Date of Award

Summer 8-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Safety Sciences

First Advisor

Jan Wachter, Sc.D.

Second Advisor

Helmut Paschold, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Majed Zreiqat, Ph.D.

Abstract

In response to the calls for more research into integrated organizational and psychological approaches to managing workplace safety (Huang, Lee, McFadden, Rinner, & Robertson 2017; Klockner, 2013), the overarching aim of this study was to develop a framework for linking workplace spirituality, mindfulness, worker safety engagement, and safety outcomes using structural equation modeling (SEM). An important specific objective of this research was to determine the impacts workplace spirituality and mindfulness have on safety outcomes and to determine if the degree and type of workers’ engagement mediate the effects of workplace spirituality and mindfulness on safety outcomes.

The research was delimited to workers in five organizations in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Convenience, descriptive and cross-sectional survey research methods were used to collect data from 251 shop floor or “sharp-edge” workers who had worked for their present companies for at least one year.

The results show that mindfulness and workplace spirituality positively predict worker compliance and worker participation, and negatively predict injury frequency. However, when workers’ emotional and cognitive engagements were introduced into the model as mediators, cognitive engagement is the predominant mechanism through which mindfulness and workplace spirituality influence/mediate safety outcomes. Emotional engagement did not mediate the relationship between the antecedent variables and safety outcomes, but the mediating effect of emotional engagement on the relationship of the antecedent variables and safety participation was still somewhat significant. Further comparisons of models show that emotional engagement and cognitive engagement are important mechanisms through which mindfulness and workplace spirituality influence safety outcomes.

However, relative to similar studies, the result of this study suggests the design and implementation of future safety intervention studies through the lenses of national culture, and remotely questions multinational companies’ one-size-fits-all approach to adopting safety intervention programs.

This study is significant given that it is the first study ever to link in tandem the organizational and psychological constructs of workplace spirituality and mindfulness to safety outcomes, and equally explains the possible mechanisms through which workplace spirituality and mindfulness influence safety outcomes. It therefore provides a baseline framework upon which organizations can base the improvement of safety outcomes.

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