Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 21–38 | Cite as

Measuring the Impact of Organizational Behaviors on Work Disability Prevention and Management

  • Benjamin C. AmickIII
  • Rochelle V. Habeck
  • Allan Hunt
  • Anne H. Fossel
  • Alice Chapin
  • Robert B. Keller
  • Jeffrey N. Katz


Increased rates of work disability and its associated costs have prompted businesses to develop innovative approaches to managing the health and productivity of the work force. The paper 1) provides practitioners with the results of research that demonstrates the importance of employer organizational factors in preventing and resolving work disability, and 2) provides researchers with measures that can efficiently assess organizational factors and advance clinical research by incorporating contextual factors involved in occupational rehabilitation. Data from a series of studies in Michigan are reviewed and it is concluded that employer reports of organizational policies and practices (OPPs) are important in reducing the number of work-related disabilities and their consequences for the employee and for the company. We test the hypothesis that employee reports of OPPs are reliable and valid. To test the reliability and validity of an employee version of the same instrument, we used data from a prospective community-based study of 198 workers with carpal tunnel syndrome. Four OPPs were identified as important: people-oriented culture (α = .88), safety climate (α = .88), disability management policies and practices (α = .88), and ergonomic practices (α = .88). These four scales were shown to have strong test–retest reliabilities and predictive validity. It was concluded that the conceptual model guiding the research in Michigan was supported with research from another State, Maine, using an individual-level measure of OPPs.

organizational policies and practices disability prevention return to work 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin C. AmickIII
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Rochelle V. Habeck
    • 4
  • Allan Hunt
    • 5
  • Anne H. Fossel
    • 6
  • Alice Chapin
    • 7
  • Robert B. Keller
    • 8
  • Jeffrey N. Katz
    • 6
    • 9
  1. 1.School of Public HealthUniversity of Texas-Houston Health Science CenterHouston
  2. 2.Institute for Work and HealthTorontoCanada
  3. 3.School of Public HealthUniversity of Texas-Houston Health Science CenterHouston
  4. 4.Michigan State UniversityEast Lansing
  5. 5.W.E. Upjohn InstituteKalamazoo
  6. 6.The Robert Brigham Multipurpose Arthritis Research CenterBoston
  7. 7.Maine Health Information CenterAugusta
  8. 8.Maine Medical Assessment FoundationAugusta
  9. 9.Harvard Medical SchoolBoston

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