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A positive approach to indirect control

New challenges in operational health management: dealing with indirect control and self-endangerment

It is a familiar concept with freelancers and the self-employed, especially founders of new businesses: when customers jump ship and sales start to collapse, when your company’s very existence hangs in the balance, you often end up working without regard to your own health.

Employees too can sometimes disregard their own health in this way. New forms of management are bringing self-employed working dynamics into companies. Traditional forms of health provision are of no use here, since anyone who ignores the risks to their own health out of fear of failure or in the hope of success will not want others interfering.

Performance management can be modified in such a way as to minimise the risks and highlight the benefits (e.g. assuming responsibility, autonomy). At the same time, employees as well as managers must be made aware of these new issues and shown potential ways of dealing with the problem.

In partner companies, we start by investigating the two phenomena of “indirect management” and “self-endangerment” along with the associated processes: we now know what working conditions reduce or increase self-endangerment. The second stage looks at how to deal successfully with indirect management in a way that promotes health.

Project Dates

Lead and Team
Prof. Dr. Andreas Krause, Marcel Baumgartner, Dr. Martial Berset, Cosima Dorsemagen, Dr. Michaela Knecht, Samuel Zäch
Funding several german and swiss companies
Cogito – Institut für Autonomieforschung (Berlin)
Universität Hamburg, Medical School Hamburg, VBG (Berufsgenossenschaft, Hamburg)
Duration January 2008 - January 2021

Baeriswyl, S., Krause, A., Elfering, A., & Berset, M. (2016, April 7). How Workload and Coworker Support Relate to Emotional Exhaustion: The Mediating Role of Sickness Presenteeism. International Journal of Stress Management.
Advance online publication.

Deci, N., Dettmers, J., Krause, A., & Berset, M. (2016). Coping in Flexible Working Conditions – Engagement, Disengagement and Self-Endangering Strategies. Psychology of Everyday Activity, 9 (2), 49-65.

Dettmers, J., Deci, N., Baeriswyl, S., Berset, M. & Krause, A. (2016). Self-Endangering Work Behavior. In M. Wiencke, M. Cacace, & S. Fischer, Healthy at Work (pp. 37-51). Wiesbaden: Springer International Publishing.

Dorsemagen, C., Krause, A., Lehmann, M. & Pekruhl, U. (2012). Flexible Arbeitszeiten in der Schweiz. Auswertung einer repräsentativen Befragung der Schweizer Erwerbsbevölkerung. Bern: Staatssekretariat für Wirtschaft.

Feuerhahn, N., Berset, M., Krause, A. & Roscher, S. (2016). Merkmale indirekter Steuerung – Erhebungsinstrumente und Zusammenhänge mit selbstgefährdendem Verhalten bei der Arbeit. In R. Wieland, K. Seiler, & M. Hammes, Psychologie der Arbeitssicherheit und Gesundheit. Dialog statt Monolog. 19. Workshop 2016 (S .99-102). Kröning: Asanger.

Krause, A., Baeriswyl, S., Berset, M., Deci, N., Dettmers, J., Dorsemagen, C., Meier, W., Schraner, S., Stetter, B. & Straub, L. (2015). Selbstgefährdung als Indikator für Mängel bei der Gestaltung mobil-flexibler Arbeit: Zur Entwicklung eines Erhebungsinstruments. Wirtschaftspsychologie, 17 (1), 49-59.

Krause, A., Berset, M. & Peters, K. (2015). Interessierte Selbstgefährdung - von der direkten zur indirekten Steuerung. Arbeitsmedizin Sozialmedizin Umweltmedizin, 50, 164-170.

Krause, A. & Dorsemagen, C. (2017). Herausforderungen für die Betriebliche Gesundheitsförderung durch indirekte Steuerung und interessierte Selbstgefährdung. In G. Faller (Hrsg.), Lehrbuch Betriebliche Gesundheitsförderung (3. Auflage, S. 153-164). Göttingen: Hogrefe.


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