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The Concept of Work Ability

Lennart Nordenfelt

This book contains a systematic analysis of the notion of work ability. The analysis is particularly focused on the following three contexts: medical insurance, training for a vocation or a profession and evaluation of a job seeker. The first part of the book presents and briefly analyzes some methods and instruments designed for characterizing and assessing work ability. The second part gives a theoretical foundation for the analysis of work ability. Here the author presents an original taxonomy of competencies and other qualifications for work and proposes a new definition of work ability. The third part is devoted to the issue of work ability and its relation to medical conditions. In addition to a description of certain legislations in the medico-insurance field, this part of the book contains a substantial analysis of the notion of disease and an attempt to determine whether there is a viable notion of disease that can answer the demands of objectivity raised by offices of social insurance.
Contents: The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) – Some Methods for Assessing Work and Work Ability in the Medico-Legal Context – Current Classifications of Work and Work Ability – Analyses of Competence and Skill in the Context of Professional Education – Contemporary Approaches to the Analysis of Learning for Work Competence – Employability and Job Evaluation – A Theoretical Analysis of Work Content: Anselm Strauss – Some Action-Theoretic Preliminaries – From Ability to Work Ability – On Work Ability and its Conditions – On Other Conditions for Work – Environment Change and Changes in the Concept of Disability – Minimal Ability and the Ability of Excellence – The Contexts for the Assessment of Work Ability – On Definitions of Work Ability – On the Requirement of Disease as the Cause of Disability Regarding Work – Towards an Analysis of the Notions of Disease and Medical Condition – On the Assessment of Work Ability – General Conclusions.