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The role of personality traits, work motivation and organizational safety climate in risky occupational performance of professional drivers

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to combine individual (personality traits and profiles) and organizational (perceived safety climate and work motivation) factors and look for a model that explains safety performance in a sample of professional drivers. The authors hypothesize that the effect of personality on risky driving is moderated by perceived organizational safety climate and work motivation. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The sample consisted of 166 professional drivers (males). The subjects completed the self-reported questionnaire that consisted of the Big Five Inventory, Driver Behaviour Questionnaire, Work motivation and Safety Climate Questionnaires. Cross-sectional methodology, analysis of variance, cluster analysis and structural equation modeling were used to predict the relationships between personality traits, organizational factors, and risky driving. Findings ‐ The results revealed that personality profile is very important in occupational setting, predicting work motivation, perceived safety climate in organization as well as risky or safe driving. Results encourage making a conclusion that "socially oriented" drivers drive less riskily if they have higher levels of work motivation and the perception of organizational climate being safe. "Emotionally unstable" professional drivers are probably driven by neuroticism and are non-responsive to organizational factors. Research limitations/implications ‐ The design does not allow making causal statements. In addition, the sample is quite small and may not be representative. Self-report data may bias the results due to social desirability or lack of experience in self-reflection. Practical implications ‐ The results of the present investigation have expanded understanding of the role of personality and organizational interaction in predicting occupational safety of professional drivers. The main implication for practitioners is to develop such selection procedures that could identify drivers with safe driving personalities. Originality/value ‐ The research contributes to the field of occupational safety by integrating individual attributes with organizational factors by providing empirical findings and theoretical interpretations.
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Keywords: Buses; Employees attitudes; Industrial trucks; Lithuania; Occupational safety; Organizational safety climate; Personality; Personality traits; Professional drivers; Risky driving; Safe driving; Work motivation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 06 January 2012

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