Leadership styles and safety performance in high-risk industries: a systematic review
The importance of leadership on safety has been well acknowledged and studied for many years in various high-risk industries. This paper aims at (1) synthesising the existing safety leadership research by performing a systematic literature review to gain an overview of the relationship between various leadership styles and safety performance in high-risk industries with a main focus on health and workplace safety and (2) analysing and comparing the major results from the reviewed studies. The results show that nine leadership styles – transformational leadership, transactional leadership, leader–member exchange, authentic leadership, empowering leadership, ethical leadership, paternalistic leadership, charismatic leadership and passive leadership – have been frequently used in the development and validation of safety leadership theories as well as in understanding the leadership influence towards safety climate, safety compliance and safety participation in various contexts. However, blurred boundaries among the constructs of leadership styles alongside inconsistency in the conceptualisation and measurement of safety performance hinder the advancement of understanding safety leadership’s influence on safety performance. It is therefore of importance that further research develops consistent measurement instruments and conceptualisation and that systems thinking is applied to the study of leadership styles’ influence on safety performance.
PublisherTaylor & Francis
CitationTa TDM, Kim T, Gausdal AH. Leadership styles and safety performance in high-risk industries: a systematic review. Safety and Reliability. 2022
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