Can the Theory of Planned Behaviour Improve Our Understanding of the Influence of Organisational Factors on Workers' Behaviour?
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Understanding and changing workers’ behaviour are key goals of Organisational Psychology. The Theory of Planned Behaviour has the potential to make an important contribution to our understanding of how organisational factors influence workers’ behaviour and of ways to achieve behaviour change with workers. According to the Theory of Planned Behaviour, intentions, attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control are the most proximal predictors of behaviour. Any distal variables, such as organisational factors, only influence behaviour through the theoretical predictors. Though a substantial body of research has applied the Theory of Planned Behaviour to the organisational setting, no research to-date has examined whether the Theory of Planned Behaviour accounts for the influence of organisational variables on workers’ behaviour. This paper presents the results of a survey of 273 dental hygienists which applied the Theory of Planned Behaviour to the behaviour of assisting their patients to quit smoking. The findings indicated that organisational factors like the presence of a policy and education or training influenced behaviour only through subjective norms and perceived behavioural control. These results inform understanding of the pathways through which organisational factors influence workers’ behaviour. Practical implications of applying the theory to a wide range of work behaviours are highlighted.
Copyright 2007 the Australian Psychological Society. Author version reproduced here with permission from the publisher. This is an electronic version of an article published in 'Freeman, T., Roche, A.M., Williamson, P., & Pidd, K. (2007). Can the Theory of Planned Behaviour improve our understanding of the influence of organisational factors on workers’ behaviour? Proceedings of the 7th Industrial & Organisational Psychology Conference, 81-85.'