• Weighing up the risks, considering the benefits: public perceptions of smart grid technologies

      Davidson, Rosemary; Balta-Ozkan, Nazmiye; Spence, Alexa; Watson, Tom; Nash, N.; Whitmarsh, Lorraine; University of Bedfordshire (2014-09-18)
      Much has been written on the possible implications of the introduction of smart grids for the UK energy market on standards and technical issues, data handling, regulation and investment. Less consideration has been given to lay perceptions of smart grids; yet consumer engagement will likely influence the extent to which such technologies will help with managing energy demand more efficiently, reduce peak loads and household bills. Sharing data, compromising confidentiality and being subjected to unsolicited marketing calls were key, interlinked issues of great importance to participants when considering a future smart grid. Participants were usually comfortable with their data being used if anonymised for the smoother operation of the network and in return for cheaper prices. If data could be linked back to them personally, opinion was divided over whether this would be an invasion of privacy or simply knowledge of daily routines and household energy usage. Some wanted to see a more dynamic relationship whereby if consumers shared information, they would be kept informed as to how it was used, and thus also receive some benefit. Quantitative data collected supported these ideas, highlighting that participants did not perceive benefits to the consumer of a future smart grid to outweigh the related risks. We additionally found that perceived benefits to society and to energy companies were perceived as higher than those conferred to the consumer and significantly outweighed the relative perceived risks. Discussions highlighted that particip ants assumed that future changes to the energy system were likely to maximise profits and benefit supply and demand for energy companies alone. We note that current negative perceptions of the ‘big six’ energy companies also greatly influenced participants’ attitudes to data sharing, and motivations to change their behaviour. Frequently emerging was the idea that energy supply was a basic need to be managed for the good of everyone rather than led by commercial pressures and share holders in the private sector. In relation to behavior change, participants envisaged being able to interact with new technologies and systems in order to use mainly renewable ‘clean’ energy, with the proviso that they could override systems where necessary. Yet there was also the view that such decisions should be taken out of consumers’ hands as part of a government-led green strategy where only one sustainable option would be available. Developing and effectively communicating consumer and societal benefits would likely increase engagement with a future smart grid. It is argued that strong policy to address this along with decisive regulation would help to build trust and reduce risks.
    • Wellbeing in academic employees– a benchmarking approach

      Kinman, Gail; Wray, Siobhan (Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, 2019-04-27)
      Research from several countries indicates that university lecturers and researchers are particularly vulnerable to work-related stress from various sources. This chapter draws on the findings of research conducted by the authors in the United Kingdom (UK) over several years to highlight the value of a benchmarking approach in monitoring the wellbeing of academic employees.  The literature on the stressors and strains experienced by academics is initially reviewed.  The findings of three studies using a well-established framework to assess psychosocial hazards in the university sector in the UK are then presented and discussed.   Except for job control, respondents reported lower wellbeing for each of the seven specified hazards than recommended, with evidence of deterioration over time in some areas. The implications of these findings and the value of supplementing the benchmarking approach with hazards reflecting the current working context are discussed. Priority areas for interventions to enhance wellbeing among academic employees are identified and topics for future research proposed.
    • What could make a difference to the mental health of UK doctors? A review of the research evidence

      Kinman, Gail; Teoh, Kevin; Louise Tebboth Foundation; Society of Occupational Medicine (Society of Occupational Medicine, 2018-10-08)
    • What motivational processes underpin student engagement with employability? : a critical review

      Clements, Andrew James (Springer, 2019-10-08)
      There are concerns that students fail to engage with employability soon enough in their studies, and do not seek the best available support.  This chapter explores the role that motivation plays in students’ career management behaviours, notably career exploration, decision-making, and job search.  The literature highlights the crucial role played by self-efficacy, i.e. belief in one’s ability to perform a task, which is informed by personal experience and feedback.  Time spent on career exploration (i.e. reflecting on one’s own qualities and exploring opportunities) is associated with greater confidence in making career decisions.  Job search behaviours, such as effort, is associated with better career outcomes.  However, there is a gap in the literature regarding how earlier exploration and decision activities inform the job search.  This chapter identifies opportunities for addressing this gap, and the potential value of exploring student job search strategies.  Yet while attention to motivation may inform how we work with individual students, it remains necessary to consider environmental conditions in the labour market.
    • “When are you coming back?” Presenteeism in UK Prison Officers

