Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

Document Type



Organizational perspectives on the effects of disasters on employee behavior in the workplace and the related adjustments organizations make as a result of disaster are examined in this study. The survey instrument utilizes constructs of what organizations have done for their employees in regards to personal and family needs, business earnings and efforts to maintain continued business operations, philanthropy and volunteer activities, hiring and employee retention, safety and security, employee performance and activity, physical, mental or emotional effects, and human resource department adjustments or areas of coping as a result of Hurricane's Katrina and Rita. Rebuilding timeframes for physically damaged organizations, what organizations could have done differently to better support their employees after the hurricanes, and whether organizational responses can be predicted from effects of the hurricanes are also explored. The survey was completed by 103 Gulf Coast ABC organizations. Factor analyses resulted in nine factors emerging as effects of the hurricanes on employees and nine emerging as organizational responses to those effects. For effects of the hurricanes, positive business effects was the highest reported mean and both negative employee reactions and employee withdrawal had the lowest reported mean. For organizational responses, management flexibility was the highest reported mean and increase in employee relations was the lowest. Based on multiple regressions, the following varying levels of predictive results emerged. Negative business effects was found to be a predictor of management flexibility, operational changes, employee recruiting and retention, employee turnover, greater Human Resources presence and involvement and increase in employee relation issues. Negative employee reactions were a predictor of employee turnover and increase in employee relation issues. Employee appreciation was a predictor of management flexibility, benefits and housing assistance, operational changes, safety and security adjustments, and greater Human Resources presence and involvement. Employee productivity effects was a predictor of benefits and housing assistance, philanthropy and volunteer activities, and employee recruiting and retention. Employee withdrawal was a predictor of safety and security adjustments, greater Human Resources presence and involvement and increase in employee relation issues and employee anxiety was a predictor of employee turnover.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Ed Holton, III