Current knowledge about relationships between leadership and workplace safety is based mainly on cross-sectional studies focusing on constructive forms of leadership. We suggest that this one-sided attention to constructive leadership and the lack of temporal research designs have restrained our understanding of: 1) the impact of both constructive and destructive forms of leadership on safety, 2) whether and how leadership is related to safety over time, and 3) potential bidirectional associations between leadership and safety. To substantiate these claims empirically, time-lagged relationships between constructive-, laissez-faire-, and tyrannical leadership and psychological safety climate were examined among 683 employees from the offshore petroleum industry. We found that associations with psychological safety climate were dependent upon the types of leadership examined. A bidirectional relationship was established between leadership and psychological safety climate. The findings support the importance of a multidimensional approach and a temporal design in research on leadership and safety.

Nielsen, Morten Birkeland; Skogstad, Anders; Matthiesen, Stig Berge; Einarsen, Ståle
Leadership Quarterly 27(1): 142–155
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