      Kinman, Gail; Clements, Andrew James; Hart, Jacqui Ann; University of Bedfordshire (Sage, 2019-03-21)
      Presenteeism has negative implications for staff wellbeing and the safety of prisons, but little is known about its prevalence and causes.  This mixed-methods study examines these issues among 1,682 UK officers. Most respondents (84%) reported working while sick at least sometimes, with 53% always doing so. Six linked themes were identified that underpinned presenteeism in the prison sector: punitive absence management systems; pressure from management; short-staffing and fear of letting colleagues down; job insecurity; fear of disbelief and shaming; and duty and professionalism. The implications of presenteeism for the health and job performance of prison officers are considered. 
    • Work-related wellbeing in UK higher education - 2014

      Kinman, Gail; Wray, Siobhan; University and College Union (University and College Union, 2017-08-30)
      This report presents the findings of a national survey of work-related wellbeing in higher education. The sample comprised 6439 respondents working in academic and academic-related roles in UK universities and colleges.  The Health and Safety Executive framework for measuring work-related stress was used and findings compared with data obtained in previous waves of the research.  Other factors, such as perceptions of stress, illegitimate tasks and change fatigue and job satisfaction were examined.  Mental and physical health, absenteeism and presenteeism and work-life balance were also assessed. The implications for UK higher education are discussed. 
    • Work-related wellbeing in UK prison officers: a benchmarking approach

      Kinman, Gail; Clements, Andrew James; Hart, Jacqui Ann; University of Bedfordshire (Emerald, 2016-06-20)
      Purpose-The purpose of this paper is to examine the well-being of UK prison officers by utilising a benchmarking approach. Design/methodology/approach-The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Stress Indicator Tool is widely used in the UK to assess key psychosocial hazards in the workplace encompassing demands, control, support from managers and co-workers, relationship quality, role and change management. This study utilises this approach to examine the extent to which a sample of UK prison officers meets the HSE recommended minimum standards for the management of work-related well-being. Levels of mental health and job satisfaction in the sector are also assessed using measures with extensive occupational norms. The psychosocial hazards that make the strongest contribution to mental health and job satisfaction are also considered. Findings-Respondents reported lower levels of well-being for all of the hazard categories than recommended. Moreover, mental health and job satisfaction were considerably poorer among prison officers than other occupational groups within the emergency and security services in the UK. Considerable variation was found in the psychosocial hazards that predicted mental health and job satisfaction. Practical implications-The high levels of stressors and strains experienced by UK prison officers gives serious cause for concern. Priority areas for interventions to enhance well-being in the sector are considered and areas for future research discussed. Originality/value-This study highlights the wide-ranging benefits of a benchmarking approach to investigate work-related stressors and strains at the sector level.
    • Working conditions, work-life conflict and wellbeing in UK prison officers: the role of affective rumination and detachment

      Kinman, Gail; Clements, Andrew James; Hart, Jacqui Ann (SAGE, 2016-08-25)
      Although prison officers experience the working conditions associated with work-life conflict, little research has explored this issue. This study draws upon the work-home resources model (ten Brummelhuis & Bakker, 2012) to investigate relationships between working conditions (demands and experiences of aggression) and time-based, strain-based and behavior-based work-life conflict in UK prison officers (n = 1,682). Associations between working conditions, work-life conflict, and emotional exhaustion were also examined. Two recovery behaviors (affective rumination and detachment) were considered as potential moderators of associations between working conditions and emotional exhaustion. High levels of all work-life conflict dimensions were found which were related to working conditions and emotional exhaustion. Some evidence was found that higher rumination and lower detachment exacerbated the positive association between both job demands and aggression and emotional exhaustion. The implications of the findings for the wellbeing and professional functioning of prison officers are discussed, together with key areas for future research.
    • Workplace bullying and burnout: the moderating effects of social support

      Rossiter, Louise; Sochos, Antigonos; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2018-02-28)
      This study aims to investigate the moderating effects of social support on the link between workplace bullying and burnout. This correlational study includes 222 employees recruited from various industry sectors. Participants completed the Revised Negative Acts Questionnaire, the Maslach Burnout Inventory, and the Social Support Scale. Colleague and supervisor support moderated the relationship between both work- and person-related bullying with burnout, whereas family and senior management support moderated the links between burnout and person-related and physically intimidating bullying, respectively. High levels of emotional support were associated with greater emotional exhaustion in work-related and overall bullying. Different forms of social support moderated the links between different forms of workplace bullying and different components of burnout. The present findings may inform anti-bullying prevention programs and interventions supporting bullying victims.