Completed projects

2015 bis 2010

Family-friendly region of Rendsburg (FAME)

Short description: Investigation of the reconcilableness of family/care and work; identification of areas of activity for a family-friendly region

Funding: Stadt Rendsburg

Duration: 06/2012 - 11/2013

Project management: Prof. Dr. Marianne Resch

Employees: Dirk Wortmann, Deborah Hohmeyer, Lars Hochmann, Wilhelm Karwatzki, Hanna Nautsch und Susanne Vogel

Basis

Publications by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs as well as the charter for family-friendly working hours signed in February prove the importance currently attributed to the issue of "reconciliation" from the political side. The work situation has primarily been addressed up to now, whereas conditions and difficulties of the everyday life are being neglected.

If employed people assume social responsibility, such as e.g. child care and education or care of sick relatives, they face a variety of problems. Reconciling work and family or work and care is no easy task. There are repeatedly time and demand-related role conflicts [1] in the course of the day and have to be solved on a daily basis. In the field of family-friendly or family-oriented human resources policy [2],  work-related measures are dominant. In contrast, any suggestions going beyond business and facilitating the duties of the daily life are underrepresented.

In the meantime, there are various initiatives that supplement the operational approach by regional activities, such as e.g. the action platform beruf@familie.nrw. The idea of a family-oriented region has already been taken up by the Institute of Working Life and Family of the Hertie Foundation and a certificate of a family-friendly region has been awarded.

Leading question of the project

Which difficulties of everyday life occur for the persons affected and how burdensome are they?

Objective of the project

In the FAME project, the regional approach for the region of Rendsburg should be developed in order to improve the reconcilableness of work and family in the region of Rendsburg. For this purpose, any difficulties and everyday problems of the reconciliation of work and family are to be determined in the region of Rendsburg. Against this backdrop, suggestions for any regional measures are determined and elaborated in cooperation with regional agents. Thus, family-oriented corporate management is supplemented by the actions affecting the way of living (such as e.g. the synchronization of working times and lifetimes or any other family-supporting measures).

Procedure

The project consists of three phases: In the first two phases, it is determined by way of interviews and a postal survey in which situations and circumstances in life families are facing difficulties of reconciling work and the assumption of social responsibility in terms of care.

For preparing the survey qualitative interviews are conducted in selected household and family types at first.

The third phase includes the feedback of the results on the occasion of a workshop series. As part of this workshop series, a list of measures with regard to the problem and activity fields determined in the study should be developed. Individual projects are supervised and evaluated within a cooperation with Europa-Universität Flensburg.

The final report is available for download here.

Results

The result of the study shows a significant need for action in the subject areas investigated. Accordingly, some approaches for the development of countermeasures have been indicated.

Literature

[1] vgl. Greenhaus, J. H. & Beutell, N. J. (1985). Sources of conflict between work and family roles. Academy of Management Review, 10, 76-88.

[2]. vgl. Dilger, A., Gerlach, I. & Schneider, H. H. (2007). Betriebliche Familienpolitik - Poten­ziale und Instrumente aus multidisziplinärer Sicht. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für So­zialwissenschaften.

CommA

An empirical study of mutual dependency in consideration of leadership behavior.

Conducted for the purposes of the Master thesis by Laura Ditzel and Dirk Wortmann. For describing an employee´s attachment with her or his company the term of identification or commitment can be used. Both terms describe the emotional connection or the psychological bond between employees and their company. Whereas identification mainly manifests on the values and standards of employees and organizations, factors, such as the variety of work, a good work climate, etc. have an effect on the commitment.

In this connection, it is a proven fact that a large commitment of employees in the form of motivated and reliable acting positively contributes to the performance of an organization. However, how  to create and raise commitment? Among others, the industrial-organizational psychology devotes itself to working conditions and their consequences for the psychic and physical health of employees.

Against this backdrop, it should be explored as part of a Master thesis and by way of an empirical survey

  • whether there is a connection between working conditions and commitment

  • and whether any specific partial areas of working conditions have a stronger impact on commitment than others.

External long-term analysis (ELZA)

Short description Evaluation von Mutter-Kind-Kuren

Duration: 04/2011 - 04/2012

Contact person: : Prof. Dr. Marianne Resch

Employees: Patricia Ohst, Sara Wichmann, Dirk Wortmann

Basis

In the ELZA project (external long-term analysis) the effects of mother-child-cures of the Ev. Health Resort GODE TIED (Büsum) has been investigated under the direction of Prof. Dr. Marianne Resch.

The ELZA project was developed from a cooperation between the Ev. Health Resort GODE TIED and Europa-Universität Flensburg. It was carried out as a study project with students in the subject group of industrial-organizational psychology of Europa-Universität Flensburg.

Leading questions

  1. Have the cures a short-term effect on the health and well-being of the participants?

  2. Have the cures a medium-term effect on the health and well-being?

  3. Are any changes in behavior initiated by the cures?

Indicators

The focus of the evaluation was on the women´s state of exhaustion, and in particular, the emotional exhaustion that is deemed to be a dimension of the burnout syndrome [1].

Research design

In two guest groups of the health resort, surveys were conducted prior to the beginning of the treatment and directly at the end of the cure. A third survey was made by post three weeks after the end of the treatment.   

The investigation was carried out with two different guest groups of the health resort in order to verify the replicability of the results.

Tools

For measuring the emotional exhaustion the BHD system (system of stress screening in human services) [2]was used. As another health indicator, any psychosomatic complaints were collected with the help of Freiburg Complaint List (FBL) [3] . Freiburg Complaint List surveys the number and frequency of any psychosomatic complaints.

For measuring the changes in behavior a new questionnaire had to be developed. The participants were requested to indicate for various routines or behavior patterns whether they were following them less frequently, equally often or more often after the cure.

Results

The response rates with regard to the three times of measurement were between 60% and 90% in both guest groups of the health resort and can be deemed as satisfactory.

The values for the emotional exhaustion were significantly lower at the end of the treatment than at the beginning. This effect appeared in both groups and is statistically significant. At the same time, it is sustainable: three weeks after the treatment, the values for the emotional exhaustion are still lower; a further decrease can even be recorded.

The investigation with regard to the psychosomatic complaints reveals a similar pattern. It was also here where the number and frequency of the complaints measured at the beginning of the treatment decreased. The decline in psychosomatic complaints was consistent and can also be proven three weeks after the end of the treatment.

The investigation with regard to the behavior showed significant changes for the majority of the routines tested.

Thus, the results of the study allow the following statements:      

The cures offered by the Ev. Health Resort GODE TIED achieve a short-term improvement of the participants´ health, and in particular, of the exhaustion values and the psychosomatic complaints. Moreover, in the course of the treatment, changes in behavior are suggested which are even implemented after return from the stay at the health resort.

Further investigations

For analyzing long-term effects another investigation was carried out, examining the states of exhaustion and psychosomatic complaints six months after the end of the stay at the health resort. For this purpose, even interdependencies between changes in behavior and health values were verified.

The questions of the final survey were as follows:

  1. Have the cures a long-term effect on the health and well-being?
  2. Do the cures achieve any long-term changes in behavior?
  3. Is there a connection between health/well-being and the behavior at home?

Literature

[1] vgl. Richter, P. & Hacker, W. (2014). Belastung und Beanspruchung. Stress, Ermüdung und Burnout im Arbeitsleben. 4. Auflage. Asanger R. Verlag.

[2] vgl. Hacker, W. & Reinhold, S. (1999). Beanspruchungserfassung bei Humandienstleistungen.

[3] vgl. Fahrenberg, J. (1994). Die Freiburger Beschwerdeliste.