Fischler College of Education: Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Marcia Adams O'Neil

Committee Member

Tony Pellegrini


This applied research study was designed to examine hospital employees’ perceptions of safety as it relates to error reporting. Data from safety culture surveys at the research site showed a clear trend of a perception of a punitive environment for error reporting. Hospital administrators depend on error-report data to create safe and reliable systems for care; therefore, a safe reporting environment is a critical component of a safe and just culture.

A recently developed instrument was used to survey the 1,730 employees at the northeastern community hospital regarding their perception of just culture and safety in the error-reporting process. No significant relationships were established between survey scores (perceptions of just culture) and the variables of age, gender, experience, and degree of training in just culture principles for the overall study population. However, significant differences were identified when comparing groups consisting of specific positions or specialties. Notably, administration and management had a more optimistic viewpoint of just culture than other groups, particularly technologists and technicians, who had a somewhat diminished perception of just culture.

The findings of this applied research study have implications for hospital leaders seeking strategies to improve the safety cultures within their organizations. Measurement of specific dimensions of just culture may be valuable in these settings; particularly, stratification of survey results by position with analysis of gaps between leaders and frontline staff may provide a clue to the maturity of the safety culture. The study is a valuable addition to the safety culture research community as it aligns with and extends findings from previous research.

Theses and Dissertations Repository Agreement 08-07-15.pdf (720 kB)
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