University of Twente Student Theses


Towards an observational measure for team psychological safety

Hoenderdos, J.W. (2013) Towards an observational measure for team psychological safety.

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Abstract:We set out to develop a new, more objective, measure for team psychological safety in the form of an observation scheme for workplace teams to aid further theoretical development and provide practitioners with a tool to track team development. As psychological safety is an affective state and thus not directly observable. We first aim to identify human behaviors representative of four constructs correlated to psychological safety, being information sharing, relationship-, task-, and process conflict. We conducted a Delphi study in which experts nominated workplace behaviors reflective of high psychological safety. The resulting twenty nine behaviors were subsequently observed in ten workplace teams: both in a meeting setting and in a regular work setting. We identified nine meeting behaviors and seven workplace behaviors which can aid in observing psychological safety. In order to check the validity of our newly developed measure, we also surveyed psychological safety and the four correlated constructs in the observed teams. We found support for our resulting observation scheme. This research provides a potentially fruitful approach to measuring psychological safety in a more objective manner compared to the self-report survey. Follow-up study is needed to further test, improve, and validate the observation scheme.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration BSc (56834)
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