Leadership and Safety in High-Risk Environments: Integration and Development of a Research Agenda
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Safety in high-risk environments such as nuclear power, chemical processing or air traffic control is a crucial topic of concern. Safety incidents are not only costly, they have a tremendous impact on employees’ as well as other stakeholders’ health, too. Even though leaders play an important role in encouraging and maintaining safety standards, the leadership and workplace safety literatures are largely independent. Yet, we propose that those literatures are able to inspire each other and that this is especially relevant in high-risk environments where safety is essential. Therefore, the purpose of the panel is to foster the integration of research on leadership and workplace safety in high-risk environments. In addition to the practical importance of demonstrating the value of leadership to workplace safety, information from one domain can lead to new theoretical implications in the other domain. With regard to leadership, safety research can contribute to a deeper understanding of how leaders affect subordinates and identify safety as another important outcome to consider when evaluating leadership behaviors and styles. Likewise, understanding how leadership influences safety, improves insights into general processes that increase safety behavior.
In this symposium, the panelists will discuss among themselves and with the audience how leadership can contribute to safety in high-risk environments. The general aim is to bring together scholars from both domains and integrate knowledge in order to strengthen both fields. Additionally, a future research agenda will be proposed based on brainstormed ideas. This could facilitate collaborations between different researchers and foster valuable future research.
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