In 2008, the National Safety Council reported that there were 3.7 million disabling work injuries in the United States in 2006, with an estimated cost to businesses of $164.7 billion. Barnes & Wagner, manage to establish through their research that there is an increase of risk for employees in the wake of the establishment of Daylight Savings Time (DST). This connection is relevant in preventing injury in organizations that can be costly in lost work time and medical expenses. This paper critiques the analysis of Barnes and Wagner, finding that though portions of it are confusingly written, the information is valid.
Keywords: entrainment, HLM, sleep patterns
Research Paper Critique
Workplace injuries have long been an important topic in the Organizational Psychology. In 2008, the National Safety Council reported that there were 3.7 million disabling work injuries in the United States in 2006, with an estimated cost to businesses of $164.7 billion. Of all the causes behind these injuries, the one the least research is the effect of Daylight Savings Time (DST) on sleep patterns. The following paper critiques a case study on this subject.
The Relevance of the Study Before any research is conducted, the relevance of this report must be established. This is done through discussing the purpose of the research, establishing what the research question is and developing an accurate problem statement. No analysis can take place before this is performed first. The prior research of the subject of sleep patterns is discussed in this paper. Barnes & Wagner, (2009) point out that there is established research behind a change of sleep patterns. In using the Entrainment Theory, Barnes & Wagner, (2009) then begin to flesh out the idea that there are negative consequences associated with the phase changes associated with DST. Barnes & Wagner, (2009) then extend out to develop a connection between this change in the body and the injuries that occur on the job. The Entrainment Theory refers to brainwave entrainment. According to Cruceanu & Rotarescu, (2013), brainwave entrainment occurs when any practice aims to cause brainwave frequencies to fall into step with a periodic stimulus having a frequency corresponding to the intended brain-state. In this case falling in step with the frequency effects the sleep patterns of the individual.
It is at this point that Barnes & Wagner, (2009) are able to begin establishing their problem statement. Barnes & Wagner, (2009) begin by stating that no one has ever clearly determined if DST has anything to do with workplace injuries. Previous research conducted on this subject has been inconclusive. However, the research presented by Barnes & Wagner, (2009) only gives one reference to a construction worker analysis performed on the subject. As a result the problem statement for this paper is if the spring and fall time changes associated with Daylight Saving Time have differential effects on sleep quantity. The research problem does not expand till later to determine if this alleged deficiency can be connected to workplace injury. A true development of the research question to include this does not occur until the hypotheses are discussed in the paper.
Process of the Study One of the issues with this paper is that there are six different hypotheses. The three initial hypotheses only address the part of the research question that covers the effect that DST has on sleep patterns. It is only n the following three hypotheses that there is mention of workplace injury. This lead to the exploratory hypotheses which connected the two subjects. The exploratory hypotheses were clearly defined. By stating the connection between sleep patterns and workplace injury, Barnes & Wagner, (2009) manages to salvage the research question which prior to this was ambiguously stated. The preservation of this case study continues in the study design. The study design