Psychosocial risk assessment in organizations: Concurrent validity of the brief version of the Management Standards Indicator Tool

Jonathan Houdmont, Raymond Randall, Robert Kerr, Ken Addley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The Management Standards Indicator Tool (MSIT) is a 35-item self-report measure of thepsychosocial work environment designed to assist organizations with psychosocial risk assessment.It is also used in work environment research. Edwards and Webster presented a 25-item version ofthe MSIT based on the deletion of items having a factor loading of <.65. Stress theory and researchsuggest that psychosocial hazard exposures may result in harm to the health of workers. Thus, usingdata collected from three UK organizations (N = 20,406) we compared the concurrent validity of thebrief and full versions of the MSIT by exploring the strength of association between each version ofthe instrument and a measure of psychological wellbeing (GHQ-12 and Maslach BurnoutInventory). Analyses revealed that the brief instrument offered similar but not always equal validityto that of the full version. The results indicate that use of the brief instrument, which would be lessdisruptive for employees, would not elevate the risk of false negative or false positive findings inrisk assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-412
JournalWork & Stress
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Reference text: Bartram, D., Yadegarfar, G., & Baldwin, D. (2009). Psychosocial working conditions and workrelated
stressors among UK veterinary surgeons. Occupational Medicine, 59, 334–341.
Bevan, A., Houdmont, J., & Menear, N. (2010). The Management Standards Indicator Tool and the
estimation of risk. Occupational Medicine, 60, 525–531.
Cousins, R., Mackay, C., Clarke, S., Kelly, C., Kelly, P., & McCaig, R. (2004). ‘Management
Standards’ and work-related stress in the UK: Practical development. Work & Stress, 18,
Cox, T., & Griffiths, A. (2010). Work-related stress: A theoretical perspective. In S. Leka &
J. Houdmont (Eds.), Occupational health psychology (pp. 31–56). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Cox, T., Thirlaway, M., Gotts, G., & Cox, S. (1983). The nature and assessment of general
wellbeing. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 27, 353–359.
de Croon, E., Blonk, R., de Zwart, B., Frings-Dresen, M., & Broersen, J. (2002). Job stress, fatigue,
and job dissatisfaction in Dutch lorry drivers: Towards an occupation specific module of job
demands and control. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 59, 356–361.
Edwards, J., & Webster, S. (2012). Psychosocial risk assessment: Measurement invariance of the
UK Health and Safety Executive’s Management Standards Indicator Tool across public and
private sector organizations. Work & Stress, 26, 130–142.
Edwards, J., Webster, S., Van Laar, D., & Easton, S. (2008). Psychometric analysis of the UK
Health and Safety Executive’s Management Standards Work-Related Stress Indicator Tool. Work
& Stress, 22, 96–107.
Edwards, P., Roberts, I., Clarke, M., DiGuiseppi, C., Pratap, S., Wentz, R., & Kwan, I. (2002).
Increasing response rates to postal questionnaires: Systematic review. British Medical Journal,
324, 1183–1193.
Edwards, P., Roberts, I., Sandercock, P., & Frost, C. (2004). Follow-up by mail in clinical trials:
Does questionnaire length matter? Controlled Clinical Trials, 25, 31–52.
Goldberg, D., & Williams, P. A. (1988). User’s guide to the General Health Questionnaire.
Windsor: NFER-Nelson.
Guidi, S., Bagnara, S., & Fichera, G. (2012). The HSE Indicator Tool, psychosocial distress and
work ability. Occupational Medicine, 62, 203–209.
Work & Stress 411
Downloaded by [University of Ulster Library] at 01:21 11 April 2014
Hankins, M. (2008). The reliability of the 12-item general health questionnaire (GHQ-12) under
realistic assumptions. BMC Public Health, 8, 3555.
