ERIC Number: ED326763
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Impaired Job Performance and Critical Incidents: Factors Influencing Supervisory EAP Referrals.
Harley, David A.
Relatively little empirical research has been done on the supervisory referral of employees to employee assistance programs (EAPs). Inclusion of constructive confrontation (supervisory referral) into program standards and its continued promotion as a "central strategy" of program theory and operation calls for critical investigation of supervisors' referral behavior, factors affecting their use of the strategy, and its effectiveness with the referred employees. This study examined two factors found to influence referral action--job performance and occurrence of a critical incident at the worksite which can serve as a "trigger event" for the supervisor. Supervisors (N=415) at 25 sites from 7 organizations responded to a survey regarding their referral behavior. Both impaired job performance and critical incidents were found to have significant relationships to the EAP referral handling of a specific "job problems" employee. Reported occurrence of a dramatic worksite incident accounted for about eight times as much of the observed referral index variance as did the job performance (impairment) scale. A nonsignificant trend was noted that the more "public" the incident, the greater the referral action taken. About one-half of the respondent supervisors were found to have taken no referral action whatever with their "job problems" subordinate. These findings raise questions about supervisors' perceptions of EAPs and their motivations in referral. More research into referral dynamics is needed if EAPs are to achieve their potential to help workers and their host organizations. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Employee Assistance Professionals Association.; Owens-Illinois, Inc., Toledo, OH.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (98th, Boston, MA, August 10-14, 1990).