Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2009;35(4):284-293    pdf


The development of the psychosocial work environment in Denmark from 1997 to 2005

by Pejtersen JH, Kristensen TS

Objective The aim of the study was to elucidate the development of the psychosocial work environment in Denmark from 1997–2005.

Methods The analyses were based on two national questionnaire surveys (N1=1062; N2=3517) of randomly selected employees who completed the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire. The psychosocial work environment was described by 19 scales and 6 single items.

Results Quality of leadership and social support from supervisors were the only dimensions that saw improvements. The negative developments were: higher work pace, less influence (job control), less ­possibilities for development (skill discretion), lower level of meaning of work, more role conflicts, decreased role clarity, reduced sense of community, less social support from colleagues, increased conflicts at work, more threats of violence and more slander and gossip.

Conclusions The psychosocial work environment in Denmark has deteriorated during the period 1997–2005. This deterioration was seen not just among certain groups of employees but in all subgroups, incorporating gender, age and socioeconomic status. The negative development of a country’s psychosocial work environment is worrying; as such, there is a strong need to change this negative trend.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2006;32(6):421-430  2005;31(6):438-449  2004;30(2):85-128  2003;29(4):270-279  2001;27(3):161-213
The following articles refer to this text: 2009;35(4):241-243; 2010;36(6):433-434