A theoretical model of safety leadership, which incorporated both transformational and active transactional leadership styles, was tested using meta-analytic path analysis. The final model showed that transformational leadership had a positive association with both perceived safety climate and safety participation, with perceived safety climate partially mediating the effect of leadership on safety participation. Active transactional leadership had a positive association with perceived safety climate, safety participation and safety compliance. The effect of leadership on safety compliance was partially mediated by perceived safety climate and the effect on safety participation fully mediated by perceived safety climate. The findings suggest that active transactional leadership is important in ensuring compliance with rules and regulations, whereas transformational leadership is primarily associated with encouraging employee participation in safety. Therefore, in line with the augmentation hypothesis of leadership, a combination of both transformational and transactional styles appeared to be most beneficial for safety. Avenues for further research and practical implications in terms of leadership training and development are discussed.
Clarke, S. (2013). Safety leadership: A meta-analytic review of transformational and transactional leadership styles as antecedents of safety behaviours. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Vol 86(1), 1-28.