Are healthcare organizations healthy? Quality of life in healthcare work in Northern and Southern Europe


  • Margareta Bäck-Wiklund
  • Maria das Dores Guerreiro
  • Stefan Szücs
  • Leila Billquist
  • Margarida Martins Barroso
  • Eduardo Alexandre Rodrigues



From a gender perspective, this article analyses the concept of “healthy organization” through the study of the “dual agenda” of healthcare organizations. Based in the EU funded project “Quality of Life in a Changing Europe”, which priviledged a multi-method approach, we analyse data from an extensive survey applied in eight European countries (Germany, Bulgaria, Finland, The Netherlands, Hungary, Portugal, United Kingdom and Sweden) and present two case studies undergone at university public hospitals in Sweden and in Portugal. Results show that the perceptions of what is a healthy organization are developed around the notions of social support, life satisfaction, work engagement and work-life reconciliation. Gender variations are a common feature in each of these dimensions. Organizational policies, professional trajectories and family resources are directly related to these variations.