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Leader communication approaches and patient safety: an integrated model
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4820-8914
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. North-West University, South Africa.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2015 (English)In: Journal of Safety Research, ISSN 0022-4375, E-ISSN 1879-1247, Vol. 53, 53-62 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [sv]

Problem: Leader communication is known to influence a number of employee behaviors. When it comes to the relationship between leader communication and safety, the evidence is more scarce and ambiguous. The aim of the present study is to investigate whether and in what way leader communication relates to safety outcomes. The study examines two leader communication approaches: leader safety priority communication and feedback to subordinates. These approaches were assumed to affect safety outcomes via different employee behaviors. Method: Questionnaire data, collected from 221 employees at two hospital wards, were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Results: The two examined communication approaches were both positively related to safety outcomes, although leader safety priority communication was mediated by employee compliance and feedback communication by organizational citizenship behaviors. Conclusion: The findings suggest that leader communication plays a vital role in improving organizational and patient safety and that different communication approaches seem to positively affect different but equally essential employee safety behaviors. Practical applications: The results highlights the necessity for leaders to engage in one-way communication of safety values as well as in more relational feedback communication with their subordinates in order to enhance patient safety.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 53, 53-62 p.
Keyword [en]
Workplace safety, safety compliance, safety participation, reporting
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-116684DOI: 10.1016/j.jsr.2015.03.008ISI: 000354584700008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-116684DiVA: diva2:807259
Funder
Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, SSM2010-4464
Available from: 2015-04-23 Created: 2015-04-23 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically 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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