Date of Award



© 2021 Jennifer Yoho

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Heather Wilmot

Second Advisor

Darren Akerman


The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the work stress perceived by public safety dispatchers and determine whether the supervisor’s leadership style played a role in the stress experienced. Research showed, and evidence suggested, that many stress-related symptoms at work occur because of unhealthy supervisor-subordinate relationships (Skakon, Nielsen, Borg, & Guzman, as cited in Belanger et al., 2016). Previous researchers found that a leader with a toxic, laissez-faire, or destructive leadership style increased the stress experienced by the employee (Syed, Rehman, & Kitchlew, 2018) while a supervisor with a transformational leadership style decreased the stress (Abbasi, 2018). Pishgooie, Atashzadeh‐Shoorideh, Falcó‐Pegueroles, and Lotfi (2019) found a significant correlation between job stress and laissez-faire leadership among nurses. An employee’s health is affected when dealing with work stress (Toderi & Balducci, 2018; Zoeckler, 2017) and their health decreases or worsens (Gluschkoff, Elovainio, Kinnunen, Mullola, Hintsanen, Keltikangas-Järvinen, & Hintsa, 2016). Two research questions were asked: “How do public safety dispatchers report their experiences associated with job-related stress?” and “How do public safety dispatchers perceive their supervisor’s approach to leadership impacts their job-related stress?” This research used the effort-reward imbalance model and organizational justice theory as the theoretical framework. Two instruments were used as part of the data gathering: the Effort-Reward Imbalance Questionnaire and the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. These two instruments together helped to answer the research questions through descriptive statistics. Social media were used to recruit participants who were public safety dispatchers working in the United States. A literature review indicated this topic was worth investigating. This researcher hoped to bridge the gap in the literature, as this type of research in the dispatch center was not located. The study found public safety dispatchers experienced job stress as indicated by the ER ratio and rated their supervisors as more passive-avoidant than the norm. The researcher recommends that agencies take care with whom they promote to a supervisory role, as supervisors affect the lives of their subordinates and the agency itself.


Ed.D. Dissertation