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Workplace Well-being: How to Build Psychologically Healthy Workplaces by Arla Brown, E. Kelloway, Joseph Hurrell

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16 Concluding Comments

Joseph J. Hurrell, Jr.

Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, NS, Canada

While interest in the topic of psychologically healthy workplaces has grown enormously in very recent years, this interest has 19th-century historical “roots” in efforts by individuals such as William Mather. Mather, a British industrialist and liberal politician, is known for introducing a 48-hour week to his employees (when 53 hours was the norm) in 1893 and demonstrating (through an experiment) the “business case” for this change (McIvor, 1987). Mather firmly believed in a close relationship between employers and employees that went well beyond economic considerations and felt that employers were not doing their duty by simply creating a prosperous enterprise (Boschi, Drew-Smythe, & Taylor, 2012). In discussing this issue to an audience of business owners, he stated that “They (i.e., employers) are doing their duty in that business when, prosperity having come and means have accumulated, they determine that other people shall be helped and other institutions assisted, so as to make the world a little sweeter and happier” (Boschi et al., 2012, Chapter 2, para 20). In his last address to his company’s shareholders, he expressed the desire that “our Company will maintain a high place among the pioneer employers, who feel it to be their paramount duty to provide for the training and education of their young workers and the general welfare of their adult employees” (Boschi et al., 2012, ...

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