Research Summaries

Day, A., Crown, S. N., & Ivany, M. (2017). Organisational change and employee burnout: The moderating effects of support and job control. Safety Science, 100, 4-12. 

Background 

Organisational change has become increasingly relevant for today’s workforce, and with change comes inevitable stress and demands. As such, during periods of organisational change, workers are at increased risk of negative health outcomes. The authors looked at whether supervisor support and control mitigated the negative effects of organisational change related stress. 

Method 

As a result of a 5-year strategic plan, 675 mental health workers from a Canadian health care authority answered a survey assessing organisational change stressors, supervisory support, job control, and burnout. 

Results 

Results indicated that organisational changed-based stressors were associated with higher levels of burnout and that supervisor control mitigated the development of the cynicism and exhaustion components of burnout. On the other hand, job control mitigated the development of the remaining component of burnout, professional efficacy. 

Conclusions 

The findings from this study may help organisations better understand change related stressors, and thereby provide their employees with better resources during change to improve employee well-being. 

Gilin Oore, D., Leiter, M. P., & LeBlanc, D. E. (2015). Individual and organizational factors promoting successful responses to workplace conflict. Canadian Psychology, 56(3), 301-310. 

Background 

Work conflict is an inherent negative yet unavoidable experience. However, this research proposes that conflict can bring about positive long-term outcomes by creating a platform for personal connection and problem solving. Thus, the authors propose several factors that might promote positive outcomes to conflict. 

 

Method 

The authors synthesize research from organisational, family, social and personality psychology to identify individual and organisational intervention factors that support positive conflict responses. 

 

Results 

The authors identified flexibility to perspective take, concern for both parties involved, emotion control and management, and person-conflict fit as individual characteristics that promote positive conflict responses. Similarly, the authors identified conflict resolution training, work group conflict intervention, and mediation. 

 

Conclusion 

It appears that most of the individual factors involve minimal natural ability and appear to be trainable. Workplace conflict interventions have had success; however, publication of such studies have been limited thus far. There may be opportunity to create a forum to collect experience relating to the implementation of conflict resolution interventions. 

Francis, L., Holmvall, C. M., & O’Brien, L. E. (2015). The influence of workload and civility of treatment on the perpetration of email incivility. Computers in Human Behavior, 46, 191-201. 

Background 

In the modern workplace, communication through email is a common form of social interaction. Unfortunately, there is a lot of potential to miscommunicate and to be uncivil. Thus, incivilities are a growing concern. Therefore, this research looks at how uncivil emails are perpetrated. 

 Incivilities are commonly defined as “low-intensity deviant behavior with ambiguous intent to harm the target, in violation of workplace norms for mutual respect” 

 

Method 

This research examined civility of responses from 86 undergraduate students in response to civil and uncivil emails with either a heavy or light workload. 

 

Results 

Participants responded more incivility under heavier workloads and in response to uncivil emails, with the most uncivil emails seen in response to uncivil emails under high workload. 

 

Conclusion 

This research provides evidence that email can be used as a means to manipulate incivility. It also shows that a situational factor like workload can influence uncivil behavior. Therefore, this research furthers our understanding of incivilities as a whole, and provides a situational factor that can be changed by organisations. 

Kelloway, E. K., Weigand, H., McKee, M. C., & Das, H. (2013). Positive leadership and employee well-being. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 20(1), 107-117. 

Background 

With the developments of positive psychology, this research expands on previous research on transformational leadership and negative leadership by creating a scale of positive leadership that measures behaviours associated with positive outcomes above and beyond transformational leadership. 

 

Method 

In the first study, 508 employees were questioned (through questionnaire) on positive leadership (created from focus groups), transformational leadership, mental health measures. The study two expanded on the one using a repeated measures design that had 6 measurements over 3 weeks. 

 

Results 

Positive leadership was shown to predict positive outcomes above and beyond transformational leadership 

 

Conclusion 

Given that the positive leadership scale appears to be more readily understood and accessible by the general public, this research shows promise for positive leadership interventions. 

Leiter, M. P., Laschinger, H. K., Day, A., & Gilin Oore, D. (2012). Getting better and staying better: Assessing civility, incivility, distress, and job attitudes one year after a civility intervention. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 17(4), 425-434.

 

Background

Researchers examined whether the improvements resulting from the Civility, Respect, and Engagement in the Workplace (CREW) intervention could be sustained 1-year following the intervention.

 

Method

A total of 210 health care workers completed the surveys at three time points (pre-intervention, post-intervention, and 1 year after the intervention).

 

Results

Improvements in workplace civility, experienced supervisor incivility, and distress continued to improve following the intervention. Work attitudes did not continue to improve following the end of the intervention. Absences had returned to the pre-intervention level at the 1-year follow-up.

 

Conclusion/Implications

These results indicate that the success of the employee-based civility intervention (CREW) can be maintained overtime.

Leiter, M. P., Laschinger, H. K. S., Day, A., & Oore, D. G. (2011). The impact of civility interventions on employee social behavior, distress, and attitudes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96(6), 1258-1274.

 

Background

Little research has examined the effectiveness of civility interventions on employee outcomes. The authors implemented the Civility, Respect, and Engagement in the Workplace (CREW) intervention across 8 hospital units (33 contrast hospital units). 

 

Method

Employees working on the hospital unit completed employee outcomes measures (e.g., burnout, turnover intensions, trust in management) before and after the intervention.

