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The Role of Leader Influence Tactics and Safety Climate in Engaging Employees' Safety Participation

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This study examines the effect of leader influence tactics on employee safety participation in a U.K.-based manufacturing organization, examining the role of safety climate as a mediator. Structural equation modeling showed that leader influence tactics associated with a transformational leadership style had significant relationships with safety participation that were partially mediated by the safety climate (consultation) or fully mediated by the safety climate (inspirational appeals). In addition, leader influence tactics associated with a transactional leadership style had significant relationships with safety participation: rational persuasion (partially mediated by safety climate) and coalition tactics (direct effect). Thus, leaders may encourage safety participation using a combination of influence tactics, based on rational arguments, involvement in decision making, and generating enthusiasm for safety. The influence of building trust in managers is discussed as an underlying mechanism in this relationship. Practical implications are highlighted, including the design of leadership development programs, which may be particularly suited to high-reliability organizations.

Keywords: Leader influence tactics; safety climate; safety participation; structural equation modeling

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2006


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