Trickling down: The impact of leaders on individual role clarity through safety climate strength across time
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Safety researchers and practitioners seeking to have a long lasting impact on important variables such as safety climate typically investigate constructs operating within the immediate organisational environment such as leader support. These frequently have an impact on individual level perceptions. This paper contributes to theoretical development in this area by examining the impact of positive forms of leader support and negative forms such as passive management by exception on safety climate and safety climate strength (i.e. consistency in safety climate perceptions within a group). Results provide strong evidence for the negative influence of passive management by exception on safety climate strength across time and concur and support previous research demonstrating significant positive relationships between safety climate perceptions across time. Importantly, the impact of passive management by exception on safety climate strength flowed through to a cross-level moderation of the relationship between individual conscientiousness and role clarity suggesting that both leaders and safety climate strength fundamentally change individual behaviour. The results suggest an important potential for intervention work specifically correcting leadership styles which are passive to instead encourage proactivity in order to improve group safety climate strength and individual role clarity. In addition, the results indicate that safety climate constructs are highly related across time and efforts to change perceptions may lie earlier in the nomological network.
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