For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Validating the workplace dignity scale"

by Scott-Campbell, Casey; Williams, Matthew (2020)


Workplace Dignity has long been the subject of scholarly enquiry, although until recently the body of research has been dominated by ethnographic work. Recently, Thomas and Lucas (2019) developed the first quantitative, direct measure of perceptions of workplace dignity: the Workplace Dignity Scale (WDS). Given the importance of understanding dignity in the workplace, this study sought to replicate the initial scale validation study conducted by Thomas and Lucas, so as to further test the validity of the WDS and the reliability of the scores it produces. Moreover, the current study contributes to the ongoing methodological reform of psychology towards a transparent and rigorous science by preregistering the method and analysis script prior to collecting data. A large sample of workers (N = 812) from the United States were recruited through Prolific Academic and completed an online questionnaire that included the WDS, as well as theoretically related scales (e.g., workplace incivility). Confirmatory factor analyses indicated that the model specified by Thomas and Lucas had reasonable global fit, although it did not meet all of our criteria for good fit, and estimates of reliability (ωt) indicated that responses to items making up the two subscales of the WDS, Dignity and Indignity, had high internal consistency. Nomological analyses revealed that the Dignity subscale of the WDS was significantly correlated in the expected directions with theoretically related variables. Furthermore, the Dignity and Indignity factors of the WDS were found to highly correlate with one another, and an exploratory analysis suggested that the Indignity factor might be a methodological artefact, posing questions as to whether the two factors are qualitatively different phenomena as was argued by Thomas and Lucas. It is concluded that the WDS is a promising tool for measuring workplace dignity although refinement of the proposed measurement model may be necessary.


Dignity, Empirical Study, Ethnography, Psychology


Organisation and Management Studies

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