More to safety compliance than meets the eye: Differentiating deep compliance from surface compliance
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© 2020 Elsevier Ltd
The present study extended the concept of safety compliance by differentiating two types of compliance behavior: deep compliance and surface compliance. By incorporating our new conceptualization into an integrative model of workplace safety, we developed a model of how different dimensions of safety climate, namely, management commitment to safety and perceived punishment for non-compliance behavior, influence these two forms of safety compliance, which in turn, are differentially related to undesired safety outcomes of accidents, injuries and near misses. Hypotheses are tested with two-wave data, using a sample consisting of workers whose jobs involved following safety rules and procedures. Results of structural equation modeling supported the prediction that deep compliance is positively predicted by management commitment to safety and perceived punishment for non-compliance, whereas surface compliance is negatively predicted by management commitment to safety. Unexpectedly, however, surface compliance was not predicted by perceived punishment for non-compliance behavior. With regard to the consequences of compliance, our results showed that deep compliance was negatively, whereas surface compliance was positively related to undesired safety outcomes. Theoretical contributions to the literature and practical implications for promoting safety in the workplace are discussed.
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