Relationships between work environment factors and workers’ well-being in the maritime industry
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Background: The aim of this study was to determine whether physical and psychosocial work factors are related to the levels of job satisfaction and intentions to leave in the maritime industry, and to determine whether there exist cross-cultural differences in work factors, job satisfaction and intentions to leave between European and Filipino crew members.
Material and methods: Using a cross-sectional survey design, the variables were assessed in a sample of 541 seafarers from 2 large Norwegian shipping companies. Work factors included safety perceptions, leadership, job demands, harassment, and team cohesion.
Results: The findings show that physical and psychosocial work factors are important correlates of both intentions to leave and job satisfaction, with safety perceptions, job demands, and team cohesion as the strongest and most consistent factors. As for cross-cultural differences, the findings show that European and Filipino respondents differ with regard to safety perceptions, laissez-faire leadership, authentic leadership, exposure to harassment, team cohesion, and intentions to leave. No differences were established with regard to overall job satisfaction.
Conclusions: The findings support occupational stress models which emphasise the importance of situational factors in the understanding of well-being among workers. Shipping companies should therefore always take these factors into consideration when developing and implementing interventions aimed at improving employee well-being.