Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Effectiveness of a Healthy Work Organization Intervention: Ethnic Group Differences

Park, Kyoung-Ok PhD, CHES; Schaffer, Bryan S. PhD; Griffin-Blake, C. Shannon PhD; Dejoy, David M. PhD; Wilson, Mark G. PhD; Vandenberg, Robert J. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: July 2004 - Volume 46 - Issue 7 - p 623-634
doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000131793.44014.91
Learning Objectives 
  • Describe the features of a problem-solving, participatory intervention aimed at improving the organizational climate and worker health and well-being in a service-oriented retail setting.
  • Identify the effects of this intervention on the study population as a whole.
  • Compare the effects of the intervention on perceived organizational climate and employee well-being in different ethnic groups (Blacks, Hispanics, Whites).

This study examined ethnic group differences in the effectiveness of a healthy work organization intervention on organizational climate and worker health and well-being. Our sample consisted of employees from 21 stores of a large national retail chain. The intervention involved establishing and facilitating employee problem-solving teams in 11 of the stores. Teams were charged with developing and implementing action plans tailored to the needs of their specific site. Pre- and postcomparisons of the treatment and control groups showed that the intervention produced positive effects on both the climate and health and well-being outcomes; however, these effects varied significantly by ethnic group. Particularly in terms of organizational climate, black and Hispanic employees were the primary beneficiaries of the participatory intervention process. These results are interpreted in terms of social identification and self-categorization theories and are contrasted with traditional participatory and diversity training approaches.

From the Workplace Health Group, Department of Health Promotion & Behavior (Drs Griffin-Blake, DeJoy, Wilson) and Terry College of Business, Department of Management (Dr Vandenberg), University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia; Department of Management and Accountancy, University of North Carolina–Asheville, Asheville, North Carolina (Dr Schaffer); and the Ewha Woman’s University, Seoul, Korea (Dr Park).

Kyoung-Ok Park has no commercial interest related to this article.

This work was completed while Dr Park was a postdoctoral research associate with the Workplace Health Group at the University of Georgia.

Supported in part by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Grant # 5-R01-OH03737-02). However, its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIOSH or CDC.

Address correspondence to: Kyoung-Ok Park, PhD, CHES, Department of Health Education, Ewha Woman’s University, Daehyun-Dong #11–1 Soedaemoon-Gu, Seoul, Korea 120–750; E-mail:

Copyright © 2004 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine