Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Constructing a Grounded Theory of Worker Attitudes Toward Developing a Plant-Based Nutrition Intervention
by Brown, Ronald B., Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2011, 187; 3492568
Abstract (Summary)

Chronic disease prevalence among U.S. and Canadian workers reduces productivity and increases business health care costs. A plant-based diet low in animal-based foods decreases risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases, but nutrition interventions are lacking in the workplace to modify workers' eating behavior with a plant-based diet. The purpose of the qualitative grounded theory study was to explore worker attitudes toward developing a plant-based nutrition intervention in the research worksite and to construct a useable theory or conceptual framework to relate theoretical concepts that may be applied in the research worksite to develop a plant-based nutrition intervention. Using a constructivist grounded theory approach, data were collected and a conceptual framework or model based on the biopsychosocial model of health was constructed of workers' attitudes in the research worksite. Seventeen office workers from a financial firm of approximately 3,000 employees in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada participated in three focus groups and a pilot group. Employees selected through purposive sampling reviewed documents on plant-based diets and workplace health promotion interventions, and focus group participants discussed facilitators, barriers, and other concepts related to developing a plant-based nutrition intervention in the research worksite. Coded transcripts of focus group discussions were analyzed through comparative analysis and findings were interpreted to form conceptual categories. Additional data were collected through theoretical sampling to further develop categories and to construct and relate theoretical concepts of workers' attitudes. Workplace health promotion concepts interpreted from study results include need for chronic disease risk awareness, plant-based dietary knowledge and training, stages of change in dietary behavior, social support and employer social responsibility toward health behavior, incentives and rewards, infrastructure facilitators, interactive technology use, transformational leadership, peer role-modeling, and organizational health culture change. Participants reviewed the study's data and findings to evaluate internal and external validity. Study result implications include constructing a workplace model for developing a plant-based nutrition intervention in the research worksite to reduce workers' chronic disease risk and increase productivity. Future research should examine different size firms, different industries and worker types, and a top-down management perspective should also be examined.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Miller, Leslie A.
School: Northcentral University
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 73/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management, Nutrition, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Chronic disease, Grounded theory, Nutrition intervention, Plant-based intervention, Worker attitude, Workplace health promotion
Publication Number: 3492568
ISBN: 978-1-267-12615-3
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