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Effects of staff bonus systems on safety behaviors
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2014 (English)In: Human Resource Management Review, ISSN 1053-4822, E-ISSN 1873-7889, Vol. 24, no 1, 17-30 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Bonus systems are a common means in trying to motivate employees to perform well. However, there is still disagreement regarding the effects of bonus systems. Some theories even suggest that such systems could cause an increase in risk-behavior. This makes further research regarding bonus systems warranted, especially when applied in high-risk organizations. This study aims to explore potential effects on safety-related behavior associated with bonus systems currently used at Swedish nuclear power plants. Fifteen semi-structured interviews with employees were performed based on an eclectically composed framework from motivational and organizational theories. Results do not indicate any negative effects on safety-related behaviors, but rather that safety behaviors may be promoted insofar as bonus rewards are linked to performance goals concerning safety. Differences in bonus system design appeared to affect behavioral outcomes. The comparative and qualitative approach of this study contributes valuable information by highlighting the types of factors that may serve to stimulate greater incentive for employees to engage in safe behavior.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 24, no 1, 17-30 p.
Keyword [en]
bonus, pay system, incentive, motivation, nuclear power plant, safety
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-98798DOI: 10.1016/j.hrmr.2013.08.012ISI: 000329381400003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-98798DiVA: diva2:685477
Available from: 2014-01-09 Created: 2014-01-09 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Promoting safety in organizations: The role of leadership and managerial practices
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Promoting safety in organizations: The role of leadership and managerial practices
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Workplace accidents and injuries are a growing problem for organizations in Sweden as well as in many other countries. As a consequence, improving workplace safety has become an area of increasing concern for employers and politicians as well as researchers. The aim of this thesis was to contribute to an increased understanding of how leadership and management practices can influence safety in organizations. In Study I, three leadership styles were investigated to determine their relative importance for different safety outcomes. A leadership style specifically emphasizing safety was found to contribute the most to employee safety behaviors; transformational leadership was found to be positive for safety behaviors only when it also involved a safety focus; and a transactional leadership style (management-by-exception active) was shown to be slightly negatively related to workplace safety. Study II examined the role of leader communication approaches for patient safety and the mechanisms involved in this relationship. Support was found for a model showing that one-way communication of safety values and leader feedback communication were both related to increased patient safety through the mediation of different employee safety behaviors (safety compliance and organizational citizen behaviors). Study III explored whether and in what ways the use of staff bonus systems may compromise safety in high-risk organizations. The three investigated systems were all found to provide limited incentives for any behavioral change. However, the results indicate that design characteristics such as clearly defined and communicated bonus goals, which are perceived as closely linked to performance and which aim at improved safety, are imperative for the influence that bonus programs have on safety. Group-directed goals also appeared to be more advantageous than corporate- or individual-level goals. The thesis highlights the importance of actively emphasizing and communicating safety-related issues, both through leadership and in managerial practices, for the achievement of enhanced workplace safety.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, 2015. 97 p.
Keyword
Transformational leadership, transactional leadership, safety-specific leadership, workplace safety, injuries, accidents, safety compliance, safety initiative, organizational citizenship behavior, communication, incident reporting, patient safety, incentive program
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-116691 (URN)978-91-7649-170-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-06-05, David Magnussonsalen (U31), Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, SSM2010-4464
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Manuscript.

Available from: 2015-05-14 Created: 2015-04-23 Last updated: 2015-06-24Bibliographically approved

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