 

Results

Hospital units that participated in the CREW intervention reported significant improvements in unit civility, burnout, job attitudes, trust in management and absences in comparison to hospital units that did not participate in the intervention (contrast groups).

 

Conclusion/Implications

Healthcare organizations are often faced with high levels of incivility. These results indicate that an employee-based civility intervention may be an effective method

Catano, V., Francis, L., Haines, T., Kirpalani, H., Shannon, H., Stringer, B., & Lozanzki, L. (2010). Occupational stress in Canadian universities: A national survey. International Journal of Stress Management, 17(3), 232-258.

 

Background

Previous stress studies in United Kingdom and Australian universities suggested that faculty are experiencing high occupational stressors and stress. The authors examined occupational stress and outcomes among faculty at Canadian universities

 

Method

A total of 1470 faculty members across 56 Canadian universities completed a survey on academic occupational stressors and outcomes.

 

Results

Results indicated that Canadian faculty members are experiencing a large number of occupational stressors. Specifically, the majority of faculty members reported experiencing high work load (85%), role conflict (82%), work-life conflict (76%), administration unfairness (55%), and rewards unfairness. Despite these stressors, most faculty members were satisfied with their jobs and emotionally committed. Moreover, 13% of participants reported high psychological distress and 22% reported high physical health symptoms.

 

Conclusion/Implications

Similar to faculty in United Kingdom and Australia, faculty in Canadian universities reported numerous stressors. The authors suggest that these results might warrant changes to policies and procedures in order to reduce stressors experienced by faculty.

Fleming, M., & Wentzell, N. (2007). Patient safety culture improvement tool: development and guidelines for use. Healthcare Quarterly, 11(3), 10-15.

 

Background

The Patient safety culture improvement tool (PSCIT) was developed in order to assist healthcare organizations in improving their patient safety culture. The authors discuss the development process and guidelines for using the tool.

Method

The PSCIT tool and patient safety indicators were was developed using safety culture maturity models and through reviewing the literature on patient safety culture perceptions and current guidelines on safety culture improvement. The validity of the PSCIT was assessed using subject matter experts in patient safety culture.

 

Results

Subject matter experts commented on the usability of the tool and suggested improvement. Interviews suggested that the PSCIT covered all important elements and dimensions of patient safety culture. 

 

Conclusion/Implications

Given that healthcare organizations are facing challenged when it comes to promoting patient safety, this tool will assist organization in improving their patient safety culture. The tool has only been recently developed therefore limited reliability and validity data exists, thus the tool should be used with caution.

Day, A. L., & Chamberlain, T. C. (2006). Committing to your work, spouse, and children: Implications for work–family conflict. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 68(1), 116-130.

 

Background

Conflict is often experienced when trying to balance work and family responsibilities. The authors examined the direct and indirect relationships of role commitment on work family conflict (work-spouse and work-parent conflict).

Method

Surveys were completed by 253 female nurses and 196 female police officers across North America.

 

Results

As work-parent conflict increased, parent commitment increased but spouse and job commitment decreased. Job commitment moderated the relationships between job control and work-spouse conflict and irregular work schedules and work-spouse conflict.

 

Conclusion/Implications

Commitment has the potential to either reduce or increase conflict between roles.

Kelloway, E. K., Mullen, J., & Francis, L. (2006). Divergent effects of transformational and passive leadership on employee safety. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 11(1), 76-86.

 

Background

Research suggests that leaders play an important role in safety-related attitudes and actions of employees. Therefore, the authors examined the influence of transformational and passive leadership characteristics on safety-related outcomes (safety consciousness, safety climate, safety events, and injuries).

 

Method

A total of 158 employed undergraduate students completed a questionnaire.

 

Results

Results suggested that passive leadership and transformational leadership are empirically distinct constructs. Passive leadership predicted safety-related outcomes over and above transformational leadership. Moreover, passive safety-specific leadership had negative effects as oppose to null effects on two forms of safety-related outcomes (safety consciousness and safety climate). 

 

Conclusion/Implications

This study supports previous findings that safety-specific transformational leadership positively influences safety outcomes. This study also extends previous findings by demonstrating that passive safety-specific leadership can independently negatively influence safety outcomes. Therefore, it is important for leaders to promote workplace safety and not ignore workplace safety.

Barling, J., Loughlin, C., & Kelloway, E. K. (2002). Development and test of a model linking safety-specific transformational leadership and occupational safety. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(3), 488-496.

 

Background

Although the effectiveness of transformational leadership had been studied extensively, the relationship between transformational leadership and occupational safety had yet to receive any research attention. Therefore, the authors examined the relationship between safety-specific transformational leadership and occupational safety across two studies.

Method

A sample of employees in the restaurant industry (study 1) and a sample of young employees in various workplaces (study 2) completed questionnaires on leadership and occupational safety.

Results

Safety-specific transformational leadership predicted occupational injuries through relationships with safety consciousness, perceived safety climate and safety-related events. Study 2 replicated these findings and demonstrated that role overload also predicted occupational injuries through relationships with safety consciousness, perceived safety climate, and safety-related events.

Conclusion/Implications

Safety-specific transformational leadership may be able to increase occupational safety and a focus on safety-related events may be able to reduce occupational injuries. Moreover, these results provide support for the potential effectiveness of safety-specific transformational leadership training.

© 2019 by The CN Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

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