Date of Award

1993

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Michael D. Grimes

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine the factors associated with corporate wellness programming in contemporary U.S. business organizations. First, I construct an ideal-type of wellness program components in order to profile varying arrays (i.e., number and types) of health and fitness activities across corporations. Then, I detail the extent of health promotion programming in business organizations and in major corporations, using the National Survey of Worksite Health Promotion Activities and the Worksite Health Promotion Program Survey of Fortune 500 companies. The central research task of this study is to explore the factors that account for the diversity observed across corporate wellness programs. This diversity is viewed, in part, as a function of the organization's context, that is, the organizational environment, organizational structure and corporate culture. Logistic regression analysis is incorporated to assess the relative importance of the organizational context variables on corporate wellness programming. Major findings include organizational size as an important structural variable; larger companies are more likely than others to have a wellness program and a larger array of health promotion activities. Establishments located in the West are more likely to have a wellness program than are establishments located in the South. Many of the factors considered to be indicative of a "healthy company" and a healthy work climate (e.g., medical professionals in the workplace, managerial concern for and implementation of health care cost containment strategies, and an Employee Assistance Program) are consistently associated with the presence and array of worksite health promotion activities. The degree of corporate profitability and the type of industry in which the organization is embedded do not significantly influence corporate wellness programming. In sum, many organizational contextual factors are found to be significantly related to the array of worksite health promotion activities and organizational support for those activities. Separate influences are noted for organizational environment, organizational structure and healthy company characteristics, with the later being, by far, the most significant set of influences on the array of worksite health promotion activities.

Pages

153

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