Job quality: What is it, why does it matter, and how can it be improved?

Plenary presentation by Graham Lowe at the Institute for Work & Health.
9:30 – 10:45 a.m. November 17, 2009. Institute for Work & Health, 481 University Avenue, Suite 800, Toronto (Directions).
To confirm your attendance, please RSVP to Lyudmila Mansurova ( or 416-927-2027 ext. 2137).
Job quality: What is it, why does it matter, and how can it be improved?
This presentation examines the diverse theories, concepts and practices that address the quality of jobs, work environments and individuals’ work experiences. On this broad canvas, we can identify points of convergence around key sets of determinants and outcomes. However, a common conceptual vocabulary is lacking, which impedes cross-fertilization across disciplines and between researchers and practitioners. The most promising opportunity for an integrated approach is around the connection between work environments, employee well-being and organizational performance. Practitioners and policy-makers need a basic model explaining these complex dynamics. By taking up this challenge, researchers would help ensure that future decisions to improve job quality are informed by evidence.
IWH plenary presentation

Control Over Time and Work–Life Balance:

This report was prepared for the Federal Labour Standards Review Committee. It examines the research and relevant Canadian empirical evidence on work schedules, work time and work–life balance. It assesses trends and current practices in Canadian workplaces, particularly in sectors under federal jurisdiction. The paper also reviews empirical evidence on problems regarding work–life balance, increasing work-life pressures, and the need to accommodate evolving family structures.

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21st Century Job Quality Trends – webinar 1

Canadian Policy Research Network’s (CPRN)new research project, 21st Century Job Quality Trends is well underway. As part of the study, CPRN is conducting a series of “webinars” hosted by Graham Lowe (the lead researcher) at the beginning, middle and end of the project. These are virtual roundtables – linking participants from government, labour, the non-profit sector and academics by phone and computer – designed obtain advice on the development of the report and its recommendations.
Graham Lowe’s first webinar presentation can be downloaded below.

Webinar presentation

Under Pressure: Implications of Work-Life Balance and Job Stress

This report presents new findings from two national surveys, one of employers and the other of workers, on work-life balance and job stress. The report discusses the implications of these issues for employers and points to actions they can take to improve the quality of work life. Graham Lowe was commissioned by Wilson Banwell Human Solutions to write the report, and it is the first in a series of Human Solutions Reports.
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Creating a Quality Work Environment: Survey Results

Creating a Quality Work Environment
The Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) conducted a Work Environment Survey to provide new evidence that can be used constructively to improve the work environments of HSAA members, and through this, contribute to health service excellence in Alberta. The 74-page report, Creating a Quality Work Environment: Results from the HSAA 2006 Work Environment Survey, is a basis for action within workplaces.
The survey provides the most reliable and comprehensive analysis ever conducted in Alberta of health care employees that included HSAA members. It examined work environment factors affecting the quality of work life, individual quality of work-life outcomes, and organizational outcomes.
The full report and a 1-page summary can be downloaded from this site, or at the HSAA website ( Also available on the HSAA website are a survey results for each of 14 employers.
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Report overview