Identifying and managing interorganisational work related psychosocial risks in New Zealand : a thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business Studies, Massey University, Albany Campus, New Zealand
Current research studies about workplace psychosocial risks focus more on organisational work instead of interorganisational (IO) work. It shows limited studies in relation to IO work related psychosocial risks. IO work can be defined as collaboration. It is done by more than two organizations and is organized to achieve better outcome, having more effective results and significant impact. This research study refers to the type of IO work that is carried out by more than one organization other than National Emergency Management Agency and Civil Defence. Based on workers’ experiences, IO work environment is dynamic. It may cause different psychosocial risks compare to organisational work. Furthermore, IO work does not simply involve getting tasks completed with multiple organizations, but also requires dealing with different organisational cultures, structures and people who have been trained to response, communicate and report in various ways. This research study identifies IO work related psychosocial risks and explains the differences of psychosocial risks in IO work versus organisational work. Most importantly, it outlines possible strategies that could be used in managing these risks. Giving the significant impact of the pandemic, this research study also analyses the influence of COVID-19 responses to IO work related psychosocial risks. The findings and discussions are based on responses from 24 participants who have had at least three months’ IO work experience. Some of the participants are interviewed twice to gain in depth understanding about their IO work experiences. The first interview is designed as a semi-interview and guided by 26 interview questions, which are combined with 20 Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire III (COPSOQ III) and 6 questions to help understand the differences of psychosocial risks and impact of COVID-19 responses. The 3 second interviews are designed to allow participants to share as much information draw from their IO work experiences, understanding of IO work and associated issues, their understanding of IO work in comparison with organisational work. The literature review summaries scholarships related to workplace psychosocial risks and highlights the gaps and limitations. The recommendations and future studies emphasise the importance of understanding psychosocial risks in IO work and encourage future research to study IO work from various lens including gender, age, work experiences, human reward system and functions of dopamine. Overall, this research aims to increase researchers’ awareness about IO work related psychosocial risks. As more and more IO work happening, future of work will involve frequent and continuous collaboration between multiple organizations. There is a strong need to conduct more academic and non-academic research and studies in this area. The studies will contribute to enhance workers’ health and wellbeing and improve workplace health and safety risk management and harm prevention, in turn it reduces costs of organizations in managing workers’ physical and psychological health, increase workers’ productivity and engagement.