The incidence of occupational diseases in small businesses is higher than in big ones, and this fact puts the former in need of a healthcare management model they can administer. This study established a model based on community organizational development theory to reinforce worker empowerment for healthcare in small businesses, focusing on health centers for workers (HCFW). The researchers surveyed 408 workers at 39 small businesses in the B region of South Korea, according to the characteristics of business sites, general characteristics of workers, and elements of community organizational development theory, and analyzed their results with a structural equation. The research period was September, 2015. Five concepts were examined: empowerment in healthcare, community capacity, participation and relevance, critical consciousness, and issue selection. The results revealed that greater community capacity led to greater participation and relevance (γ = 0.39) and empowerment in healthcare (γ = 0.25), while greater participation and relevance led to greater empowerment in healthcare (γ = 0.76). In addition, greater critical consciousness led to greater participation and relevance (γ = 0.12). Finally, greater community capacity led to greater issues selection (γ = 0.56), which in turn led to greater participation and relevance (γ = 0.25). The study makes proposals for directions of health centers for workers and community networks. Confirmation of this model for worker empowerment suggests several directions to HCFW in relation to workers and community networks.
Keywords: community; empowerment; organizations; small business; workplace.