Alan Walker

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

John O’Connor, Sam McFarland, J.R. Bruni

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The consensus of recent literature appears to be that drug testing is both legal and valid. However, a testing program can meet legal and technical criteria and still fail to meet organizational objectives because one vital component has been left out – employees’ attitudes. The present study uses data from 148 college juniors and seniors to assess the effects of three hypothetical drug testing policies: (a) consequences of detected drug use (termination vs. rehabilitation), (b) timing of the program (expected interval vs. random interval vs. reasonable cause), and (c) business purpose (weak vs. strong) on attitudes toward drug testing. It was hypothesized that attitudes would be most favorable when testing was for reasonable cause, with a strong business purpose, and detected use resulted in required rehabilitation. Results revealed a significant interaction between business purpose and consequence implying that organizations may reduce negative reactions to drug testing by first having a clear need for drug testing (e.g. in response to an increasing accident rate) and seeking to rehabilitate employees who are detected of using drugs rather than simply terminating them.


Business | Human Resources Management | Performance Management | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences