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Leading to Occupational Health and Safety brings together prominent researchers to explore the pervasive roles that leaders play in determining the health, safety and mental well-being of employees in organizations. * The first text to directly link organizational leadership behaviours with health and safety outcomes, covering theory, research and evidence-based best practice * Argues that a leader's impact can be far more far-reaching than is commonly realized, and examines the effects of leadership on safety, physical wellness and wellbeing, and psychological wellbeing * Explores the theoretical underpinnings of effective leadership styles and behaviors, and advances both research and practice in order to encourage better leadership and healthier, safer organizations * Features contributions from internationally known and respected researchers including Sharon Clarke, Kara Arnold, Fred Luthans, Ståle Einarsen, Julian Barling, and Emma Donaldson-Feilder

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Table of Contents


Title Page

Notes on Contributors


Theories of Effective Leadership

Transformational Leadership

Theories of Negative Leadership

About This Book



1 Leadership and Safety

Safety Leadership: The Current State of Knowledge

Theoretical Perspectives Linking Leadership to Safety Performance

Practical Implications for Safety Interventions



2 Senior Management Safety Leadership Behaviour

A Framework for Leadership Influence: Signalling Theory

Examples of Signalling

Signals of Senior Management Commitment to Safety

Summary and Implications



3 Developing Safety Leadership

Leadership and Safety Outcomes

Rationale for Developing Safety Leaders

Developing Leadership to Improve Safety Outcomes

Future Research



4 The Antecedents of Transformational Leadership and Its Consequences for Occupational Health and Safety

Consequences of Transformational Leadership: Relationships with Employee Well‐Being and Safety

The Influence Process: Mediation

Boundary Conditions: Moderation

Antecedents of Transformational Leadership

Directions for Future Research

Concluding Remarks


5 Leading to a Respectful Workplace


Workplace Incivility

Outcomes of Incivility

Leadership and Incivility

Ethical Leadership

Antecedents of Ethical Leadership

Outcomes of Ethical Leadership

Ethical Leadership Processes

Boundary Conditions of Ethical Leadership

Theoretical and Practical Implications

Directions for Future Research



6 Leading the Psychologically Healthy Workplace

A Focus on Leaders




7 Leadership and Work–Family Conflict

Employees’ Work–Family Conflict: Is it Exclusively Their Problem?

The Role of the Leader in Creating a Work–Family Culture

Avenues for Future Research: Integrating the Leader Level in Work–Family Studies


8 Leaders as Resources

Employee Mental Health: The Role of the Workplace

Employee Mental Health: Support from Leaders

Social Support in Action: Workplace Mental Health Training for Leaders



9 Destructive Forms of Leadership and Their Relationships with Employee Well‐Being


Conceptualizing Destructive Leadership

Relationships Between Destructive Forms of Leadership and Employee Well‐Being

Emotional Responses to Destructive Forms of Leadership

Subordinates’ Coping Strategies when Confronted with Destructive Leadership

Societal and Organizational Measures Against Destructive Leadership and its Outcomes

Conclusion and Directions for Future Research


10 Leaders Can Make or Break an Intervention – But Are They the Villains of the Piece?

The Leader as the Driver of Change

Leaders Can Break an Intervention

Providing Leaders with the Resources to Make Interventions

When Training is Not Enough

A Model of the Leader’s Role in Organizational Occupational Health Interventions

So What Can We Do Differently?

Concluding Remarks


11 Developing Positive Leadership for Employee Well‐Being and Engagement

Links Between Leadership and Employee Well‐Being and Engagement

What is ‘Positive Leadership’ – the Kind of Leadership that Enhances


Employee Well‐Being and Engagement?

Can Positive Leadership be Developed?

Success Factors for Positive Leadership Development



12 Mindful Leadership and Employee Well‐Being


Leader Mindfulness Through a COR Framework

Leadership Styles and Behaviours

Mindfulness and Transformational Leadership

Mindfulness and Inspirational Motivation

Inspirational Motivation and Employee Well‐Being

Mindfulness and Individual Consideration

Individual Consideration and Employee Well‐Being

Ethical Leadership

Ethical Leadership and Employee Well‐Being

Mindfulness and Abusive Supervision

Abusive Supervision and Employee Well‐Being

Practical Implications

Research Implications



13 Leading and Developing Health and Safety through Collective Psychological Capital

Paradigm Shift to Positivity

Psychological Capital as Outgrowth of POB

Theoretical Foundations for PsyCap

PsyCap Research to Date

Group, Team or Collective Psychological Capital (cPsyCap)

The Role of Leadership in Collective Psychological Capital Development for Occupational Health and Safety

The Conceptual Framework of Collective Health PsyCap and Safety PsyCap with Authentic Leadership

Development Guidelines for Collective Health PsyCap and Safety PsyCap

Conclusions and Recommendations


14 ‘Choose a Job You Love, and You Will Never Have to Work a Day in your Life’

Positive Psychology and the Strengths Movement

Three Streams of Research on Strengths

The Gallup Organization

Strengths Identification

Strengths Use and Development

Managerial Practices

A Healthy and Performant Workplace is One in which Strengths are Identified and Used


15 Leadership and Mental Illness

Why Should Organizational Behaviour Researchers Care about Mental Illness?

Mental Health Challenges

Moving Forward



End User License Agreement

List of Tables

Chapter 7

Table 7.1 Managers’ assumptions about work–family issues.

Chapter 9

Table 9.1 An overview of terms and concepts used to describe destructive forms of leadership.

Table 9.2 Examples of subordinates’ coping strategies in response to destructive leadership.

Chapter 11

Table 11.1 Management competencies for preventing and reducing stress at work.

