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Managing Implementation: Roles of Line Managers, Senior Managers, and Human Resource Professionals in an Occupational Health Intervention

Hasson, Henna PhD; Villaume, Karin BSc; von Thiele Schwarz, Ulrica PhD; Palm, Kristina PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: January 2014 - Volume 56 - Issue 1 - p 58–65
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000020
Original Articles

Objective: To contrast line managers', senior managers', and (human resource) HR professionals' descriptions of their roles, tasks, and possibilities to perform them during the implementation of an occupational health intervention.

Methods: Interviews with line managers (n = 13), senior managers (n = 7), and HR professionals (n = 9) 6 months after initiation of an occupational health intervention at nine organizations.

Results: The groups' roles were described coherently, except for the HR professionals. These roles were seldom performed in practice, and two main reasons appeared: use of individuals' engagement rather than an implementation strategy, and lack of integration of the intervention with other stakeholders and organizational processes.

Conclusions: Evaluation of stakeholders' perceptions of each other's and their own roles is important, especially concerning HR professionals. Clear role descriptions and implementation strategies, and aligning an intervention to organizational processes, are crucial for efficient intervention management.

From Medical Management Centre (Drs Hasson, von Thiele Schwarz, and Palm and Miss Villaume), Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Sweden; Department of Psychology (Dr von Thiele Schwarz), Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden; and Department of Industrial Economics and Management (Dr Palm), School of Industrial Engineering and Management, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

Address correspondence to: Henna Hasson, PhD, Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Medical Management Centre, Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Sweden (

The study was financially supported by AFA insurance and the European Social Fund (Project No. 2010-3010011).

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine