Table of Contents

  • The Nordic project “Building engagement and healthy organisations” started in 2009, building on results from the previous Nordic project “Positive factors at work”. Both projects have been financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The current project is based on collaboration between researchers from four different Nordic countries: Denmark (National Research Centre for the Working Environment in Denmark (NRCWE)), Finland (Finnish Institute of Occupational Health), Norway (Department of Psychology, NTNU) and Sweden (Department of Psychology, Stockholm University).

  • This report is based on the results of the project “Building engagement and healthy organisations” financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

  • Nordic welfare societies are currently facing two major challenges. The first challenge stems from changes in the demographic composition of the Nordic countries (Nordic Council of Ministers, 2006, p. 61). These demographic changes may, in combination with widespread early retirement from the labour market (Nordic Council of Ministers, 2006, p. 109), result in a shortage of labour in the Nordic countries in the coming decades. The field of positive work and organisational psychology appears to offer some interesting insights in response to this challenge, as the knowledge generated might help to increase labour supply through its emphasis on building on factors related to intrinsic job motivation (Turner, Barling, & Zacharatos, 2002). The issue of labour supply is traditionally approached in terms of establishing economic incentives but an alternative strategy towards increasing labour supply is offered by the field of positive work and organisational psychology (Clausen, 2009).

  • The Swedish participants were employed in a medium-sized bank and worked within financial services and within departments such as private marketing, development and administration. The bank is tied to a larger business group within the trade area and has about 300 employees, including the headquarters, which were not included in the study. A web survey was sent to 147 people. After three reminders the questionnaire was answered by 119 people, a response rate of 81 per cent. Some departments did not allow the web survey for safety reasons so instead a paper questionnaire was used. We sent out 100 paper questionnaires and received 61 answers after three reminders. The overall response rate was thus 73 per cent. The Swedish survey consisted of 118 items that were essentially sub-questions of different scales and background questions (see Appendix B). The respondents were anonymous. For an overview of the Swedish questionnaire, see Appendix C.

  • In the present chapter, we assess the reliability and construct validity of the scales included in the Nordic questionnaire on Positive Organisational Psychology. The internal consistency of the scales (reliability) is assessed using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient and the construct validity of the scales are assessed using Pearson’s r correlations in order to investigate whether our measures are meaningfully associated with related constructs.

  • The aim of this report was to investigate the relevance of a series of positive psychological concepts in a Nordic context. As stated in the introduction, Nordic welfare societies are faced with a dual challenge in terms of ageing populations on the one hand and increasing competitive pressures from a globalised economy on the other. It is the contention of the authors of the present report that the insight of positive work and organisational psychology could contribute to enhancing the long-term sustainability of the Nordic economies as on the one hand it helps to increase the labour supply in the Nordic countries and on the other hand an increased focus on a positive psychosocial work environment could help to bolster the productive capacities of employees and organisations without compromising the long-term health of either.

  • In the present report we have presented results for the reliability and validity of a new Nordic questionnaire on Positive Organisational Psychology – N-POP. The analyses indicate that the N-POP has satisfactory reliability and construct validity. The questionnaire contributes a new perspective on organisational psychology as it is anchored within the research traditions of positive organisational psychology, which emphasises that work must be considered a creative activity that, potentially, contributes to enhancing well-being and personal growth. Finally, the results of the analyses lend credibility to the notion of organisational health as the concepts of work environment, health and productivity indeed do seem to flow together to an optimal point at which well-being at the individual level is coexistent with an efficient and productive work organisation.

  • Cohesion has traditionally been defined as a unitary construct (Mullen & Copper, 1994; Zaccaro, 1991) and tended to reflect Festinger’s (1950) notion that cohesion is “the total field of forces which act on members to remain in the group. These forces may depend on the attractiveness or unattractiveness of either the prestige of the group, members of the group, or the activities in which the group engages” (p. 274). In this project cooperation was measured by three items based on the measurement of cohesion in work teams from Carless and DePaola (2000) and three items measuring “social community” from COPSOQ (Pejtersen, Kristensen, Borg, & Bjørner, 2010) that were collapsed into a single scale.

  • Means and standard deviations are based on the Norwegian (N = 202) and Swedish (N = 180) datasets used in developing and validating the Nordic Positive Organisational Psychology Questionnaire (N-POP)