Table 11.2 Management competencies for enhancing employee engagement.

Table 11.3 ‘Managing for sustainable employee engagement’ framework.

Chapter 14

Table 14.1 Results of the

Normandin Beaudry consulting actuaries

engagement survey before (2012) and after (2015) the implementation of strengths‐based management.

List of Illustrations

Chapter 4

Figure 4.1 Proposed model for the mechanisms linking transformational leadership to employee health and well‐being.

Chapter 7

Figure 7.1 Traditional models of work–family conflict and facilitation.

Figure 7.2 Multilevel model of the work–family interface.

Chapter 9

Figure 9.1 Relationships between destructive leadership and occupational well‐being.

Chapter 10

Figure 10.1 Model of the leader’s role in organizational occupational health interventions.

Chapter 11

Figure 11.1 Summary of evidence responding to the research question: What factors will affect the success of a development programme aimed at changing manager behaviour?

Figure 11.2 Summary of evidence responding to the research question: What factors will support transfer and sustainability of learning from management development programmes into the workplace?

Figure 11.3 Summary of evidence responding to the research question: What contextual factors are likely to impact on the relationship between manager behaviour and employee engagement, health and well‐being outcomes?

Chapter 12

Figure 12.1 Framework outlining proposed indirect relationship between leader mindfulness and employee well‐being.

Chapter 13

Figure 13.1 Conceptual Framework of Health PsyCap and Safety PsyCap.



Table of Contents

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Leading to Occupational Health and Safety

How Leadership Behaviours Impact Organizational Safety and Well‐Being

Edited by

E. Kevin Kelloway, Karina Nielsen and Jennifer K. Dimoff

This edition first published 2017© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

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Library of Congress Cataloging‐in‐Publication Data

Names: Kelloway, E. Kevin, editor. | Nielsen, Karina, 1973– editor. | Dimoff, Jennifer K., 1989– editor.Title: Leading to occupational health and safety : how leadership behaviours impact organizational safety and well‐being / edited by E. Kevin Kelloway, Karina Nielsen and Jennifer K. Dimoff.Description: Chichester, West Sussex, UK : John Wiley & Sons, 2017. | Includes bibliographical references and index.Identifiers: LCCN 2016036897| ISBN 9781118973707 (cloth) | ISBN 9781118973745 (pbk.) | ISBN 9781118973714 (epub) | ISBN 9781118973738 (pdf)Subjects: LCSH: Industrial hygiene–Management. | Industrial safety–Management. | Organizational behavior. | Leadership.Classification: LCC HD7261 .L39 2017 | DDC 658.3/82–dc23LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2016036897

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

Cover image: 7postman/Gettyimages

Cover design: Wiley

Notes on Contributors

Kara A. Arnold is Professor of Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management at the Faculty of Business Administration at Memorial University in St. John’s, NL, Canada. Her research focuses on transformational leadership, employee and leader well‐being, and gender issues in organizations. Her work has been published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Work & Stress, the Journal of Applied Psychology, Human Resource Management, and the Leadership & Organization Development Journal, as various book chapters, and has been presented at leading international conferences.

Julian Barling is the Borden Chair of Leadership at the Queen’s School of Business, Canada, and author of The Science of Leadership: Lessons from Research for Organizational Leaders (Oxford University Press, 2014). His research focuses on the effects of leaders’ psychological well‐being on the quality of their leadership behaviours, and the development of leadership behaviours. He is co‐editor (with Christopher Barnes, Erica Carleton and David Wagner) of Sleep and Work: Research Insights for the Workplace (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Andrea Bishop is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the IWK Health Centre/School of Nursing, Dalhousie University, Canada. She completed her Interdisciplinary PhD at Dalhousie University, exploring patient engagement in patient safety. She went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychology at Saint Mary’s University, Canada, with a focus on organizational safety culture. She is currently developing expertise in knowledge translation research methods during her two‐year postdoctoral work with the Strengthening Transitions in Pediatric Care Research Program. Her research interests include transitions of care, patient safety, and patient engagement.

Kate C. Bowers completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) degree in Psychology at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland, before pursuing graduate studies at Saint Mary’s University, Canada. Under the direction of Mark Fleming, Kate completed a Master’s of Science in Applied Psychology (Industrial/Organizational specialization) where she focused on safety culture and understanding how management practices inform organizational safety outcomes. Kate is a recipient of numerous academic awards including the Joseph‐Armand Bombardier Master’s Scholarship. At present, Kate is employed as a Human and Organizational Factors Specialist with the National Energy Board of Canada where she combines her specialized training with research and innovation to advance industry safety.

Julie Dyrdek Broad is completing her doctoral studies at George Washington University, US, where she studies organizational sciences, focusing her research on the emergence of collective Psychological Capital (cPsyCap) for intact groups and teams. She has more than 24 years of global executive experience, and is currently working at Booz Allen Hamilton, where she has supported the DoD, to include the Army Resiliency Directorate, Comprehensive Soldier & Family Fitness program. Ms Broad’s research stream also includes work on serious gaming solutions to build PsyCap in the workplace, and on how PsyCap can be leveraged in the treatment of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

Erica L. Carleton is Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at Edwards School of Business, University of Saskatchewan. She was formerly a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Ivey Business School, Western University, Canada. She completed her PhD in Organizational Behavior at the Smith School of Business, Queen’s University, under the supervision of Julian Barling. Her research interests include leadership, sleep and well‐being. She conducted her dissertation research on sleep, well‐being and leadership. She is a co‐editor (with Julian Barling, Christopher Barnes and David Wagner) of Sleep and Work: Research Insights for the Workplace (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Sharon Clarke is a full Professor of Organizational Psychology at Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, UK. She has research interests in safety culture, safety climate, leadership, well‐being and health. Her work has been widely published in leading academic and practitioner journals and in co‐authored books, including Human Safety and Risk Management, now in its third edition (CRC Press, 2015). She is currently Editor‐in‐Chief of the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology and has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology and the International Journal of Stress Management.

Jennifer K. Dimoff is an Assistant Professor of Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology at Portland State University (PSU). She completed her Ph.D. in I/O Psychology from Saint Mary’s University, Canada, in 2016, where she also received her MSc. in Applied Psychology. Dr. Dimoff received her Honors BSc. in the Biological Sciences at Queen’s University, where she was also a research assistant in Organizational Behavior at the Smith School of Business. Her key research interests include workplace mental health, leadership training, and psychological resilience. Dr. Dimoff’s most recent work has focused primarily on the development and evaluation of manager‐focused workplace mental health training programs, notably the Mental Health Awareness Training (MHAT) for workplace leaders.

Emma Donaldson‐Feilder is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and Director of both Affinity Health at Work and Affinity Coaching and Supervision, UK. She specializes in supporting organizations to achieve sustainable performance through positive employee health, well‐being and engagement, with a particular emphasis on people management and leadership. In order to have the best possible evidence base for her work, she is actively involved in research; conversely, her consultancy and coaching with a range of organizations ensure that the research is of genuine practical use in real‐world settings. She is also involved in public policy, writing and presenting on health and work issues.

Philippe Dubreuil is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist and Professor at the Université du Québec à Trois‐Rivières, Canada. He completed his doctoral studies at the Université de Sherbrooke, Canada, where his work mainly focused on the psychological processes involved in the relation between strengths use and work performance. His research topics concern strengths, passion, engagement and well‐being at work and his contributions are published in academic journals such as TheJournal of Positive Psychology and Human Relations. As a consultant, he also works with leaders, teams and organizations, helping them increase their engagement and performance through better awareness and use of their strengths.

Ståle Einarsen is Professor in Work and Organizational Psychology at the Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen, Norway, where he is head of Bergen Bullying Research Group. Professor Einarsen has published extensively in issues related to workplace bullying, sexual harassment, whistle‐blowing, destructive leadership, innovation and creativity in organizations, and health and well‐being at work. He is a co‐founder of the International Association on Workplace Bullying and Harassment and has co‐edited three international volumes on this subject.

Mark Fleming is the CN Professor of Safety Culture in the Department of Psychology at Saint Mary’s University, Canada. Mark is an applied psychologist with over 20 years of experience in health and safety research in offshore oil and gas, patient safety, nuclear power, petrochemical and construction. His research includes investigating methods for measuring and improving safety culture, safety motivation, safety leadership and rail safety. He is dedicated to developing practical and valid tools to assist organizations to prevent harm.

Jacques Forest is a professor‐researcher, organizational psychologist and CHRP in the organization and human resources department at the École des sciences de la gestion de l’Université du Québec à Montréal (ESG UQAM), the biggest French‐speaking business school in Canada. His research and interventions specialize in human motivation and optimal functioning using strengths management and self‐determination theory. The underlying concern of his work is to activate, develop and sustain high‐quality motivation so that performance and well‐being can be experienced on a daily basis for long periods of time.

Annilee M. Game is a Lecturer in Organizational Behaviour and Business Ethics at the University of East Anglia, UK. Her research focuses on how individual experiences of work and careers can be enhanced through healthy, respectful and effective relationships. She conducts both quantitative and qualitative research. Specific topics of interest include ethics in leadership and decision‐making, workplace incivility, emotions and well‐being, adult attachment in organizations, and skilled migrant careers.

Sara Guediri is a Lecturer in Organizational Psychology at Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, UK. Her research explores issues of occupational safety and well‐being, with a focus on leadership in high‐risk contexts.

E. Kevin Kelloway is the Canada Research Chair in Occupational Health Psychology and Professor of Psychology at Saint Mary’s University, Canada. A prolific researcher, he is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, the Canadian Psychological Association, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and the International Association of Applied Psychology. His research interests include leadership, occupational safety and workplace mental health. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Psychologist in Management Award from the Society for Psychologists in Management and currently serves as President of the Canadian Psychological Association.

Allan Lee is an academic working at the University of Manchester, UK. Before joining Alliance Manchester Business School, Allan studied Psychology and Organizational Psychology at Cardiff University, before moving to Aston Business School, UK to complete his PhD. He has conducted research on leadership in a variety of settings. His research focuses mainly on the premise that leadership is largely determined by the quality of the relationship between leaders and followers.

Rachel Lewis is a Registered Occupational Psychologist, an Associate Professor in Occupational and Business Psychology at Kingston Business School, UK, and a Director of Affinity Health at Work (a niche occupational health psychology consultancy). She regularly publishes in both academic and practitioner publications in the areas of leadership, management and employee well‐being and engagement (along with speaking and providing consultancy in these areas).

Fred Luthans received his PhD from the University of Iowa. He is University and Distinguished Professor of Management Emeritus at the University of Nebraska, US. He is a former President of the Academy of Management. He was or is editor or co‐editor of three top journals. He is the author of several well‐known books and over 200 articles. In total, his work has been cited over 43,000 times and his current H‐Index is 85. His research at first focused on behavioural management, but in recent years he has given attention to what he has termed ‘positive organizational behavior (POB)’ and ‘psychological capital (PsyCap)’, which he founded.

