Todd Heyne

Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

James Higgins


The US airline industry relies on the willing participation of frontline employees to self-report safety hazards as part of an effective reporting culture. Current literature suggests fear of punitive actions as a barrier to self-reporting. Using a quantitative method, this study evaluated how employee protections from punitive actions incorporated into collective bargaining agreements (CBA) of Part 121 airline employees facilitates self-reporting. An Exploratory Factor Analysis suggests that Enhanced Reporting, Employee Protections, Roles and Responsibility, and Employee Engagement undergird self-reporting culture. All the factors had acceptable reliabilities and were significantly related to each other. Regression analysis suggested that Employee Protection was a significant predictor of Enhanced Reporting accounting for about 48% of variances. An implication for policy is to include protections in CBAs which can engender trust and facilitate enhanced self-reporting by employees. The study provides a framework for airlines and unions to improve the safety reporting culture using CBA protections.