Compreender a polivalência em contexto organizacional
: contributos da psicologia do trabalho

  • Raquel Maria Carvalho de Pinho Nascimento Magalhães (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


In these current times we clearly find ourselves in a post-taylorist logic, where most companies rely on an organizational polyvalence strategy. The competitivity depends not only on new technologies but mainly on human specific abilities (Kóvacs, 2005). Polyvalence is defined as the multiples of human specific capability through knowledge and ability to interact and perform in many functions (Balsamo, 2001). The following case study focuses on the comprehension of the role of polyvalence in an international organization by the employees and Human Resources managers. This is done through analysis of real work activity, taking into consideration work psychology. As a result of two groups of participants were formed, four Human Resources managers and five employees all from different departments. The participant’s ages went from 27 up to 54 years. Semi-structured interviews were used as the prefered data collecting method. The script for the interviews was created using the participant’s observations whilst on placement, as well as field notes. To analyze collected data, Nvivo9 software was applied. This allowed the identification of three categories of first order: 1) Organization characteristics, 2) Work context relations, 3) Polyvalence. The study results allowed us to understand that all participants consider the implementation of polyvalence a positive action not only for employees but also for the organization. However, it is important to mention, that the results revealed more insatisfaction factors than satisfaction factors. Therefore, we can conclude that employees view polyvalence as an attitude, something that they are willing to adopt, whilst Human Resources managers view it as a development strategy. For further investigations, it would be recommended to study how polyvalence influences employees’ life outside the organization, in a manner of trying to evaluate the level of exhaustion felt by employees, always into consideration ergonomics and the quality of life outside work.
Date of Award7 Sept 2012
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorAntónio Manuel Fonseca (Supervisor) & Eduardo Oliveira (Co-Supervisor)


  • Mestrado em Psicologia

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