-schools. The intervention used a participatory approach and aimed improving the psychosocial working environment by focusing on core tasks. The sample consisted of 41 pre-schools with 404 employees in the intervention group and 30 pre-schools with 230 employees in the control group. We measured unnecessary and unreasonable tasks at baseline and at two-year follow-up by one item on unnecessary and one item on unreasonable tasks, respectively, and combined both items into a measure of illegitimate tasks. We analyzed within- and between-groups changes in unnecessary and unreasonable tasks and in the combined measure of illegitimate tasks.

Results The scores for unnecessary, unreasonable, and illegitimate tasks remained virtually unchanged in the intervention group and increased in the control group. The different development in the two groups was statistically significant for unreasonable tasks (+0.02 versus +0.13, P=0.04) and the combined measure of illegitimate tasks (+0.01 versus +0.11, P=0.04) but not for unnecessary tasks (+0.00 versus +0.08, P=0.16).

Conclusion A comprehensive participatory organizational-level intervention with a focus on core job tasks may protect against an increase in illegitimate tasks in Danish pre-schools.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2016;42(3):192-200  2014;40(6):631-638  2013;39(3):310-318
The following article refers to this text: 2018;44(2):111-112
Download additional material