Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Psychology

Advisor

Richard C. Thompson

Abstract

Research has demonstrated that safety outcomes are impacted by workplace risk factors, but also supervisory practices and employee actions. An area that has not been explored is the impact of employee cognitions on safety outcomes defined as work-related injuries. Based on the conceptual framework of psychological empowerment (PE), the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of employee cognitions as measured by PE as related to leadership and safety climate and the occurrence of work-related injury. The research examined the mediating effect of (PE) on the factors of leadership and safety climate and their relationship to work-related injury. A cross-sectional survey design was used to gather data from a convenience sample of 125 front-line food manufacturing employees from 3 different organizations. Multiple regression was used to analyze data from the Organization-Level Safety Climate Scale, the Psychological Empowerment Instrument, the Leader Behavior Scale, and number of self-reported injuries. The results of the analysis were non-significant. Although the results were non-significant, this study promotes positive social change in bringing awareness to the issue of employee cognitions and their role in workplace injury. Exploring the implications of cognitive variables including PE using a different methodology such as incorporating a qualitative follow-up questionnaire could lead to clarity of the value of PE in reducing workplace injury thereby positively impacting employees, organizations, family members, and tax payers.