Skip to main content

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

  • 208 Accesses

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

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-96071-5_184
  • Chapter length: 7 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
USD   429.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-96071-5
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   549.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 3.
Fig. 4.
Fig. 5.


  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.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  2. Karasek R (1979) Job demands, job decision latitude, and mental strain: implications for job redesign. Adm Sci Q 24:285–308

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  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.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  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.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  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.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  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.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  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.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  8. Ostrom LT, Wilhelmsen CA (2012) Risk assessment: tools, techniques, and their applications. Wiley, Sanders

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  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.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  10. Siegrist J (1996) Adverse health effects of high-effort/low-reward conditions. J Occup Health Psychol 1:27–41

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  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.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  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 308–311

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Christian Voirol .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this paper

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this paper

Voirol, C. (2019). The Use of Circular Causality Networks: A Prerequisite for the Development of Efficient Psychosocial Risk Prevention and Management Plans. In: Bagnara, S., Tartaglia, R., Albolino, S., Alexander, T., Fujita, Y. (eds) Proceedings of the 20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2018). IEA 2018. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 824. Springer, Cham.

Download citation