Cover image for Healthy work : stress, productivity, and the reconstruction of working life
Healthy work : stress, productivity, and the reconstruction of working life
Karasek, Robert (Robert A.)
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Basic Books, [1990]

Physical Description:
381 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Reading Level:
1470 Lexile.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
T60.8 .K37 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Suggests a strategy for redesigning jobs to reduce unnecessary stress and improve productivity and job satisfaction.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Today, conventional wisdom has it that work can be stressful and that stress affects one's health. Statistics demonstrate that the productivity of the American workforce has declined. Karasek, who teaches industrial and systems engineering at the University of Southern California, and Theorell, a professor at Sweden's National Institute for Psychosocial Factors and Health, have marshalled a wide range of existing research to document the causes and effects of work-related stress and to show the relationship between stress and lowered productivity. In addition, they introduce their own research and provide a guide to creating a more healthful work environment. Even though the message of Healthy Work is important, its research orientation may limit its popular appeal. Numerous helpful, detailed charts and tables are included along with extensive notes but no index. --David Rouse

Library Journal Review

Karasek and Theorell, American and Swedish academicians respectively, analyze in their important work how heart disease, diabetes, and other stress-related ailments are generated by the way in which people are forced to work in their jobs. In this unfortunately difficult-to-read book, marked by turgid prose and awkward phrasing, the authors analyze various stress/work studies done over the years in America and Europe. In the second half of the book, they discuss various ways being developed to deal with the lack of worker participation in decision-making on the job. The authors mince no words in their conclusions that the well-being of employees can and must be enhanced through meaningful involvement in formulating the manner and mode of their tasks. For labor collections.-- Norman Lederer, UAW, Woodbridge, N.J. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Karasek and Theorell focus on the psychosocial world of work in a global economic context. Many of the important issues they raise have not yet surfaced in current public debate but will eventually become important topics for discussion. Job-related stress and its effect on health and workplace productivity are presented. The authors examine the workplace through the wide lens of a variety of intellectual disciplines. The book, despite having a broad agenda, includes much specialized material. The work is divided into two parts. In the first four chapters the authors present a model of psychosocial job structure and stress-related illness. The second part of the book incorporates the insights developed in the first part to develop guidelines for the redesign of the workplace and work. The implications of this redesign are evaluated throughout the volume from the context of productivity. The authors include a useful appendix on the statistical validity of the psychosocial work dimension used in US quality-of-employment surveys. A valuable and readable book for all students, professionals, and general readers interested in the quality and productivity of working life. -R. L. Jones, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey Medical Center

Table of Contents

1 Health, Productivity, and Work Lifep. 1
2 The Psychosocial Work Environmentp. 31
3 The Environment, the Worker, and Illness: Psychological and Physiological Linkagesp. 83
4 Psychosocial Job Characteristics and Heart Diseasep. 117
5 Psychosocial Job Characteristics and Productivityp. 161
6 Integrating Worker Health Analysis and Job Redesignp. 200
7 The Organizational Context of Job Redesign for Health and Productivityp. 228
8 The Technological Context of Job Redesignp. 251
9 Job Design Strategies for Different Occupational Groupsp. 276
10 Jobs of the Future and the Global Economyp. 302
Appendix: Statistical Validity of Psychosocial Work Dimensions in the U.S. Quality of Employment Surveysp. 335
Referencesp. 347
Indexp. 373