High performance work systems and workplace safety: a multilevel approach


Research in workplace safety has focused on either the physical approach that emphasizes ergonomic design of the environment and work-related equipment, an environmental approach that emphasizes potential hazards such as noise, toxins, and temperature, or a behavioural approach that emphasizes changing employee behaviours that are deemed to be responsible for workplace incidents such as accidents, injuries, fatalities, and safetyrelated events. I built on this research (i) to develop and validate an HPWS for safety scale, and (ii) to propose and test a model of processes through which unit level HPWS for safety influence individual level safety outcomes. This thesis reports the findings of four studies. Three of these studies focused on the development and validation of an HPWS for safety scale while the fourth study used the validated scale to examine the processes through which HR practices influence workplace safety. Data were analyzed using multilevel structural equation modelling (MSEM) with Mplus version 7.3. The findings revealed that (i) experienced HPWS for safety directly relates to safety behaviours and also indirectly through safety knowledge and safety motivation, (ii) experienced HPWS for safety relates to both safety-specific events and workplace injuries through a mediational chain of safety knowledge and safety compliance, (iii) experienced HPWS for safety relates to workplace injuries through a mediational chain of safety knowledge and safety initiative, (iv) experienced HPWS for safety relates to both safety-related events and workplace injuries via safety motivation and safety compliance, (v) the use of HPWS for safety significantly related to unit safety climate, (vi) the use of HPWS for safety significantly related to experienced HPWS for safety while unit-level safety climate moderated the safety knowledge-safety compliance relationship. Lastly, the findings provide support for the psychometric properties of the scale. I also discussed the theoretical and practical implications of the findings, highlighted the study’s strengths and limitations, and then mapped out some directions for future research.

Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Work & Organisational Psychology
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Institution: Aston University
Uncontrolled Keywords: High performance work system for safety,unit safety climate,safety knowledge/safety motivation,safety behaviours,safety outcomes
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2023 08:52
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2017 15:55
Completed Date: 2016-11-10
Authors: Okhawere, Paulson Young Ofenimu


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