Supervisor Autonomy and Considerate Leadership Style are Associated with Supervisors’ Likelihood to Accommodate Back Injured Workers
- 326 Downloads
Purpose To determine the association between supervisors’ leadership style and autonomy and supervisors’ likelihood of supporting job accommodations for back-injured workers. Methods A cross-sectional study of supervisors from Canadian and US employers was conducted using a web-based, self-report questionnaire that included a case vignette of a back-injured worker. Autonomy and two dimensions of leadership style (considerate and initiating structure) were included as exposures. The outcome, supervisors’ likeliness to support job accommodation, was measured with the Job Accommodation Scale (JAS). We conducted univariate analyses of all variables and bivariate analyses of the JAS score with each exposure and potential confounding factor. We used multivariable generalized linear models to control for confounding factors. Results A total of 796 supervisors participated. Considerate leadership style (β = .012; 95 % CI .009–.016) and autonomy (β = .066; 95 % CI .025–.11) were positively associated with supervisors’ likelihood to accommodate after adjusting for appropriate confounding factors. An initiating structure leadership style was not significantly associated with supervisors’ likelihood to accommodate (β = .0018; 95 % CI −.0026 to .0061) after adjusting for appropriate confounders. Conclusions Autonomy and a considerate leadership style were positively associated with supervisors’ likelihood to accommodate a back-injured worker. Providing supervisors with more autonomy over decisions of accommodation and developing their considerate leadership style may aid in increasing work accommodation for back-injured workers and preventing prolonged work disability.
KeywordsSupervisor Job accommodation Behavioral research Return to work Rehabilitation Cross-sectional
This research was supported by Canadian Institute of Health Research Grant MOP-102571, Supervisors’ perspectives on accommodating back injured workers: A mixed methods study (PI: V Kristman) and by intramural research funding (Project LMRIS 09-01) of the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety (PI: WS Shaw).
Conflict of interest
McGuire C, Kristman VL, Williams-Whitt K, Shaw W, Soklaridis S, and Reguly P declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- 5.Ontario Service Safety Alliance. Extending your reach: participating in health and safety research can produce more than you think (2005 Annual report). Mississauga, Canada, Ontario Service Safety Alliance; 2006. Retrieved from: http://www.ossa.com.
- 6.Muijzer A, Geertzen JH, de Boer WE, Groothoff JW, Brouwer S. Identifying factors relevant in the assessment of return-to-work efforts in employees on long-term sickness absence due to chronic low back pain: a focus group study. BMC Public Health. 2012;12:77–88.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 13.Heitz C, Hilfiker R, Bachmann L, Joronen H, Lorenz T, Uebelhart D, Klipsten A, Brunner F. Comparison of risk factors predicting return to work between patients with subacute and chronic non-specific low back pain: systematic review. Eur Spine J. 2009;18:1829–35.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 20.Stogdill RM, Shartle CL. Methods in the study of administrative leadership. Research Monograph, No. 80. Columbus: Bureau of Business Research; 1955.Google Scholar
- 21.Fleishman EA. Consideration and structure: another look at their role in leadership research. In: Dansereau F, Yammarino FJ, editors. Leadership: the multiple level approaches. Stamford: HAI Press; 1995. p. 51–60.Google Scholar
- 28.Halpin AW. Manual for the Leader Behaviour Description Questionnaire. Columbus: Bureau of Business Research, Ohio State University; 1957.Google Scholar
- 29.Fleishman EA. Twenty years of consideration and structure. In: Fleishman EA, Hunt JG, editors. Current developments in the study of leadership. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press; 1973. p. 1–40.Google Scholar
- 30.Bass BM. Bass and Stogill’s handbook of leadership. New York: Free Press; 1990.Google Scholar
- 36.Coleman J. Social capital in the creation of human capital. Am J Sociol. 1998;94(Suppl.):s95–120.Google Scholar
- 37.Oksanen T. Workplace social capital and employee health. Turku: Department of Occupational Health and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health; 2009.Google Scholar
- 40.StataCorp. Stata software, release 13.0. College Station: StataCorp; 2013.Google Scholar
- 42.Shaw WS, Robertson MM, McLellan RK, Verma S, Pransky G. A controlled case study of supervisor training to optimize response to injury in the food processing industry. Work. 2006;2:107–14.Google Scholar
- 46.Kelloway KE, Barling J, Helleur J. Enhancing transformational leadership: the roles of training and feedback. LODJ. 2000;21:145–9.Google Scholar
- 48.McKnight HD, Ahmad S, Schroeder RG. Why do feedback, incentive control, and autonomy improve morale? The importance of employee-management relationship closeness. J Manag Issues. 2001;4:466–82.Google Scholar