Limited jobs are worse for your health than no job at all

Apr 12 2002 by Brian Amble Print This Article

People who move into jobs with limited opportunities are often more unhappy than people who become unemployed according to Professor Michael West, Head of Organisation Studies at Aston Business School, who will be speaking at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) annual training conference on Tuesday, 16 April.

This illustrates a key weakness in the UK economy - insufficient attention to work organisation - which limits innovation and creativity in UK workplaces.

West says, "Organisations should look to recruit and retain teams which are diverse in character, emphasise job variety and share objectives. Well functioning teams which also report high workloads and adversity record the most innovation. UK nurses have experienced this in their fight with doctors for the right to perform several functions such as simple surgery. More significantly, they have learnt to form effective, powerful teams which has helped to secure their right to perform these functions and hold on to them".

West also sounds a wake-up call to organisations to reform traditional work organisation methods to harness creativity. He argues that creativity is stifled in the UK workplace by job insecurity, time pressures, threats and unconstructive criticism. West concludes, "If organisations are looking to improve creativity in the workplace, we need to remove all possible constraints such as timescales, job insecurity and look to ensure that workers have variety, autonomy and feedback in their role. Creativity is best harnessed when the individual is alone and away from the workplace; this should be reflected in more flexible ways of working".

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has over 110,000 members and is the leading professional institute for those involved in the management and development of people.

Professor Michael West, Head of Organisation Studies, Aston Business School, will be speaking at the CIPD's annual Learning, Training and Development Conference on Tuesday 16 April.

For further information, contact the CIPD enquiry hotline on 020 8263 3434, e-mail: [email protected] or visit:

Copies of the conference brochure can be obtained from: [email protected] or

Online exhibition pre-registration is available at:

For a press pass to the HRD conference, please contact Mark Buckley on: 020 8263 3240/ [email protected]