Jane Mullen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Commerce, Ron Joyce Center for Business Studies at Mount Allison University, Canada. She received her PhD in Business Administration (Management) from the Sobey School of Business, Saint Mary’s University, Canada. In the Commerce Department, which she joined in 2004, she teaches organizational behaviour and human resource management courses. Her research interests are in the area of occupational health and safety.

Karina Nielsen is the Chair of Work Psychology at the Institute of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield, UK, and a research affiliate at the Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace (CPH‐NEW), US, and the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. Her research interests lie within the area of the evaluation of organizational interventions and ways to develop methods to understand how and why such interventions succeed or fail. She has published more than 100 books, chapters and articles. She is currently on the editorial boards of Human Relations, The Leadership Quarterly and the Journal of Business and Psychology, and is an Associate Editor of Work & Stress.

Morten Birkeland Nielsen is a senior researcher at the Norwegian National Institute of Occupational Health and Professor in Work and Organizational Psychology at the University of Bergen, Norway. His research interests include occupational health and safety, workplace bullying and harassment, leadership, personality, and research methodology. Nielsen is an Associate Editor of Work & Stress and an editorial board member of Scandinavian Psychologist. He has authored over 50 refereed journal articles.

Timur Ozbilir is a PhD candidate in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology programme at Saint Mary’s University, Canada. His research activities have focused on occupational health and safety, specifically on scale development for safety leadership and safety culture, and on safety leadership training. In addition to his academic research, he has been involved in consulting projects for a number of organizations, including the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, Encana Corporation, and Soteria Strains. His other research interests include corporate social responsibility and personality. He has received research grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation.

Samantha A. Penney is a doctoral candidate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Saint Mary’s University, Canada. Her research focuses on promoting psychologically healthy workplaces and employees through training and individualized interventions. She has presented this work at national and international conferences. She has acted as an internal leadership and organizational development consultant for a large national organization. She is a member of the Nova Scotia Psychologically Healthy Workplace committee and the CN Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Before her doctoral studies, Samantha received an MSc from Saint Mary’s University in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and a BA (Hons.) in Psychology from Lakehead University, Canada.

Alfredo Rodríguez‐Muñoz is Associate Professor at the Department of Social Psychology at Complutense University of Madrid, Spain. His current research interests focus on organizational and health psychology, bullying at work, and employee well‐being. His work has been published in journals such as Work & Stress, the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology and the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology.

Ana Isabel Sanz‐Vergel is a Senior Lecturer in Organizational Behaviour at Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia, UK. Her research interests are related to the fields of work and organizational psychology, occupational health, and employee well‐being, including topics such as daily recovery from stress, work–family conflict and crossover of work‐related experiences. Her research has been published in such journals as Human Relations, the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology and the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

Anders Skogstad is Professor in Work and Organizational Psychology at the Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen, Norway, and a licensed specialist in organizational psychology. His research interests include role stressors, personality, leadership styles, bullying, organizational justice, counterproductive behaviour and organizational climate, with a primary focus on active and passive forms of destructive leadership. He has published extensively in various journals such as The Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology and Work & Stress, and edited various books in work and organizational psychology.

Susanne Tafvelin is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology, Umeå University, Sweden. She has a background as an occupational health psychologist, and her thesis focused on the transformational leadership process in public organizations. Her present research interests include the relationship between leadership and employee health, leadership training as an occupational health intervention, and transfer of leadership training.

Megan M. Walsh is a PhD candidate in Management (Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management) at the Faculty of Business Administration at Memorial University, Canada. Her main research interests are mindfulness at work, leadership, stress, and employee well‐being. She has presented research at national and international conferences, and has published in journals such as Work & Stress and the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

Jennifer Wong is pursuing her PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Saint Mary’s University, Canada. Her core research interests are occupational health psychology, occupational safety, leadership and training, and the roles of emotions and cognition at work. She has expertise in experience sampling method, longitudinal field research, and using objective measurements of well‐being and performance in her research designs. Her current work explores the role of different types of attention in human errors.


E. Kevin Kelloway, Karina Nielsen and Jennifer K. Dimoff

This book began with our collective recognition that leaders play a pervasive role in determining the health and safety of organizations. Our own individual research has shown the effect of leaders on employee safety (e.g., Mullen & Kelloway, 2009) and employee well‐being (Arnold, Turner, Barling, Kelloway & McKee, 2007; Nielsen & Daniels, 2012), and has pointed to the role leaders play as mental health resources in organizations (e.g., Dimoff, Kelloway & Burnstein, 2016) and as key determinants in the success of organizational interventions (Nielsen, 2013; Nielsen & Randall, 2009). Indeed, enough data have now accumulated that we thought it worthwhile to invite the leading researchers in this area to review the work they have been doing related to leadership and occupational health and safety.

Doing so, of course, requires a common understanding of what constitutes organizational ‘leadership’. Offering a single authoritative definition of leadership is a daunting task that goes well beyond our scope. Indeed, there are likely to be as many definitions of leadership as there are researchers interested in the topic (Kelloway & Barling, 2010). For the most part, however, these definitions fall within one of two broad categories. First, some researchers have focused on the notion of role occupancy – being concerned with who occupies the formal leadership roles (e.g., supervisors, managers) in organizations (Barling, Christie & Hoption, 2011). A second definition has focused on how individuals influence others. This is the question of leadership style (Barling et al., 2011) that, in its modern manifestation, focuses on the specific behaviours in which leaders engage. Kelloway and Barling (2010) combined these two definitions, suggesting that when we talk about organizational leadership we are talking about the effectiveness and behaviours of those who hold formal leadership roles in organizations. Broadly speaking, this is the approach adopted by the authors who have contributed to this book. Through these contributions, we have aimed to capture both the theoretical underpinnings of effective leadership styles and the implications for the specific leadership styles and behaviours that may influence occupational health and safety in the twenty‐first‐century workplace.

