Date of Award

Fall 2019

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Psychology, PhD

Program

School of Social Science, Politics, and Evaluation

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Maritza Salazar Campo

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Jeffrey Yip

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Michelle Bligh

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Katherine Kenny

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2019 Angela DeMichele

Abstract

Peer accountability is the practice of providing feedback to, and receiving feedback from, one’s colleagues (Lockett et al., 2015)—both for the purposes of recognizing good work when it happens, and correcting risky behaviors in the moment. The concept of peer accountability has been overshadowed by research focusing on teamwork, which tends to focus on reducing the power distance among team members and increasing an individual’s ability to speak up the hierarchy. Our next opportunity for achieving safety and reliability in healthcare will come from peers monitoring one another’s actions. This study analyzes the untapped links between peer accountability behaviors, psychological safety (Edmondson, 1999), and engagement (Schaufeli et al., 2002) to better understand how organizations can foster this behavior in the workplace. To achieve this, a 76-person sample of front line safety coaches were surveyed over a year and a half to assess their peer accountability behaviors over time. The results reveal a two-factor structure underlying peer accountability behaviors (i.e., safe and risky peer accountability behaviors) wherein engagement and psychological safety serve to explain variation in safe accountability behaviors, but not risky accountability behaviors. This suggests that our existing knowledge of psychological safety and engagement cannot fully explain the entire spectrum of an individual’s peer accountability behaviors in healthcare. These implications are discussed, and future directions for peer accountability research are presented.

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