The Use of Circular Causality Networks: A Prerequisite for the Development of Efficient Psychosocial Risk Prevention and Management Plans

  • Christian VoirolEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 824)


Problem. In the occupational health and safety field, it is usually recommended to narrow the intervention field before developing an action plan. Yet, one of the characteristics of psychosocial risks is presenting a chain of causality that can be especially complex. For example, a burnout can be caused by an overload, which is itself caused by a shortage of staff, which is caused by a lack of succession, which is caused by a lack of means in the HR budgets, etc. Yet, if numerous scientifically validated questionnaires help to evaluate health, quality of life and workplace wellness determinants (psychosocial factors), very often, the causal factors on which the action plan and intervention should be based, can be hard to identify. This presentation helps to describe a diagnosis process that fosters the identification of the causal factors on which the intervention must be based.

Method and Results. The approach proposed, used in numerous occupational health interventions for more than 15 years, is based on the fault-tree analysis used in occupational safety. Nevertheless, given the specific characteristics of psychosocial factors, the approach used builds on the implementation of a circular causality network. This simple and empirical approach allows for collective work with the different protagonists of the situation and fosters the diagnosis and especially the development of a relevant action plan. If the circular causality network construction can be based on the results of a scientifically validated questionnaire, the design of the action plan can perfectly mobilize existing tools such as Hoshin Kanri X Matrix or A3 templates used in Lean.


Psychosocial factors Analysis method Diagnosis Action plans Intervention 


  1. 1.
    Grossmeier J, Fabius R, Flynn JP, Noeldner SP, Fabius D, Goetzel RZ, Anderson DR (2016) Linking workplace health promotion best practices and organizational financial performance: tracking market performance of companies with highest scores on the HERO scorecard. J Occup Environ Med 58:16–23. Scholar
  2. 2.
    Karasek R (1979) Job demands, job decision latitude, and mental strain: implications for job redesign. Adm Sci Q 24:285–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Marchand A, Durand P, Haines V, Harvey S (2014) The multilevel determinants of workers’ mental health: results from the SALVEO study. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. Scholar
  4. 4.
    Marchand A, Haines VY, Harvey S, Dextras-Gauthier J, Durand P (2016) Health and stress management and mental-health disability claims. Stress Heal 32:569–577. Scholar
  5. 5.
    Marchand A, Juster R, Durand P, Lupien SJ, Marchand A, Durand P, Lupien SJ (2015) Work stress models and diurnal cortisol variations: the SALVEO study work stress models and diurnal cortisol variations: the SALVEO study. J Occup Health Psychol. Scholar
  6. 6.
    Martel JP, Dupuis G (2006) Quality of work life: theoretical and methodological problems, and presentation of a new model and measuring instrument. Soc Indic Res 77:333–368. Scholar
  7. 7.
    Nielsen K, Nielsen MB, Ogbonnaya C, Känsälä M, Saari E, Isaksson K (2017) Workplace resources to improve both employee well-being and performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Work Stress 31:101–120. Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ostrom LT, Wilhelmsen CA (2012) Risk assessment: tools, techniques, and their applications. Wiley, SandersCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pejtersen JH, Kristensen TS, Borg V, Bjorner JB (2010) The second version of the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire. Scand J Public Health 38:8–24. Scholar
  10. 10.
    Siegrist J (1996) Adverse health effects of high-effort/low-reward conditions. J Occup Health Psychol 1:27–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    The Whoqol Group (1998) The World Health Organization quality of life assessment (WHOQOL): development and general psychometric properties. Soc Sci Med 46:1569–1585. Scholar
  12. 12.
    Voirol C, Marchand A (2014) Facteurs psychosociaux [Psychosocial factors]. In: Zawieja P, Guarnieri F (eds) Dictionnaire des risques psychosociaux [Dictionary of psychosocial risks]. Seuil - Sciences humaines, Paris, France, pp 308–311Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Haute Ecole Arc Santé, HES-SOUniversity of Applied Sciences Western SwitzerlandNeuchâtelSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations