Organizational Change and Employee Stress – Out now

Posted: February 15th, 2011 | Filed under: Front, Journal Papers, Research | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Michael S. Dahl

This article analyzes the relationship between organizational change and employee health. It illuminates the potentially negative outcomes of change at the level of the employee. In addition, it relates to the ongoing debate over how employees react to and respond to organizational change. I hypothesize that change increases the risk of negative stress, and I test this hypothesis using a comprehensive panel data set of all stress-related medicine prescriptions for 92,860 employees working in 1,517 of the largest Danish organizations. The findings suggest that the risk of receiving stress-related medication increases significantly for employees at organizations that change, especially those that undergo broad simultaneous changes along several dimensions. Thus, organizational changes are associated with significant risks of employee health problems. These effects are further explored with respect to employees at different hierarchical levels as well as at firms of different sizes and from different sectors.

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The effects of becoming an entrepreneur on the use of psychotropics among entrepreneurs and their spouses

Posted: January 10th, 2011 | Filed under: Front, Journal Papers, Research | Tags: , | Comments Off on The effects of becoming an entrepreneur on the use of psychotropics among entrepreneurs and their spouses

Michael S. Dahl, Jimmi Nielsen (Unit for Psychiatric Research, Aalborg Psychiatric Hospital, Aarhus University Hospital) and Ramin Mojtabai (Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health)

Aims: Entering entrepreneurship (i.e. becoming an entrepreneur) is known to be a demanding activity with increased workload, financial uncertainty and increased levels of stress. However, there are no systematic studies on how entering entrepreneurship affects the people involved.

Methods: The authors investigated prescriptions of psychotropics for 6,221 first-time entrepreneurs from 2001—2004 and their 2,381 spouses in the first two years after becoming entrepreneurs in a matched case-control study using linked data from three Danish national registries: The Danish database for Labor Market Research, the Danish Entrepreneurship database and the Danish Prescription database.

Results: Entrepreneurs were more likely to fill prescriptions at pharmacies for sedatives/hypnotics (adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 1.45 [95% CI: 1.26—1.66], p < .0001). However, they were less likely to fill prescriptions for antidepressants (AOR: 0.74 [95% CI: 0.59—0.92] p = 0.007). Spouses of these entrepreneurs were also more likely to fill prescriptions for sedatives/hypnotics (AOR: 1.36 [95% CI: 1.10—1.67], p = 0.005). No difference in prescription of antidepressants was found for spouses.

Conclusions: This study showed that there was a significant relation between entering entrepreneurship and receiving prescriptions for sedative/hypnotics both among the entrepreneurs themselves and their spouses, suggesting that entering entrepreneurship may be associated with increased stress for both the entrepreneurs and their families.

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