Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business (Research)


Organisation & Professional Development

First Advisor

Dr. Angela Wright


A quantitative case study was conducted to gain a deeper understanding of the mental and psychological health and safety of non-unionised and unionised employees within the researcher's organisation, a multi-national pharmaceutical company based in Ireland. One hundred and sixty-seven employees and seven senior managers were surveyed to explore their perspectives of psychological health and safety risks in the workplace across thirteen different psychosocial factors which are known to either have positive or negative effects on the psychological health and well-being of an employee.

The Guarding Minds at Work (GM@W) online survey resources were considered appropriate methods to collect the necessary data for this study. By using two online survey methods, this study tested a hypothesis which assumed that there would be more psychological health and safety risks among unionised employees, while also investigating employee's experience of discrimination, bullying or harassment and unfair treatment in the workplace. A further examination was conducted in this study which compared the differences in the perspectives of all employees and senior managers with respect to the psychological health and safety of employees in this workplace. Statistical analyses in the form of t-tests were applied to the data obtained from ninety-seven non-unionised and sixty-three unionised employees to examine the level of psychological health and safety risks present within these groups.

The key findings from this study reveal that the psychological health and safety of unionised employees is more at risk in this workplace, in fact, unionised employees reported greater concerns across eleven out of the thirteen psychosocial factors. Furthermore, this study has also found that more unionised employees report previous experience of bullying or harassment in the workplace. It is also evident from this study that senior managers are significantly underestimating the psychological health and safety risks which are impacting employee’s psychological health and safety in the workplace. This research fulfilled the need to generate more empirical evidence on this area of study. The main findings and recommendations for future practice and future research will provide valuable insights for the researcher's organisation, policy makers, employers, management, human resource departments, trade union representatives and professional or organisational development institutions.

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