Developing Health Literate Businesses: A Qualitative Study

Kristine Sørensen, Katarzyna Czabanowska
2015 Occupational Medicine & Health Affairs  
However, healthy living is influenced and challenged by several Abstract Purpose: In recent years, health and healthy living have become increasingly important issues both in society at large and in the workplace. This study aims to explore how multinational companies develop health literacy strategies in the realm of corporate social responsibility to promote health at work and healthy living. Methods In-depth, semi-structured interviews were made with key staff in 14 multinational companies
more » ... ssessing knowledge on the business' health initiatives and analysed to develop a grounded theory. Findings The study resulted in a three-tiered theoretical model implying that in order to improve health literacy businesses should make a clear strategic choice and incorporate health at work as a core value. Health programmes should be based on strategic policies and integrated in core business, rather than as independent health projects. The approach should be sustainable and match the needs of employees including health literacy as an explicit target. Health literacy outcomes should be measured and evaluated to follow the progress and ensure a proper fit between actual needs and the efforts undertaken. Societal implications: A mind shift is needed at business level to encourage health literate decisions not only in the fitness room, but also in the boardroom as part of corporate social responsibility. Originality: As only scarce research exists on health literacy and corporate social responsibility, the generated theory provides new perspectives for business actions on health literacy to promote health at work and healthy living.
doi:10.4172/2329-6879.1000216 fatcat:u3mdjmmcvzcvdgwcqjavagccya