Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Experimental Psychology

Committee Chair

Ronald Landis

Committee Member

John Amis

Committee Member

Brian Janz

Committee Member

James Murphy


The purpose of the current study was to develop a method for measuring just culture in a hospital work environment. A just culture refers to a work environment characterized by an emphasis on providing fair and just treatment to healthcare professionals involved in adverse medical events. The concept of just culture has recently emerged as a popular topic in the healthcare literature and is touted as a panacea for what is ailing the field of healthcare. The presence of a just culture is said to be accompanied by a wide range of positive benefits related to patient safety including an increase in error reporting and a decrease in medical error; however, currently no evidence exists in support of this claim. This absence of data is largely due to the fact that there is no widely used method for measuring the level to which a just culture exists in a work environment. Without this critical tool, the extent to which a just culture exists is only speculation and without a way to assess just culture, its purported benefits remain speculation as well. Empirical and theoretical methods were used to develop the Just Culture Assessment Tool (JCAT). The JCAT consisted of 27 items which were categorized into six dimensions: balancing a blame-free approach with accountability, feedback and communication, openness of communication, quality of the event reporting process, continuous improvement, and trust. The methods and the results of the current study have theoretical and practical implications, contributing not only to the traditional organizational and psychological literature, but also research in the healthcare field.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.