ERIC Number: EJ833072
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
How Social Relationships Influence Academic Health in the "Enterprise University": An Insight into Productivity of Knowledge Workers
Ditton, Mary J.
Higher Education Research and Development, v28 n2 p151-164 Apr 2009
The comparatively poor mental health status of academics at Australian universities compared with the general Australian workforce poses a public health challenge. Productivity of knowledge workers is a key issue for the new economy. Using the case of one university, I interviewed employees stratified by level of employment and showed that their mental health is adversely affected by social relationships that result from historically-based bargains. These rely on divergent and sometimes adversarial value systems of employers and employees and a preference for particular institutional policies and practices based on contemporary cultural trends of individualism and economic rationalism that affect social support and social networks in a detrimental way. To redress this burden of mental illness, it is imperative that employer-employee discourse is changed to incorporate the social reality of the work context. This study offers insights into productivity of knowledge workers generally in service industries of education, information and communication.
Descriptors: Mental Disorders, Health Conditions, Mental Health, Social Influences, Employee Attitudes, Industrial Psychology, Organizational Climate, Organizational Culture, Foreign Countries, Social Psychology, Interviews, Interpersonal Relationship, Job Performance, Stress Variables
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia