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"Stakeholder professionals' perspectives on Australian EAPs & organisational wellbeing"
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posted on 15.02.2017by Hammond, Anne Elizabeth
This DBA study focuses on stakeholder perceptions of (1) the key aspects of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in Australian organisations, (2) those factors critical for an organisation to be defined as 'well' (Organisational Wellbeing) and
(3) the interplay between the two, specifically addressing the ways in which an organisation's EAP may contribute to the organisation's 'Organisational Wellbeing'.
Research Phase One
In seeking to gain a comprehensive conceptualisation of Organisational Wellbeing, Research Paper One comprises a review of literatures across multiple disciplines both business-oriented and health related. This review highlights the lack of clarity and consensus regarding to the concept of Organisational Wellbeing, including a lack of consistency and interchange in the use of such terms as 'organisational effectiveness' and 'organisational wellbeing', and of 'health', 'wellness' and 'wellbeing' more generally. Nonetheless, the themes across the separate streams of studies within this literature provide a foundation for the framework proposed in this Paper for consideration of the determinants of Organisational Wellbeing.
Research Phase Two
The second part of the research consists of a pilot study for the research methodology to be utilised in the Main Study phase of the overall research program. Specifically, the interview guides and associated protocols for the semi-structured interviews are piloted with a small sample of potential participants from each of the two sets of stakeholder groups of interest in this research. The pilot study provides important and useful insights in terms of both process and content to assist in undertaking the Main Study.
Research Phase Three
The third part of the research is the Main Study. This qualitative, exploratory study examines two sets of key stakeholders' perspectives on what are considered the key components of an effective EAP; factors critical to an organisation's Organisational Wellbeing; and the interplay between both. The findings from this study provide insights into points of convergence and divergence in the viewpoints of these two sets of participants on the key themes examined. In particular, what are considered the broad 'pillars and platform' of key aspects of an EAP's effectiveness, and a cascading hierarchy of factors critical to Organisational Wellbeing -enhancing our understanding of the domain of Organisational Wellbeing, as well as of essential components for a sustainable as well as effective EAP. These findings however, also illustrate the importance of lost opportunities to effectively utilise EAP report and feedback data, and a lack of clearly articulated linkages between the objectives of EAP programs and provision of services to achieve these objectives; and the importance of 'partnership' in addressing these challenges. Overall, these findings have both practical and theoretical implications regarding the potential role and function of EAP's in contributing to the 'Organisational Wellbeing' of Australian organisations.