Date of Award

12-1986

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Edward Trembley

Second Advisor

Dr. John Geisler

Third Advisor

Dr. C. Dennis Simpson

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Robert Brashear

Abstract

The acclimation process that employees of a large manufacturing company underwent after the introduction of video display terminals (VDTs) to the workplace was studied. In an attempt to understand the acclimation process, employees' mood states, perceptions of the work setting and their reactions toward the VDTs were assessed. This study followed secretaries (N = 11) through the initial phases of converting from a traditional to an automated office. The subjects were observed four weeks prior to and eight weeks after the introduction of VDTs. The secretaries' stress levels were monitored by the Profile of Mood States. The secretaries' perceptions of the work environment were measured by the Work Environment Scale.

This study also examined work and personal factors that may relate to stress and VDTs in the workplace. This was accomplished by administering questionnaires and structured interviews to the employees.

Four main research questions were addressed: (1) Do secretaries experience more psychological stress after the introduction of VDTs? (2) If they do experience more psychological stress, what is it about the introduction of VDTs that causes stress levels to increase? (3) Is there a consistent pattern of acclimation that secretaries experience when VDTs are introduced? (4) Do secretaries' perceptions of their job and relationship to their supervisors and co-workers change after the introduction of VDTs?

Measures of the subjects' levels of psychological stress remained the same throughout the 12 weeks of the study. Therefore, it was concluded that the introduction of VDTs did not significantly influence the subjects' reported affective states.

Measures of the secretaries' work perceptions and relationships were essentially the same throughout the study. Therefore, it was concluded that VDT introduction caused no noticeable change in the secretaries' attitudes towards and perceptions of their work environment.

The findings of the present research were contrary to research findings in which workers experienced increased stress after VDT introduction.

The secretaries' positive attitudes towards their new technology, planning for the introduction of VDTs and consultant support available during the acclimation process may explain why this sample was apparently unaffected by the introduction of VDTs. Recommendations for further research were offered.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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