Safety Leadership and its Relationship with Safety Performance: A Case Study of an Australian Facility Management Company

Doctorate other than PhD


Allred, Timothy. 2022. Safety Leadership and its Relationship with Safety Performance: A Case Study of an Australian Facility Management Company. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Professional Studies. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/x63w4
Title

Safety Leadership and its Relationship with Safety Performance: A Case Study of an Australian Facility Management Company

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
AuthorsAllred, Timothy
Supervisor
1. FirstProf Luke van der Laan
2. SecondDr Lee Fergusson
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Professional Studies
Number of Pages509
Year2022
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/x63w4
Abstract

Despite over 100 years of health, safety and wellbeing (HSWB) practice and research, too many incidents and injuries are still occurring in workplaces, resulting in fatalities and life-changing injuries and illnesses. HSWB research traditionally focuses on high-risk settings, such as mining, oil and gas, and construction, creating a gap in the literature for lower-risk environments such as the facility management industry within the Australian context. Furthermore, there is an identified gap in the literature around the impact of specific safety leadership theories on improving safety performance.

The purpose of this work-based study is to implement a project and conduct research that investigates a case indicative of the research problem: where there is no measure of safety leadership prioritisation, in relation to its stated commitment to increased safety prioritisation impact within the workforce and no understanding of the organisation's needs. Further, based on the study findings, it seeks to address the gap in the extant literature related to the phenomenon.

This research aims to explain the nature of the possible relationship between Safety Leadership, through a lens of Authentic Leadership, and Safety Performance within the workplace. The current state of knowledge on safety leadership and safety performance identified in the literature review underpins the questions which aim to address the practice-based research project assessing the relationship between Authentic Leadership and Safety Performance.

To address the aims of this study, the study sought to answer two research questions: 1) What is the relationship between Authentic Leadership, Safety Climate and Safety Performance within an Australian Facility Management Company? and 2) What are the respondents’ perceptions of change to Authentic Leadership, Safety Climate and Safety Performance attributed to the Leadership, After-Action Review and Learning Team interventions of an Australian Facility Management Company?

The study adopted an explanatory mixed-method within a Type 2 embedded, single-case study design over two phases. Phase one included the quantitative data v collection consisting of two independent survey instruments, the Nordic Occupational Safety Climate Questionnaire (NOSACQ-50) and Authentic Leadership Inventory (ALI), and organisational safety performance data either side of the Project Intervention. Phase two of the study contains the Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis, through focus groups and key stakeholder interviews.

The results confirmed statistically significant correlational relationships between the ALI and NOSACQ-50 instruments within the Company, suggesting that a relationship exists between Authentic Leadership and Safety Climate. No statistically significant correlational relationships were observed between the mean ALI and NOSACQ-50 scores and the workgroup’s safety performance metrics. This indicates that there is no relationship between Authentic Leadership and Safety Climate and the Company’s Safety Performance. However, there is a statistically significant predictor effect observed in the negative binomial regression analysis between the Authentic Leadership and Safety Climate scores and several safety performance metrics. This suggests that there is a relationship between Authentic Leadership and Safety Climate and a selection of safety performance metrics measured by the Company. This finding is supported by the qualitative thematic analysis, which found that ‘Authentically Leading Safety’ led to ‘Empowered & Engaged Teams’ and ‘Safe Operational Outcomes’. Respondent’s had mixed perceptions on the changes observed within the Company as a result of the Project Interventions, with only the Leadership Intervention identified as having a positive impact on Authentic Leadership, Safety Climate and Safety Performance.

The contributions of this study provide a ‘triple dividend’ contribution. Firstly, professional practice has been advanced by increasing safety leadership capabilities and improving safe operational outcomes within the Company. Secondly, contributions to the knowledge of theory and the profession’s body of knowledge were made through demonstrating the utility of the ALI and NOSACQ-50 instruments within novel settings, further expanding HSWB research beyond the high-risk context. Thirdly, the researcher developed professionally, in line with their doctoral learning objectives A number of limitations of the study are noted and lines of enquiry for future research are articulated.

Keywordsauthentic leadership; safety leadership; safety climate; safety performance; health safety and wellbeing; work-based research Embargo
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020350505. Occupational and workplace health and safety
350503. Human resources management
Public Notes

File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsSchool of Humanities and Communication
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