Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Leadership characteristics identified within successful safety cultures: A study of transformational, transactional and passive/avoidant leader behaviors
by Krouse, James E., Ed.D., Indiana Wesleyan University, 2009, 122; 3409994
Abstract (Summary)

This correlative study considered the association between leadership characteristics and safety outcomes. The leadership characteristics found in transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leaders who have the responsibility for safety within their organization were researched. The qualitative and quantitative study had a sample size of 37 at 28 facilities within a concrete association located within the Midwest. The Pearson Product Moment correlation and T-test were used to determine the direction and significance of the association between the independent variables of three distinct styles of leadership found with Safety Directors and the dependent variable of Total Recordable Incident Rates, as tabulated by The Bureau of Labor Statistics. To achieve the results required within this study, the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) was used to measure the specific styles of leadership at each location surveyed. In addition, interviews were completed to see if any significant leadership styles were present with those organizations who had lower and higher than average Total Recordable Incident Rates.

Analysis of the data did not reveal any significant correlation between transformational leadership (H1) and lower Total Recordable Incident Rates. It was also found during exploratory data analysis (H2) and (H3) that no significant correlation exited between other leadership characteristics of transactional and laissez-faire leaders and Total Recordable Incident Rates. Although not statistically significant at the ninety five percent level, it was found that laissezfaire leadership style was associated with higher Total Recordable Incident Rates. Qualitative research did indicate those leaders with stronger transformational leadership characteristics did have lower Total Recordable Incident Rates and the laissez-faire leadership style tended to be associated with higher incidents.

The implications related to this study and the findings show that although the issues of safety culture improvement remain paramount, leadership issues remain complex within all organizations. It is hoped that further research is completed looking at the leadership styles of transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leader characteristics.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Johnson, Boyd
Commitee: Freemyer, James, Wilkinson, Gary
School: Indiana Wesleyan University
Department: Organizational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 71/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management
Keywords: Laissez-faire leadership, Leadership, Leadership styles, Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ), Safety cultures, Transactional leadership, Transformational leadership
Publication Number: 3409994
ISBN: 978-1-124-07944-8
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