Objective: To investigate the utility of the Work and Organization Assessment Questionnaire (WOAQ) for public sector data.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was performed in public sector organizations measuring demographics, work characteristics, work perceptions (WOAQ), sickness absence, and work performance.
Results: Confirmatory factor analysis of the WOAQ showed that factor structure derived for the manufacturing sector, for which the questionnaire was developed, could be replicated moderately well with public sector data. The study then considered whether a better more specific fit for public sector data was possible. Principal components analysis of the public sector data identified a two-factor structure linked to four of the five scales of the WOAQ assessing Management and Work Design, and Work Culture. These two factors may offer a context-sensitive scoring method for the WOAQ in public sector populations. These two factors were found to have good internal consistency, and correlated with the full WOAQ scales and the measures of performance and absence.
Conclusions: The WOAQ is a useful and potentially transferable tool. The modified scoring may be used to assess work and organizational factors in the public sector.