Kelloway, E. K., Mullen, J., & Francis, L. (2006). Divergent effects of transformational and passive leadership on employee safety. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 11(1), 76-86.
Research suggests that leaders play an important role in safety-related attitudes and actions of employees. Therefore, the authors examined the influence of transformational and passive leadership characteristics on safety-related outcomes (safety consciousness, safety climate, safety events, and injuries).
A total of 158 employed undergraduate students completed a questionnaire.
Results suggested that passive leadership and transformational leadership are empirically distinct constructs. Passive leadership predicted safety-related outcomes over and above transformational leadership. Moreover, passive safety-specific leadership had negative effects as oppose to null effects on two forms of safety-related outcomes (safety consciousness and safety climate).
This study supports previous findings that safety-specific transformational leadership positively influences safety outcomes. This study also extends previous findings by demonstrating that passive safety-specific leadership can independently negatively influence safety outcomes. Therefore, it is important for leaders to promote workplace safety and not ignore workplace safety.
Barling, J., Loughlin, C., & Kelloway, E. K. (2002). Development and test of a model linking safety-specific transformational leadership and occupational safety. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(3), 488-496.
Although the effectiveness of transformational leadership had been studied extensively, the relationship between transformational leadership and occupational safety had yet to receive any research attention. Therefore, the authors examined the relationship between safety-specific transformational leadership and occupational safety across two studies.
A sample of employees in the restaurant industry (study 1) and a sample of young employees in various workplaces (study 2) completed questionnaires on leadership and occupational safety.
Safety-specific transformational leadership predicted occupational injuries through relationships with safety consciousness, perceived safety climate and safety-related events. Study 2 replicated these findings and demonstrated that role overload also predicted occupational injuries through relationships with safety consciousness, perceived safety climate, and safety-related events.
Safety-specific transformational leadership may be able to increase occupational safety and a focus on safety-related events may be able to reduce occupational injuries. Moreover, these results provide support for the potential effectiveness of safety-specific transformational leadership training.