The role of organizational trust in safety climate's influence on organizational outcomes

  • Kath L
  • Magley V
  • Marmet M
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Abstract

Based on elements of social exchange theory and other conceptualizations of trust, a model was developed situating organizational trust as a central component to the relationship that safety climate has with organizational outcomes. Specifically, the model specified that two facets of safety climate – upward safety communication and management attitudes toward safety – would be positively related to organizational trust. Increased levels of trust would then predict increased motivation to engage in safe job-related behaviors, increased job satisfaction, and decreased turnover intentions. Another hypothesis investigated whether job safety relevance would moderate the relationship between safety climate and trust. Online survey research was conducted with 599 employees from 97 workgroups across a New England grocery store chain. Hierarchical linear modeling indicated support for trust mediating the relationship between safety climate and organizational outcomes; further, the relationship between safety climate and trust was stronger within workgroups where safety was more relevant.

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Authors

  • Lisa M. Kath

  • Vicki J. Magley

  • Matthew Marmet

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