Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate how organisational frames of reference, which are neither not appropriately communicated nor supported, affect the wellbeing of workers. Designomethodologyoapproach A review of the literature is used to develop a new model linking ambiguous frames of reference with reduced levels of workers' wellbeing. This is then tested using data collected in a study involving primary health care workers in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Findings This paper finds that, for these particular workers, the model linking ambiguous frames of reference and reduced worker wellbeing is valid. Research limitationsoimplications The paper shows that there is a need for further research into a variety of areas including the importance of frames of reference to worker wellbeing, the significance of reference groups to organisational frames of reference and the consequences of reduced worker wellbeing in developing countries. Practical implications In this paper, recommendations for changes to current PNG primary health care management practices, including ensuring the support for as well as communicating the organisational frame of reference, are discussed. Originalityovalue The paper shows that the experiences of these particular primary health care workers not only demonstrates the validity of the new model but also brings a unique perspective to the field of worker wellbeing, which up until now has been dominated by research conducted in western countries.
- Employee behaviour
- Work psychology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
- Health Policy