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Transportation security officer engagement in the Transportation Security Administration: a study of a promising practice

By Tanya M. Gregory


2018-08-07The purpose of this qualitative research project was to study the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) performance related to a larger problem of practice: Transportation Security Officer (TSO) engagement and its impact on organizational performance. The goal of the study was to understand the key factors that influence TSOs to be more engaged, from TSOs’ and the organization's perspectives. The new knowledge gained from the study led to recommendations that may provide solutions that could result in increased engagement in TSOs, improved individual performance, and guidance for future studies. The study used a modified version of the Clark and Estes (2008) Gap Analytic Conceptual Framework and a qualitative interpretive design, which sought to understand the perspectives and meanings of engagement for ten TSOs from selected airports. Qualitative interviews and organization document reviews were conducted to deeply explore the knowledge, motivation, and organization (KMO) elements that influence participants to be highly engaged. The seven findings from the study led to identification of promising practices that positively influence high engagement in TSOs. Seven recommendations were identified that correspond to the KMO assets that could be used as part of existing Human Capital, Security Operations, and Training and Development engagement improvement plans, to increase the likelihood of achieving the TSA organizational goal: TSO engagement will improve by 10% at airports with low engagement by the end of 2020. The study also recommended that TSA conduct future evaluative research to determine if TSO engagement levels improved at selected airports. If an evaluation study reveals achievement of the performance goal, a control system should be implemented to help TSA maintain any gains. Increased TSO engagement is expected to improve overall screening effectiveness, and ultimately lead to improved organizational effectiveness

Topics: Organizational Change and Leadership (On Line), engagement; TSO engagement; transportation security officer engagement; employee engagement; TSO
Publisher: University of Southern California. Libraries
Year: 2018
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Provided by: USC Digital Library
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