Working Well

Reconsidering Health Communication at Work

Authored by: Patricia Geist-Martin , Jennifer A. Scarduzio

The Routledge Handbook of Health Communication

Print publication date:  April  2011
Online publication date:  August  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415883146
eBook ISBN: 9780203846063
Adobe ISBN: 9781136931673


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The boundaries between work and life are navigated through communication (Clark 2000; Kirby, Golden, Medved, Jorgenson, & Buzzanell, 2003). The challenge for organizations is to design and implement programs that assist employees in navigating these boundaries effectively. The purpose of this chapter is fourfold. The first goal is to summarize how communication scholars define the notion of communicating health and wellness at work. The second goal is to describe the evolution of wellness programs. The third goal is to offer an expanded notion of wellness at work by reconsidering what it means to communicate health in organizations. Fourth and finally, our goal is to recommend directions for future research on health communication and wellness programs through four theoretical lenses. In essence, this chapter is directed toward understanding employees’ navigation of work– life boundaries by turning toward health communication research. In the process, we will discover how topics in organizational communication research offer enhanced understanding of health communication in work settings.

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