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Workplace Violence in Human Service Organizations: A Qualitative Inquiry of Team-Level Dynamics

AARON TURPIN, MICHEAL L. SHIER, DAVID B. NICHOLAS and JOHN R. GRAHAM
JHHSA, Vol. 42 No. 3, (2019)

The concept of workplace violence and its relation to health and safety regimes in human service organizations is currently experiencing a conceptual renaissance. These terms are now broadly encompassing various intra- and inter-personal factors within the workplace. This study explores how staff in publicly-administered human services experience and perceive workplace violence between staff and health and safety at a team level, and how it can be prevented within these contexts. Semi- structured qualitative interviews were conducted with staff (n=85) in various publicly-administered human service departments across one province in Canada. Data were analyzed following a qualitative approach to conceptualize violence prevention at a team level. Respondents provide insights that help to develop a conceptual representation of positive intra-personal team dynamics and positive inter-personal team dynamics, which are elaborated to include specific factors under each of these themes. Findings support a model for building effective health and safety regimes that consider the influence of team-level dynamics in human service organizations. These findings support the development of highly effective and safe human service organizations.
Key words: human services; prevention; teams; workplace safety; workplace violence

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