Advisor

Tayla Bauer

Date of Award

Spring 7-10-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology

Department

Psychology

Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 115 pages)

Subjects

Truck drivers -- Job satisfaction, Labor turnover, Organizational behavior, Work environment -- Psychological aspects

DOI

10.15760/etd.1874

Abstract

Voluntary turnover rates among truckload carriers are extremely high, ranging from 50% to more than 100% annually (Griffin & Kalnbach, 2002), furthermore, long-haul truck drivers operate in a stressor-filled environment, which exerts enormous adverse influence not only their well-being but also on their intent to quit. This study explores the relational aspects of the driver's work environment to highlight how the relationships that a driver has with their organization, supervisor, and dispatcher can explain turnover and job-induced tension. Drawing on Social Exchange Theory, Conservation of Resources Theory, and concepts from Hirschman's (1970) theoretical framework of Exit, Voice, and Loyalty, this study hypothesized that Perceived Organizational Support (POS) and Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) have a negative relationship with turnover and job-induced tension and that this relationship is moderated by the dispatchers' sensitivity to voice. Further, this moderation was argued to be mediated by the dispatchers' responsiveness. A modified model, that retains the original theoretical framework, was tested after a number of measurement issues were uncovered. The modified model collapses dispatcher sensitivity to voice and dispatcher responsiveness into one composite variable, dispatcher communication effectiveness. Dispatcher communication effectiveness was hypothesized to moderate the relationships between POS, LMX, turnover, and job-induced tension. The hypotheses were tested in a sample of 166 truck drivers and findings indicate the POS and LMX were directly related to job-induced tension but these same predictor variables were unrelated to turnover. There was marginal support for the buffering effects of dispatcher communication effectiveness on the relationship between LMX and job-induced tension. These findings contribute to the knowledge about the role of POS and LMX on job-induced tension while uncovering the important dynamics in play between a driver and their dispatcher. The theoretical and practical implications of the study are discussed.

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/12279

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