The sub-title to this weighty tome is “The organisation’s role in achieving individual and organisational health” and the editors – Burke and Cooper – have enlisted a serious collection of academics from the field of organisational psychology to provide 14 scholarly articles on the subject-matter. It is 314 pages in length, fully referenced (as one would expect) and is definitely not bed-time reading!
Setting the context for the book from the economic and corporate travails of the last 5 years, the core theme centres around the individual barriers to productive work and the challenges of operating in an environment of organisational mayhem. It also investigates individuals as the cause of dysfunction at both a team and an organisational level. The book’s proposition is that a healthy workplace can be achieved by the development of healthy individuals and a healthy working environment. The concept of the ‘healthy workplace’ is defined as one in which individuals are able to bring personal resources, healthy practices, beliefs, attitudes, and values into a working environment in which the organisation of work adds value to the individual’s collective skills, abilities and experience. They summarise this latter bit as a healthy, non-toxic work environment.