A blessing from above? A study on the implementation of the provision on Organisational and social work environment in Swedish schools

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: Reports of teachers experiencing negative psychosocial work environment are increasing in Sweden, despite existing policies and provisions in place to ensure an adequate work environment. This study investigates the implementation of a provision created by the Swedish Work Environment Authority in 2015, the provision on Organisational and social work environment, in schools. Two actors are in focus, safety representatives and headmasters, as they are both key actors within the implementation of this provision. Qualitative interviews have been conducted with four headmasters and four safety representatives working in different schools in Sweden, in order to find out how they exercised discretion in the implementation of the provision and what barriers and opportunities they encountered. The study mainly uses Lipsky’s theory on street-level bureaucrats as theoretical framework. Barriers that were found were negative social dynamics at the workplace and a lack of cooperation between headmasters and safety representatives. Opportunities that were found were the use of legal frameworks for safety representatives in order to facilitate implementation, as well as the clarity and language used in the provision.

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