The measurement of worker relations: the development of a three-component scale

David Michael Biggs, Stephen Swailes, Steven Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – Healthy employee relations are important for individual well-being and are likely to contribute towards job satisfaction and other positive work outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the importance of worker relations and proposes a new three-component model of worker relations which embraces the relationships that employees have with their co-workers, supervisor and the organisation. Design/methodology/approach – A 20-item inventory was tested using data collected in a local authority (n=157) and led to the retention of nine items which were embodied in a scale for further evaluation. A second study using data using obtained in an emergency call management service (n=85) were used to further evaluate the factor structure of the scale and assess its predictive validity. A third study (n=70) provided further information on the measure. Findings – The new nine-item measure is a viable instrument with adequate reliability for assessing three levels of worker relations. In line with predictions, the three sub-scales (co-worker, supervisor and organisation) were positively correlated with job satisfaction and social relations. Practical implications – The new scale provides a freely available and parsimonious alternative to existing measures of worker relations. Originality/value – The paper considers the component aspects of worker relations before defining, theorising and developing a general purpose short instrument capable of quantitatively measuring worker relations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-12
Number of pages11
JournalLeadership and Organization Development Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2016


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