Academic journal article Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal

Impact of Safety Communication on Safety Commitment with Leader-Member Exchange Quality as a Moderating Factor: A Conceptual Framework

Academic journal article Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal

Impact of Safety Communication on Safety Commitment with Leader-Member Exchange Quality as a Moderating Factor: A Conceptual Framework

Article excerpt

Abstract

Purpose: The main purpose of the conceptual paper is to discuss development of a proposed conceptual framework in exploring the relationship between safety communication, leader-member exchange and safety commitment.

Design/methodology/approach: The paper defines the development of a proposed conceptual framework of safety communication, leader-member exchange and safety commitment.

Findings: Safety communication has a positive relationship with safety commitment meanwhile leader-member exchange moderates the relationship between safety communication and safety commitment.

Research limitations/implications: Additional research is needed to empirically validate the proposed conceptual framework in the high risk organizations, particularly in oil and gas setting.

Practical implications: This paper could assist employers and employees to have deeper understanding of "why" and "how" it is necessary to create a positive safety climate at the workplace.

Originality/value: The paper and the proposed conceptual framework could be used as a leading indicator for future research in this area.

Keywords: Communication, Safety Climate, Safety Communication, Leader-member Exchange, Safety Commitment.

Paper Type: Conceptual Paper

1. Introduction

Safety has been emphasized in many high risk work environment such as construction site, manufacturing, mining, and oil and gas, which is due to high probability that many workplace accidents could occur from time to time (Al-haadir, 2013). Workplace accidents which could lead to serious injuries, fatalities and lost work time continue to be a major economic issue for employers that may incur both direct and indirect costs (Kines et al., 2010; Zakaria, 2012). A number of researchers (e.g. (Cigularov et al., 2010; Siu et al., 2004) revealed that every year thousands of employees die at workplace and millions suffer from occupational injuries and illnesses. In Malaysia for example, from 2012 until March 2013, 49883 workplace accidents with 664 fatalities were reported by the Department of Occupational safety and Health (DOSH).

Bowander (1987) pointed out that there are three types of errors that could lead to fatal incidents which are referred to as system error, technological error and human error. There are several causes that lead to workplace accidents including failure of proper communication and lack of compliance with rules and procedures (Dahl, 2013; Settlement, 2013). A sound understanding of the factors that could influence safety work outcomes (i.e. employees' safety commitment and safety performance), will help to reduce number of accidents at the workplace thus improving organizational safety performance (Clarke and Cooper, 2004). The purpose of this paper therefore is to discuss development of a conceptual framework in exploring the relationship between safety communication, leader-member exchange and safety commitment.

2. Literature Review

This discussion in this paper revolves around amongst the central issues in relation to workplace safety which are communication, climate, leader-member exchange and commitment. Relevant literature on safety climate, safety communication, leader-member exchange and employees' safety commitment are hence critically reviewed.

2.1 Safety Climate at the Workplace

Safety Climate is defined as shared perceptions pertaining to safety procedures, policies and practices among employees in an organization (Cooper, 2008; Zohar, 2008). These perceptions are usually derived from two aspects such as individual factors and organizational factors including management decision making (Susan, 2008; Tsung et al., 2007). Safety climate is hence characterized by day-to-day perceptions towards working environment and practices, the management and also relevant policies, which are very close to daily operations of the employees (Yule, 2003). …

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