Theories of Effective Leadership

Early attempts to understand organizational leadership focused on studying the lives of influential people in order to identify the traits and qualities associated with leadership emergence and effectiveness (Carlyle, 1907). The focus on individual qualities or traits dominated the early twentieth century, but was subsequently supplanted by a focus on the behaviours enacted by successful leaders. In essence, the research question progressed from a focus on ‘who is a leader’ to ‘what do effective leaders do’ (Kelloway & Gilbert, in press). Although there have been many behavioural theories, relatively few continue to dominate most of the research literature. In our review, we focus on the specific theories that are referenced in the current volume in order to provide a common basis of understanding.

Transformational Leadership

Several reviewers have noted that Bass’s (1985) transformational leadership theory is the focus of more research than all other leadership theories combined (Barling et al., 2011; Judge & Bono, 2000). The theory makes a fundamental distinction between transactional and transformational leadership behaviours (Bass, 1985). Transactional behaviours constitute an exchange between the leader and the follower: the leaders’ behaviour is seen as a response to employee behaviours. Both negative and positive transactions are possible.

First, laissez‐faire leadership occurs when the leader has no response to the behaviour of followers. In a sense this is the absence of transactions and such leaders do not take actions in the workplace and avoid getting involved in workplace decisions or activities. In the management by exception style, the leader responds to mistakes and failures to meet standards on the part of the employee. Two forms of management by exception are possible. In passive management by exception, managers act as laissez‐faire leaders until a mistake is made and then they respond with criticism and punishment. In active management by exception, the leader actively looks for employee mistakes and then responds with criticism and punishment. Contingent reward behaviours are based on positive, rather than negative, transactions. Sometimes thought of as good management, leaders using this style set clear expectations for employee behaviour and respond with immediate and contingent feedback – either critiquing or praising performance depending on the nature of the employee behaviours. Judge and Piccolo’s (2004) meta‐analysis found that laissez‐faire and management by exception behaviours were associated with employee dissatisfaction. In contrast, when leaders displayed contingent reward behaviours, employee satisfaction and individual and organizational performance were enhanced.

Transformational leadership is posited to result in performance above and beyond those attributable to transactions. Indeed, Bass (1985) entitled his book Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectations, in recognition of the hypothesized effects of transformational leadership behaviours. In essence, these transformational behaviours comprise four behaviours (Bass & Riggio, 2006) that constitute the ‘four I’s’ of transformational leadership. Inspirational motivation occurs when leaders set high but achievable standards and encourage followers to achieve more than they thought they could. Leaders show idealized influence when they create a sense of shared mission and build trust and respect among their followers because they can be counted on to go beyond self‐interest to do what is right. Leaders display individualized consideration when they get involved in coaching, mentoring and providing support to employees. Finally, when leaders challenge employees’ beliefs and encourage independent and creative thought they are engaging in intellectual stimulation.

There is a great deal of evidence supporting the effectiveness of transformational leadership behaviours. Transformational leadership is associated with increased individual, team, and organizational performance, as well as employee satisfaction and a variety of positive organizational outcomes (Judge & Piccolo, 2004). Importantly, leaders can be taught transformational behaviours, and when they are, employees demonstrate improved attitudes and performance in a variety of contexts (Barling et al., 1996; Mullen & Kelloway, 2009).

Leader–Member Exchange (LMX)

LMX can be thought of as the second most researched theory of leadership. Barling et al. (2011) reported that 63 per cent of the studies they reviewed were based on either transformational leadership theory or LMX, with the former being more researched. Essentially, LMX theory is premised on the idea that leaders and followers influence each other and that it is the quality of the relationship between the two that is most important (Gerstner & Day, 1997). The theory is explicitly rooted in social exchange theory (Blau, 1964) in that it focuses on the nature of the exchange between leaders and their followers. Meta‐analyses (e.g., Gerstner & Day, 1997) largely support the hypothesized associations between high‐quality relationships and employee attitudes and performance.

Authentic and Ethical Leadership

More recent theories of leadership that have garnered less research attention are theories about authentic (e.g., Avolio & Gardner, 2005) and ethical leadership. Although researchers have articulated slightly different views of authenticity, most draw on Kernis (2003), who identified four elements of authenticity: self‐awareness, unbiased processing, relational authenticity, and authentic behaviour/action. Ethical leadership shares a similar concern with authentic and transformational leadership, in that all consider the moral dimension of leader behaviour (Brown & Treviño, 2006). Ethical leadership is more than just an individual leader having personal integrity. Rather, ethical leadership considers the leader’s proactive attempts to encourage ethical, and discourage unethical, behaviour in organizations.

Theories of Negative Leadership

Although most of the extant research has focused on identifying the behaviours characteristic of effective leadership, more recently many researchers have focused on the dark side of leadership (see for example, Kelloway, Sivanathan, Francis & Barling, 2005; Kelloway, Teed and Prosser, 2007), identifying behaviours that might be considered destructive (see Chapter 9) forms of leadership.

Abusive Supervision

Abusive supervision happens when individuals in a formal leadership role engage in aggressive or punishing behaviour towards their employees (Tepper, 2000, 2007). Yelling at or ridiculing subordinates, name‐calling, or threatening employees with punishment or job loss are all examples of abusive supervision in the workplace. Not surprisingly, employees who experience such behaviours from their supervisors report lower levels of job and life satisfaction, lower levels of affective commitment, increased work–family conflict, and psychological distress (Tepper, 2000). Wong and Kelloway (2016) provided data on how negative interactions with supervisors might affect physical health. Their study documented increased blood pressure as a result of negative supervisory interactions and this increase in blood pressure was maintained into the after‐work evening period.

