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Healthy Work Glossary

Action Learning

Action learning is a learning approach for addressing how to build and sustain systems-level change. It uses an iterative, participatory process that combines scientific knowledge with evidence derived from learner’s experiences to solve complex problems.

Marquardt, M., Leonard, H., Freedman, A., & Hill, C. (2009). Action Learning for Developing Leaders and Organizations. Washington D.C: American Psychological Association.

Hawe et al., 1997 P. Hawe, M. Noort, L. King, B. Lloyd, C. Jordens. Multiplying health gains: the critical role of capacity-building in health promotion. Health Policy, 39 (1997), pp. 29–42

Alternative Employment Arrangements

Independent contractors, on-call workers, and workers provided by temporary help agencies or contract firms.

Torpey, E., & Hogan, A. (2016, May). Working in a gig economy: Career Outlook. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved January 30, 2017, from

Capacity Building

Capacity Building is a learning approach that focuses on change by developing skills at individual, organizational and community levels.

Hawe, P., Shiell, A., & Riley, T. (2009). Theorising Interventions as Events in Systems. American Journal of Community Psychology, 43, 267-276.

Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR)

Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) is an approach to research that involves community members, representatives of local organizations, and researchers in such a way that all partners contribute their expertise and share the decision making and ownership. The goal of CBPR is to increase understanding of a given phenomenon and to use gained knowledge to improve the health and well-being of community members.

Israel BA, Schulz AJ, Parker EA, Becker AB. Review of community-based research: Assessing partnership approaches to improve public health. Annu Rev Public Health. 1998;19(1):173-202.

Israel B, Schultz A, Parker E, Becker A, Allen A, Guzman R. Critical issues in developing and following CBPR principles. Community-Based Participatory Research for Health: From Process to Outcomes San Francisco.CA: Jossey-Bass. 2008:47-66.

Community Health-Assessment

Community Health Assessment refers to a state, tribal, local, or territorial health assessment that identifies the key health needs and issues of the population through systematic, comprehensive data collection and analysis.

Community Health Assessments & Health Improvement Plans. (2015, November 09). Retrieved February 28, 2017, from

Concept Mapping

Concept mapping is used to further understand data gathered from qualitative techniques (interviews, focus groups, etc.). Ideas are represented in the form of a picture or map. To construct the map, ideas and the relationships between them first have to be described.

Trochim, W. (1989). An introduction to concept mapping for planning and evaluation. Evaluation and Program Planning, 12(1), 1-16. doi:10.4135/9781412983730.n1

Contingent Workers

Those who don’t have an implicit or explicit contract for long-term employment.

Torpey, E., & Hogan, A. (2016, May). Working in a gig economy: Career Outlook. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved January 30, 2017, from

Direct Hire Employment Arrangements

Arrangements most often found in large organizations where irregular staffing requirements result in the frequent use of workers for short-term assignments and where the organization hires temporary workers directly rather than exclusively using the services of a temporary-help service firm.

Connelly, C. E., & Gallagher, D. G. (2004). Emerging Trends in Contingent Work Research. Journal of Management, 30(6), 959-983. doi:10.1016/

Fissured Workplace

An industry in which the lead firms that collectively determine the product market conditions in which wages and conditions are set have become separated from the actual employment of the workers who provide goods or services.

Weil, D. (2011). Enforcing Labour Standards in Fissured Workplaces: The US Experience. The Economic and Labour Relations Review, 22(2), 33-54. doi:10.1177/103530461102200203

Gig Economy

Refers to the growing number of American workers no longer employed in ‘jobs’ with a long-term connection to a company but are hired for ‘gigs’ under ‘flexible’ arrangements working only to complete a particular task or for defined time.

Friedman, G. (2014). Workers without employers: shadow corporations and the rise of the gig economy. Review of Keynesian Economics, 2(2), 171-188. doi:10.4337/roke.2014.02.03


A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

WHO. Constitution of the World Health Organization. 2006.

Health Equity

People's needs guide the distribution of opportunities for well-being. Inequities occur as a consequence of differences in opportunity which result, for example in unequal access to health services, to nutritious food, adequate housing and so on.

Equity in health and health care. Geneva, World Health Organization, 1996 in: Health Promotion Glossary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 1998.


A hazard is the potential for harm. A hazard often is associated with a condition or activity that, if left uncontrolled, can result in an injury or illness.

Doc. No. Occupational Safety and Health Administration-3071 (2002). Job Hazard Analysis.

Independent Contractor

A person who provides a good or service to another individual or business, often under the terms of a contract that dictates the work outcome, but the contractor retains control over how they provide the good or service.

“Independent Contractor Defined.” Internal Revenue Service. Retrieved from

Involuntary Part-Time Workers

Individuals who wanted full-time jobs but worked less than 35 hours during the reference week primarily due to slack work or the inability to find full-time work.

Involuntary part-time work on the rise. (2008, December). Issues in Labor Statistics, Summary 08-08, 1-4. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Low-wage Employment

A job paying less than two-thirds of the median wage or a job in which a full-time, year-round worker—someone who works 40 hours a week for 52 weeks or 2,080 hours in a year—earns less than the poverty threshold for a family of two adults and two children.

Boushey, Heather, Shawn Fremstad, Rachel Gragg, and Margy Waller. 2007. Understanding Low-Wage Work in the United States. Washington, D.C.: Center for Economic Policy and Research (March).

Permatemp Worker

An employee whose lengths of temporary assignments are frequently left open ended or extended beyond the lengths initially planned. Permatemp workers perform the same services for the same company for six months or longer.

Lanza, B., Maryn, M. R., & Elders, R. J. (2003). Legal Status of Contingent Workers. Compensation & Benefits Review, 35(4), 47-60. doi:10.1177/0886368703255488

Precarious Employment Experiences

Experiences that give rise to instability, lack of protection, insecurity, and social and economic vulnerability.

Tompa, E., Scott-Marshall, H., Dolinschi, R., Trevithick, S., & Bhattacharyya, S. (2007). Precarious employment experiences and their health consequences: towards a theoretical framework. Work. A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation, 28(3), 209–224.

Slack Work

A reduction in hours in response to unfavorable business conditions.

Involuntary part-time work on the rise. (2008, December). Issues in Labor Statistics, Summary 08-08, 1-4. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Social Determinants of Health

The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels.

What are social determinants of health? (n.d.). Retrieved February 02, 2017, from

Temporary Workers

A temporary appointment is an appointment lasting one year or less, with a specific expiration date. It is appropriate when an agency expects there will be no permanent need for the employee. Temporary employees are eligible to earn leave and are covered by Social Security and unemployment compensation, but do not receive the other fringe benefits provided to career civil service employees.

U.S. Department of Labor: Pay and Benefits - Job Opportunities. (n.d.). Retrieved February 02, 2017, from

Worker Misclassification

When employers misclassify their workers as independent contractors rather than full employees intentionally in order to reduce labor costs and avoid paying state and federal taxes.

Department for Professional Employees. (2016). The Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors


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