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Mental health risk assessment on workplace

  • How people perceive stigmatization at work in connection with mental health problems and what role this stigmatization fulfils in the DACH-Region, means Germany-Austria-Switzerland, has so far received no greater attention from scientists. Although the stigma of mental illness has been extensively researched among the general population, little is known about its consequences of the stigma of mental health in the workplace. This study seeks to bridge the gap in this area. As the purpose of this thesis is to illustrate the dynamics of stigmatization rather than to explain its mere quantitative relevance, I have chosen to investigate how the complex systemic interdependencies according to Forrester (1968) manifest in the reflection of the subjects. On the background of socio-cultural aspects in the DACH-Region regarding mental health problems and forms and natures of stigma while following the question what role stigmatization plays in this German-speaking area DACH, I conducted a qualitative social research study with affected persons (employees from various German companies) to investigate this issue. Hereby I focus on people working in the industry sector. The present thesis begins by exploring the question of intercultural and sociocultural differences in the DACH region according to Hofstede’s Dimensions, as well as their possible relevance for answering the research question. Definitions and theoretical interpretations regarding the backgrounds about mental health, mental health problems and their appearance will be mentioned. Based on Goffman’s (1963) research on stigma, I investigate why mental health issues have the potential to stigmatize especially at the workplace. Goffman’s ideas on stigma illustrate how by providing important insights into understanding the situation of affected persons. The connection between stereotypes, stigmatization, and discriminatory behaviour according to Major & O’Brien (2005) is hereby necessary to be noticed. Through personal interviews I explore how, what way, people at work perceive stigmatization surrounding mental health problems and how stigmas interact. The findings conducted in this study give a cue towards the systemic approach of stigmatization. That is why a new hypothesis on the ways of stigmatization in German-speaking countries is drawn up. Stigmatization is under investigation as a systemic instrument for maintaining management and group power to affect single employees and restore group identity, consciously or unconsciously. I discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings for management behaviour and leadership development in organizations.

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Author:Andreas Pfeil
Subtitle (English):The role of stigmatization in the DACH-Region
Advisor:Sierk Horn
Document Type:Master's Thesis
Year of publication:2020
Publishing Institution:FH Vorarlberg (Fachhochschule Vorarlberg)
Granting Institution:FH Vorarlberg (Fachhochschule Vorarlberg)
Release Date:2020/11/02
Tag:Discrimination; Leadership; Mental health; Stigma; Stigma-Loop
Number og pages:87
DDC classes:300 Sozialwissenschaften
JEL-Classification:I Health, Education, and Welfare
Open Access?:ja
Course of Studies:International Management & Leadership
Licence (German):License LogoUrhG - The Austrian Copyright Act applies - Es gilt das österr. Urheberrechtsgesetz