Supervisory Injustice

More broadly, a great deal of research has focused on the consequences of being treated unfairly by supervisors. In the well‐known Whitehall II studies, data have also emerged that suggests the importance of supervisory injustice as a predictor of psychiatric illness (Ferrie et al., 2006). Kivimaki and colleagues (Kivimaki, Elovainio, Vahtera & Ferrie, 2003; Kivimaki et al., 2005) have shown that both procedural (whether the organization follows fair policies) and relational (how my supervisor treats me) injustice were predictors of sickness‐related absence and minor psychiatric illness. A variety of physical health outcomes, such as heavy drinking (Kouvonen et al., 2008), impaired cardiac regulation (Elovainio, Leino‐Arjas, Vahtera & Kivimaki, 2006), and use of sick time (Kivimaki et al., 2003) are linked to supervisory injustice.

Passive Leadership

Kelloway et al. (2005) suggested that one way in which leaders can be ineffective is through their own inaction. Drawing heavily on Bass’s (1985) conceptualization of laissez‐faire and passive management by exception, Kelloway, Mullen & Francis (2006) showed that passive leadership was not merely the absence of transformational leadership. In their study, passive leadership was associated with lower safety attitudes among employees even after controlling for the positive effects of transformational leadership. Similarly, Skogstad, Einarsen, Torsheim, Aasland & Hetland (2007) argued that passive leadership is not just the absence of good leadership, but actively exerts a destructive force in organizations.

About This Book

Mirroring the evolution of occupational health and safety as a field, we begin with a consideration of the role of the leader in promoting or developing safe workplaces. Thus, Sharon Clarke, Sara Guediri and Allan Lee focus on safety leadership in organizations, while Bowers, Fleming and Bishop focus more intently on the role of senior leaders and their influence on safety within the organization. Wong, Ozbilir and Mullen round out the focus on safety by considering how safety leadership can be developed in the organization.

We then move to a consideration of employee health and the contributions leaders make to employee wellbeing. Tafvelin draws on conservation of resource and self‐determination theory to explain how transformational leadership is linked to employee wellbeing. Game broadens this focus by examining the contribution leaders make to creating respectful workplaces. Similarly, Kelloway, Penney and Dimoff suggest that the creation of a psychologically healthy workplace is linked to the behaviour of leaders in organizations. Sanz‐Vergel and Rodriguez‐Muñoz consider how leaders affect the experience of work and family balance among their employees, and Dimoff and Kelloway discuss the role of organizational leaders as sources of social support for employees. Skogstad, Morten Birkeland Nielsen and Einarsen consider the nature and effects of destructive leadership on employee well‐being. Karina Nielsen discusses the role of leaders in making or breaking organizational interventions aimed at improving employee well‐being. Paralleling our earlier structure, Donaldson‐Feilder and Lewis round off our focus on health by considering how positive leadership can be developed in organizations.

In the last chapters of the book, we move beyond the traditional divides of health and safety to consider myriad ways in which leadership and wellbeing are intertwined. Many of these focus on newly developed concepts that the authors integrate into existing literature. Walsh and Arnold introduce the notion of mindfulness and mindful leadership as an antecedent to leadership behaviours that result in employee wellbeing. Broad and Luthans consider the burgeoning literature on psychological capital (PsyCap) to suggest how leaders might develop collective psychological capital to enhance well‐being. Dubreuil and Forest adopt a strengths‐based approach to leadership development.

The last chapter in the book, by Carleton and Barling, makes a fitting end note for the book by reversing the link between leadership and wellbeing. These authors focus on the psychological wellbeing of leaders and the consequences that might have for leadership and organizations. In doing so, they introduce a novel, and thus far overlooked, perspective.


The observation that ‘the way our leaders treat us has implications for our wellbeing’ would come as no surprise to any working individual. However, we suggest that the range of topics addressed in this volume make the case that these effects are more diverse, and more far‐reaching, than many of us would have guessed. We hope that in assembling this collection we have advanced both research and practice and that the result of our collective endeavours will be better leadership and healthier, safer organizations


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1Leadership and Safety: A Self‐Regulation and Social Learning Perspective

Sharon Clarke, Sara Guediri and Allan Lee

Leadership has long been established as a critical element in relation to workplace safety. We will consider the role of leadership in safety, with a focus on recent theoretical and practical developments in the area. Our chapter is organized into three parts that cover: (1) established, existing research on the role of leadership for safety; (2) emerging strands of research that approach safety leadership from a self‐regulation and social learning perspective; (3) implications for safety leadership interventions. The chapter reviews established research as well as new thinking about leadership and safety to help drive novel research directions in the area of safety leadership.

Safety Leadership: The Current State of Knowledge

In this initial section, we discuss the current state of knowledge regarding safety leadership, in particular traditional leadership theories, such as Bass’s (1985) full‐range leadership theory (including transformational and transactional leadership) and the implications for workplace safety. We consider the importance of leadership in relation to the organization’s safety culture and as an antecedent to safety climate, before turning our attention to the underlying psychological mechanisms linking leadership to safety outcomes.