Health and Safety Executive (n.d.). HSE Management Standards Indicator Tool. Retrieved from
Houdmont, J. (2012). West Midlands police officers’ exposure to work-related stressors: Relationships
with individual and organisational health. Research report for West Midlands Police
Federation. Retrieved from
Houdmont, J., Kerr, R., & Addley, K. (2012). Psychosocial factors and economic recession: The
Stormont Study. Occupational Medicine, 62, 98–104.
Houdmont, J., Kerr, R., & Randall, R. (2012). Organisational psychosocial hazard exposures in UK
policing: Management Standards Indicator Tool reference values. Policing: An International
Journal of Police Strategies and Management, 35, 182–197.
Iavicoli, S., Natali, E., Rondinone, B., Castaldi, T., & Persechino, B. (2010). Implementation and
validation in the Italian context of the HSE Management Standards: A contribution to provide a
practical model for the assessment of work-related stress. Giornale Italiano Di Medicina Del
Lavoro Ed Ergonomia, 32, 130–133.
Karasek, R. A. (1979). Job demands, job decision latitude, and mental strain: Implications for job
redesign. Administrative Science Quarterly, 24, 285–309.
Kasi, A., & Haslam, C. (2013). Stress management standards: A warning indicator for employee
health. Occupational Medicine, 63, 335–340.
Kerr, R., McHugh, M., & McCory, M. (2009). HSE Management Standards and stress-related work
outcomes. Occupational Medicine, 59, 574–579.
Kinman, G., & Court, S. (2010). Psychosocial hazards in UK universities: Adopting a risk
assessment approach. Higher Education Quarterly, 64, 413–428.
Kumar, K., & Madhu, G. (2012). An analysis of work related stress factor in selected industries in
Kerala, India. International Journal of Engineering Research and Development, 1, 31–36.
Mackay, C., Cousins, R., Kelly, P., Lee, S., & McCaig, R. (2004). ‘Management Standards’ and
work-related stress in the UK: Policy background and science. Work & Stress, 18, 91–112.
Magnavita, N. (2012). Validation of the Italian version of the HSE Indicator Tool. Occupational
Medicine, 62, 288–294.
Marcatto, F., D’Errico, G., Di Blas, L., & Ferrante, D. (2011). Assessing work-related stress: An
Italian adaptation of the HSE Management Standards Work-Related Stress Indicator Tool.
Giornale Italiano Di Medicina Del Lavoro Ed Ergonomia, 33, 403–408.
Maslach, C., Jackson, S., & Leiter, M. (1996). Maslach Burnout Inventory Manual (3rd ed.).
Mountain View, CA: CPP.
Ravalier, J., McVicar, A., & Munn-Giddings, C. (2013). The Management Standards Indicator Tool
and evaluation of burnout. Occupational Medicine, 63, 145–147.
Rondinone, B., Perschino, B., Castaldi, T., Valenti, A., Ferrante, P., Ronchetti, M., & Iavicoli, S.
(2012). Work-related stress risk assessment in Italy: The validation study of Health and Safety
Executive Indicator Tool. Giornale Italiano Di Medicina Del Lavoro Ed Ergonomia, 34,
Steiger, J. H. (1980). Tests for comparing elements of a correlation matrix. Psychological Bulletin,
87, 245–251.
Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2001). Using multivariate statistics (4th ed.). Needham Heights,
MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Toderi, S., Balducci, C., Edwards, J., Sarchielli, G., Broccoli, M., & Mancini, G. (2013).
Psychometric properties of the UK and Italian versions of the HSE stress indicator tool.
European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 29, 72–79.
Warr, P. B. (1990). The measurement of well-being and other aspects of mental health. Journal of
Occupational Psychology, 63, 193–210.
Zigmond, A. S., & Snaith, R. P. (1983). The hospital anxiety and depression scale. Acta
Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 67, 361–370.
412 J. Houdmont et al.
Downloaded by


Dive into the research topics of 'Psychosocial risk assessment in organizations: Concurrent validity of the brief version of the Management Standards Indicator Tool'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this