Colloquium: Linking CEO Ethical Leadership to Frontline Employee Safety Behaviours
|Linking CEO Ethical Leadership to Frontline Employee Safety Behaviours
Dr. Tunde Ogunfowora (pronounced Toon-day) is an Assistant Professor of Human Resources and Organizational Dynamics at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary (Canada). His research interests include ethical leadership, abusive supervision, ethical decision making and moral behaviours in the workplace. Dr. Ogunfowora also has an interest in individual differences in morally-oriented traits, values, and cognitions, and their roles in understanding leadership and ethics at work.
Co-authors: Dr. Sean Tucker, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Regina, Canada, Dayle Diekrager, Saskatchewan Workers Compensation Board
Each year, thousands of workers are killed on the job. In a growing number of these incidents (Frontline, 2008), the organizational leader is singled out by the media. This paper examines how organizational leaders effectively exercise the duty of care owed to their workers by acting ethically and fostering a culture of safety for reducing work-related injuries and fatalities. Drawing on social learning theory (Bandura, 1973, 1977) and Brown and colleagues’ (2005) ethical leadership construct, we developed and tested a multi-level, trickle-down model linking CEO ethical leadership to frontline employee safety behavior. Specifically, we explored different paths of influence through CEO safety commitment, top management team safety commitment, and frontline supervisory safety commitment. Data were collected from 2,513 frontline employees, 1,452 supervisors, and 206 members of top management teams in 52 organizations. The results showed support for our hypothesized path of influence. Specifically, we found that CEO ethical leadership was positively related to CEO commitment to safety (rated by members of the top management team). Furthermore, CEO commitment to safety was positively related to perceptions of top management team commitment to safety (rated by supervisors). Top management’s commitment to safety was related to frontline employee perceptions of supervisor commitment to safety and, in turn, employee self-reported safety compliance and participation behaviors. The results also showed support for other alternate paths of influence. These findings suggest that ethical organizational leaders can create and foster a strong commitment to safety that permeates through different layers of the organization.
Dr. Tunde Ogunfowora
The University of Western Australia, Accelerated Learning Laboratory (ground floor of the Third General Purpose Building and the entrance is on the northern side of the building
Tue, 18 Feb 2014 13:00
Tue, 18 Feb 2014 14:00
Elizabeth Thompson <[email protected]>
Tue, 10 Feb 2015 15:16
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