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Organizational support for the workforce and employee safety citizenship behaviors: a social exchange relationship

Reader, Tom W. and Mearns, Kathryn and Lopes, Claudia and Kuha, Jouni (2017) Organizational support for the workforce and employee safety citizenship behaviors: a social exchange relationship. Human Relations, 70 (3). pp. 362-385. ISSN 0018-7267

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0018726716655863

Abstract

Employee safety citizenship behaviors are crucial to risk management in safety-critical industries, and identifying ways to encourage them is a priority. This study examines (i) whether safety citizenship behaviors are a product of social exchanges between employees and organizations, and (ii) the organizational exchanges (i.e. actual activities to support employees) that underlie this relationship. We studied this in the offshore oil and gas industry, and investigated whether organizational activities for supporting workforce health are a signal to employees that the organization supports them, and an antecedent to safety citizenship behaviors. Using questionnaires, we collected data from employees (n = 820) and medics (n = 30) on 22 offshore installations. Multi-level path analysis found that where activities to support workforce health were greater, offshore employees were more likely to perceive their organization to support them, and in turn report more commitment to the organization and safety citizenship behaviors. This indicates safety citizenship behaviors are a product of social exchange, and provides insight on how organizations can influence employee engagement in them. It also suggests social exchange theory as a useful framework for investigating how organizational safety is influenced by workforce relations. We contributed to the social exchange literature through conceptualizing and demonstrating how organizational exchanges lead to reciprocal employee citizenship behaviors.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://hum.sagepub.com/
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Social Psychology
Departments > Psychological and Behavioural Science
Date Deposited: 25 May 2016 09:10
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2017 10:52
Projects: RR376
Funders: UK Health and Safety Executive
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/66644

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