Occupational health : an investigation and analysis of the integration of occupational health into the management of an organisation using project management skills

Miller, Pamela Mildred (2001-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Global competitiveness has highlighted the need for good occupational health, but this need can also act as a trade barrier in certain instances. However, generally, occupational health is starting to take its place amongst the other critical success factors as a matter of sound corporate governance. Certain beliefs on the part of management and workers in South Africa make the occupational health services' goals far more difficult to attain. For occupational health goals to be achieved, there firstly needs to be a conducive environment, and secondly an organisational structure that integrates occupational health into the organisation, rather than relegates it to a support function. Thirdly, the business practices within the occupational health service need to manage a complex set of functions so that the health and organisational goals are met. Occupational health consists mostly of a series of one-off functions and so the principles of project management are seemingly useful to its management. As an initial study to investigate that, the project management skill areas chosen for assessmentare: cost, time, quality, scopeand matrix management. Due to its complexity, there is a large body of knowledge concerning occupational health. However, there is very little research into managing it efficiently or integrating it into the organisation. This study serves to increase the knowledge of the occupational health field and, by means of surveys, to investigate and analyse the perceptions, views and opinions of occupational health nurses in relation to the deliverables of project management, (cost, scope, time and quality) and matrix management. It then makes proposals for increasing the efficiency of the occupational health services and integrating them more fully into organisational management, through the application of the principles of project management. The results of the surveys showed general agreement with all the positive statements made regarding project management as applied to occupational health principles. However, it was tempered with much ambivalence. The area that needs the most attention is matrix management, while the area of scope is perceived as being the best managed area. It is possiblethat the lack of matrix management is what is damaging the other areas. Occupational health nurses need to be made aware of project management principles and the value of applying them as a way of managing. Through the application of project management, greater efficiencies and the achievement of both health and organisational goals can be achieved. There also needs to be more researchto allow both fields to grow and develop in relation to each other.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Globale kompetisie het die noodsaaklikheid van goeie beroepsgesondheid beklemtoon, maar, hierdie noodsaaklikheid kan ook in sekere omstandighede as 'n belemmering inwerk op handel. Oor die algemeen egter, begin beroepsgesondheid sy regmatige plek in neem saam met ander kritiese suksesfaktore as dit kom by gesonde kooperatiewe bestuur. Sekere oortuigings, hetsy deur bestuur of werkers in Suid-Afrika maak die bereiking van die doelstellings van beroepsgesondheid moeiliker. Ten einde te slaag met die doelstellings van beroepsgesondheid, moet daar eerstens 'n ondersteunende omgewing wees, tweedens 'n organisatoriese struktuur wat beroepsgesondheid integreer in die organisasie eerder as dit te beskou as slegs 'n ondersteuningsfunksie. Derdens, moet die besigheidspraktyke binne die beroepsgesondheiddiens 'n komplekse stel funksies bestuur ten einde die gesondheids- en organisatoriese doelstellings te verwesentlik. Beroepsgesondheid bestaan uit 'n hele aantal eenmalige funksies en dus is die beginsels van projekbestuur skynbaar nuttig daarvoor. As 'n aanvanklike studie om dit te ondersoek is die projekbestuur vaardigheidsareas wat vir die waardering gekies is, die volgende: koste, tyd, kwaliteit, omvang en matriksbestuur. Vanweë die kompleksiteit daarvan, is daar 'n groot poel van kennis oor beroepsgesondheid. Daar is egter baie min navorsingswerk oor die effektiewe bestuur daarvan en die integrasie daarvan met 'n organisasie. Hierdie studie dien dus om die kennis in hierdie veld uit te brei, en deur middel van ondersoeke 'n analise te maak van die persepsies, beskouings en opinies van die beroepsgesondheid verpleërs met betrekking tot die aflewerbare aspekte van projekbestuur, dit wil sê koste, omvang, tyd en kwaliteit asook matriksbestuur. Daarna word ook voorstelle gemaak vir die verhoging van die effektiwiteit van beroepsgesondheidsdienste en die voller integrasie daarvan by organisatoriese bestuur, deur die toepassing van die beginsels van projekbestuur. Die resultate het 'n algemene ooreenkoms getoon tussen die positiewe stellings gemaak aangaande beroepsveiligheid, soos toegepas op projekbestuurbeginsels. Dit is egter, met dubbelsinnigheid getemper. Die area wat die meeste aandag verg is matriksbestuur, terwyl die area van omvangbepaling beskou word as die bes bestuurde gebied. Dit is ook moontlik dat die gebrek aan matriksbestuur ander areas benadeel. Beroepsgesondheidspraktisyns moet bewus gemaak word van projekbestuur en die waarde daarvan om dit in bestuur toe te pas. Deur die gebruik van projekbestuur, sal groter effektiwiteit in beide gesondheid- en organisatoriese doelstellings bereik word. Daar moet ook meer navorsing wees om beide hierdie gebiede te help groei en ontwikkel met betrekking tot mekaar.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52378
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