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Healthy work organization: intervention effectiveness.

DeJoy-DM; Wilson-MG; Vandenberg-RJ; McGrath-AL; Griffin-CS
NIOSH 2004 Jan; :1-70
The overall goal of this research was to develop, implement, and evaluate a healthy work organization intervention. Research has examined various aspects of healthy work organization, but there have been very few tests of comprehensive models and virtually no attention to evaluating relevant interventions. This research was guided by three specific aims: I) to investigate changes in both employee health and financial performance as a function of the healthy work organization intervention; 2) to investigate how the intervention impacts organizational climate; and 3) to explore the impact of the intervention on the exogenous and endogenous components of our theoretical model of healthy work organization. Prior to evaluating the intervention, we developed a healthy work organization audit instrument and tested the theoretical model using structural equation modeling techniques. The theoretical model developed for this research consists of six interrelated components: 1) organizational core attributes, 2) job design 3) organizational climate, 4) job future, 5) psychological work adjustment, and 6) organizational effectiveness. The model advances the argument that organization-level action is critical to creating and maintaining the healthy organization. That is, well-designed jobs, supportive organizational climates, and positive career options exist largely as a function of the policies and actions pursued by the leaders of the organization. Organizational effectiveness was conceptualized to include health and well-being indicators as well as performance and financial measures. With the cooperation of a large national retailer, baseline data were collected from employees in 21 stores during the first year of the project. Two districts (11 stores) were assigned to the intervention group, and two districts (10 stores) served as control sites. Treatment and control groups were configured by district to minimize intervention spillover and to simplify the logistics of intervention facilitation and data collection. Baseline surveys (organizational health audits) were conducted at all 21 sites six months prior to the start of the intervention. This same survey was re-administered approximately 12 months later, and again at 24 months. The intervention process commenced six months after the baseline survey. The final samples consisted of 2207 employees at pretest, 1723 at post test, and 1510 at the second follow up, representing 53%, 44%, and 35%, of employees at each time frame. Store-level financial and HR data were collected from the company on a monthly basis throughout the project. The intervention was designed to build capacity for employee participation and decision- making, and create a healthier work organization. The data-driven problem solving intervention combined elements from total quality management (TQM), worker involvement, and community engagement. Employee problem-solving teams, called" Action Teams," were organized at each intervention store. The teams were charged with developing a tailored plan of action for addressing the issues or problems identified within the store. With assistance from trained facilitators, the Action teams developed their action plans using a five phase problem-solving process: familiarization, skill building, prioritization, action, and reaction. The level of facilitation was gradually reduced over time to help the teams become more independent and self -sustaining. Using structural modeling techniques, the theoretical model demonstrated good fit overall and statistically significant associations among most of the hypothesized second-order latent variables. The only relationship not supported was between organizational climate and psychological work adjustment. Consequently, a second model was hypothesized with organizational climate providing the foundation for the job design and job future dimensions. This model was supported in a post-hoc analysis using the first study data and validated in a second study on an entirely new sample. Intervention effectiveness was assessed in terms of several sets of outcome measures: organizational climate, work behavior, employee health and well-being, and financial performance. Impacts on the exogenous and endogenous components of the theoretical model were also examined. All analyses were 2 (treatment) by 3 (time) repeated measures ANOV as conducted at the store level (n=21). Preliminary tests revealed no systematic differences between intervention and control store samples in terms of race, gender, age, job tenure, or education.
Work-environment; Worker-health; Models; Job-analysis; Psychological-factors; Sampling; Sampling-methods; Demographic-characteristics; Age-factors; Racial-factors; Sex-factors
Publication Date
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Final Grant Report
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Fiscal Year
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NIOSH Division
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
University of Georgia Research Foundation Inc., Athens, Georgia