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

Publication Date



Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 10: 21-38


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.




Springer Nature

Subject Areas

UNEMPLOYMENT, DISABILITY, and INCOME SUPPORT PROGRAMS; Workers compensation and disability; Disability; Occupational health and safety




Amick, Benjamin C., Rochelle V. Habeck, Allan Hunt, Anne H. Fossel, Alice Chapin, Robert B. Keller, and Jeffrey N. Katz. 2000. "Measuring the Impact of Organizational Behaviors on Work Disability Prevention and Management." Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 10: 21-38.