University of Twente Student Theses


Exploring the added value of observational methods in survey-based team psychological safety research

Gankema, W. (2020) Exploring the added value of observational methods in survey-based team psychological safety research.

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Abstract:Psychological safety is typically measured using self-report survey measures which have inherent limitations, such as self-report and non-response bias. It is proposed that using observational research methods in concert with self-report measures can counteract these limitations. To this end, this research explores the added value of an observation scheme for measuring team psychological safety. An existing psychological safety observation scheme for observation of team meetings is refined and then used in four studies with different team samples. Data from the observations is combined with survey and qualitative data. Observations are conducted, both naked-eye and with the help of The Observer XT software, and differences in these approaches are discussed. It has been found that observational research methods can support the findings of surveys through both triangulation and crystallization. The observational results show that there are distinct meeting behaviours that are related to psychological safety. For example, the behaviours Agreeing, Asking for ideas, help or solutions, Sharing future plans and Providing information occur significantly more often in teams with higher psychological safety. Computer-aided observations enrich data analysis but cost substantially more time to analyse than naked-eye observations. Limitations of the research are discussed and avenues for future research are proposed.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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