Within organizations, leadership at the most senior levels has direct effects on organizational safety: senior management decisions (for example regarding resource allocation, investment in training, maintenance and updating of equipment) will determine how safety risks are managed at an operational level. Such decisions are fundamentally shaped by (and consequently shape) the organization’s safety culture. The failure of leaders to adequately factor safety considerations into their business decisions has been repeatedly highlighted by investigations into major disasters, where the adverse effects of poor safety leadership can be measured in terms of their considerable human, societal and environmental costs. Reason (1993, 1997) argued that the majority of organizational accidents have their origins within the managerial sphere; but the deleterious effects of poor safety leadership permeate throughout the organization, affecting attitudes and behaviours at every level. For example, in 2010 a major accident at BP’s Macondo offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in the deaths of 11 oil workers, and, subsequently, in an extensive oil spill with devastating and wide‐ranging environmental effects. The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling (2011) report into the accident concluded that: ‘most of the mistakes and oversights at Macondo can be traced back to a single overarching failure – a failure of management. Better management by BP, Halliburton, and Transocean would almost certainly have prevented the blowout by improving the ability of individuals involved to identify the risks they faced, and to properly evaluate, communicate, and address them’ (p. 90). This conclusion is not unusual, and highlights the critical role that leaders play in setting the context within which individuals evaluate and manage risks on a day‐to‐day basis. Similar conclusions have been drawn from the analysis of earlier incidents in the oil and gas industry, such as the Texas City oil refinery explosion in 2005 (Hopkins, 2008), and the Piper Alpha disaster in 1988 (Cullen, 1990), and across various other industrial sectors.

As suggested by the above quote, failures of management affect the cognitions, perceptions and behaviours of individuals working at an operational level. Leaders may directly influence the level of hazards within working environments, but they may also affect risk evaluations and safety attitudes through employees’ perceptions of the safety climate (i.e., perceptions of the priority that safety is given in relation to other organizational goals, such as productivity; Zohar, 1980, 2010). Leaders’ actions and attitudes towards safety, which reflect the strength of their commitment to safety, are recognized as a key aspect of safety climate (Flin, Mearns, O'Connor & Bryden, 2000). Substantial research has investigated the role of safety climate and established that safety climate acts as an antecedent of a range of safety outcomes (such as injuries and accidents) and safety‐related behaviours (such as safety compliance and safety participation). This body of work comprises both meta‐analyses (e.g., Beus, Payne, Bergman & Arthur, 2010; Christian, Bradley, Wallace & Burke, 2009; Clarke, 2006, 2010; Nahrgang, Morgeson & Hofmann, 2011) and longitudinal studies (e.g., Johnson, 2007; Neal & Griffin, 2006; Zohar, 2000).

Safety leadership acts as an antecedent of safety climate, which in turn mediates the effects on safety outcomes (Clarke, 2013; Mullen & Kelloway, 2009; Zohar, 2002a), as well as having direct effects on behaviour (Clarke, 2010). Zohar (2002a) argued that the value‐based and individualized interactions characteristic of transformational leadership underpin the positive impact of this leadership style on safety outcomes. Indeed, there is a well‐established link between leaders who demonstrate genuine care for the well‐being and safety of their workforce, and higher levels of workplace safety (Cohen, 1977; Dunbar, 1975; Hofmann, Jacobs & Landy, 1995; Mullen, 2005; Parker, Axtell & Turner, 2001). In a longitudinal study, Parker et al. (2001) demonstrated that having supportive, coaching‐oriented supervisors led to safer working over an 18‐month period. Furthermore, supportive leadership had a significant positive association with safety compliance, and also with employee engagement and satisfaction, as shown by the meta‐analysis conducted by Nahrgang and colleagues (2011). Such relationships would suggest that supportive leaders encourage employees to follow safety rules and regulations, but also that they create a positive working environment, which enhances work‐related attitudes, such as job satisfaction. Supportive leaders are more willing to listen to safety concerns and discuss safety issues with their team (Hofmann & Morgeson, 1999; Mullen, 2005). Such safety interactions not only will encourage further safety participation from employees, but should also raise managerial awareness of safety issues, leading to reduced hazards in the workplace. Evidence gathered from interventions involving enhanced interactions between supervisors and employees around safety supports a positive impact on employees’ behaviour and safety outcomes (Kines, Andersen, Spangenberg, Mikkelsen, Dyreborg & Zohar, 2010; Zohar, 2002b; Zohar & Polachek, 2014).

Discussion concerning the most effective leadership style for promoting workplace safety has centred on the positive influence of transformational leadership on employees’ safety perceptions, attitudes and behaviour (Barling, Loughlin & Kelloway, 2002; Conchie & Donald, 2009; Inness, Turner, Barling & Stride, 2010; Kelloway, Mullen & Francis, 2006; Zohar & Luria, 2004), and its association with fewer accidents and injuries (Yule, 2002; Zohar, 2002b). One mechanism through which transformational leaders influence their employees is based on the types of relationship that form between leaders and their subordinates over time. Transformational leaders are better able to build with their employees high leader–member exchange (LMX) relationships, which are based on trust, loyalty and integrity (Dulebohn, Bommer, Liden, Brouer & Ferris, 2012). Leader behaviours in these high‐quality relationships are reciprocated by employees through safe working and safety citizenship behaviours (Hofmann, Morgeson & Gerras, 2003; Kath, Marks & Ranney, 2010). Because of the trust‐based relationship with supervisors, high LMX has been associated with employees feeling comfortable speaking up and raising safety concerns in the workplace (Kath et al., 2010). However, while Hofmann et al. (2003) showed a strong positive association between high LMX and safety citizenship role definitions, suggesting that employees reciprocated high LMX through performing such behaviours, they also found that this relationship was moderated by safety climate. Thus, this relationship was strong in work groups with a positive safety climate, but much weaker in those exhibiting poorer safety climates. As high LMX relationships only lead to increased engagement in safety citizenship behaviours when safety climate is positive, this would suggest that safety‐related behaviour is only viewed as a legitimate means of reciprocating a high LMX relationship with the leader when safety is perceived as having high priority. Similarly, Clark, Zickar and Jex (2014) showed that narrowly defined role definitions (i.e., those characterized by the belief that organizational citizenship behaviours (OCBs) are dependent on the quality of social exchange) moderated the positive relationship between safety climate and nurses’ safety citizenship behaviours.

