What is it about?

There exists a consensus that work ability is defined by one’s work, work environment, and societal context. However, previous research has mainly focused on work disability and work disability management. In addition, the focus has been mainly on the individual rather than organizational level actions and organizations´ operational rather than strategic level actions. Top management is responsible for the organization’s strategy, including HRM and work ability and its management as part of it. The way top management define and understands work ability may influence measures and processes aimed to support personnel’s work ability and how these are implemented in the organizations. In addition, top managers’ perceptions have an impact on organizations’ strategic choices and success. In this study, we aimed to find out how top managers define work ability management, what were their aims for WAM, and whether the aims were on a strategic level.

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Why is it important?

Top managers’ multidimensional perception of WAM is crucial as it may influence the organizations’ work ability supporting measures. In our study, top managers had a multidimensional perception of WAM, they emphasized anticipative actions and their aims were on a strategic level. However, this was not yet realized in organizations´ strategies and the actions were rather reactive than proactive.


I´m honored to be able to do research with colleagues who have so much expertise and long experience in work ability-related issues. This article was a great start to studying more about (strategic) work ability management which has been studied so little before.

Master of Health sciences and enthusiastic about work ability management Julia Anttilainen
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Social and health care top managers’ perceptions and aims of strategic work ability management in the midst of change, Work, February 2024, IOS Press,
DOI: 10.3233/wor-230034.
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