Transformational leaders, through a better understanding of safety issues and improved communications (Conchie, Taylor & Donald, 2012), may directly influence decisions about the management of safety hazards. In addition, there will be indirect influence through their capacity to build consensus amongst employees about the priority given to safety (Luria, 2008; Zohar & Tenne‐Gazit, 2008). At a group level, Zohar and Tenne‐Gazit (2008) found that transformational leaders encouraged team members to develop shared perceptions of safety through the promotion of shared values, the setting of collective goals, and teamwork. The study, which focused on group interactions within military platoons, using social network analysis, demonstrated that communication density (extent of platoon members’ interactions) mediated the effect of transformational platoon leaders on the subsequent development of group safety climate. In contrast, it has been argued that passive leaders, who demonstrate no interest in safety and avoid safety problems, disrupt the formation of shared views regarding the importance of safety (Luria, 2008). Supporting research has shown that passive leadership results in significant negative effects on safety, including increased incidence of occupational injuries and adverse safety events (Kelloway et al., 2006; Mullen, Kelloway & Teed, 2011) and reduced safety‐related behaviours, especially safety participation (Jiang & Probst, 2016; Smith, Eldridge & DeJoy, 2016). Furthermore, even transformational leaders who sometimes engage in passive safety leader behaviours risk damaging workplace safety: this inconsistent leadership style has been associated with negative safety outcomes. Mullen et al. (2011) found that, for those leaders who demonstrated both transformational and passive styles, the use of passive behaviours (e.g., avoiding safety issues) attenuated the positive effects of transformational behaviours (e.g., motivating employees to act safely). The importance of transformational leadership for activating those employees who are motivated to actively participate in safety was emphasized by Jiang and Probst (2016). They found that the relationship between safety motivation and safety participation was moderated by transformational leadership, so that the relationship only existed under high transformational conditions. The authors also found that passive leadership had a significant negative effect on safety participation: employees with passive leaders were less likely to actively engage in safety activities.

Although passive leadership has negative effects on workplace safety, active forms of transactional leadership (which involve proactive monitoring of employees’ behaviour, taking corrective actions and anticipating problems) facilitate the development of a work environment in which opportunities for error recovery are increased and learning from mistakes is encouraged. This type of active leadership style enables leaders to learn how to anticipate potential adverse events, better preparing them to intervene and prevent safety incidents (Griffin & Hu, 2013; Rodriguez & Griffin, 2009). In addition to improving leaders’ own capabilities, the proactive monitoring associated with active transactional leadership has been associated with employee safety behaviour, especially safety compliance (Clarke, 2013; Griffin & Hu, 2013). Thus, the emphasis on monitoring and correcting employees’ behaviour increases awareness of the importance of safety regulations, and encourages rule‐following. Research has shown that there are differential effects of leader behaviours in relation to employee safety behaviours. For example, Griffin and Hu (2013) found that safety‐inspiring leader behaviours were significantly associated with safety participation: motivating behaviour encouraged active involvement in safety activities, safety citizenship behaviours and speaking up about safety. On the other hand, safety‐monitoring leader behaviours were aligned with safety compliance: close supervision encouraged adherence to safety rules and regulations. Similarly, Clarke (2013) supported a model of safety leadership in which transformational leadership was directly related to safety participation, and active transactional leadership was directly related to safety compliance. Such studies suggest that safety leaders might use a combination of transformational and active transactional behaviours to influence workplace safety effectively. Indeed, Clarke and Ward (2006) found that influence tactics associated with both leadership styles were effective in promoting employee safety participation.

Theoretical Perspectives Linking Leadership to Safety Performance

As highlighted in the previous section, a sizeable body of research demonstrates the link between leadership and various aspects of safety performance. While establishing this link is important, it is imperative to elucidate the underlying processes that explain how leaders, and different leadership styles, influence followers’ safety performance. The theoretical frameworks described below demonstrate the reasons why certain leadership styles predict safety performance and can help establish the boundary conditions that may accentuate or attenuate such effects. Specifically, this section will review emerging approaches to studying leadership and safety. To provide a theoretical framework, we will integrate these emerging approaches within the wider conceptual perspectives of social learning, social exchange and self‐regulation. Such theoretical perspectives have been prominent in recent research investigating the leadership–safety link.

Safety Leadership from a Social Learning and Social Exchange Perspective

The impact of leaders on employee safety attitudes and behaviour has been explained through the principles of social exchange and social learning. Social exchange theory posits that if a party acts favourably towards another party, this gives rise to a sense of obligation to reciprocate the beneficial behaviour (Blau, 1964). In an early study, Hofmann and Morgeson (1999) referred to social exchange theory as a theoretical foundation for a better understanding of the effect of leaders on workplace safety. If a leader provides resources for safety and invests in safety training for employees, this will create a sense of obligation amongst followers to reciprocate through engagement in positive safety behaviour (Hofmann & Morgeson, 1999; Hofmann et al., 2003). Social learning theory has been utilized as a second conceptual foundation for investigating the role of leaders in employee safety behaviour. Social learning theory proposes that learning occurs in a social context through the observation of and interactions with others (Bandura, 1977). Applying a social learning perspective to safety