The effect of benevolent leadership on safety behavior: A moderated mediation model.J Safety Res. 2023 Jun; 85:31-41.JS
While high quality leadership is of great importance for enhancing safety behavior in the workplace, there has been a lack of research on how benevolent leadership influences such behavior. Subordinates' moqi (i.e., their unspoken understanding of the work expectations, intentions, and requirements of their superiors) and safety climate were introduced to examine this relationship.
Based on implicit followership theory, this study explores the relationship between benevolent (well meaning, kindly) leadership and employees' safety behavior, as well as the mediating role of subordinates' moqi and the moderating role of safety climate. 608 employees of a petroleum company in China were randomly selected as participants, and the data were collected in two stages.
The results showed that: (1) Benevolent leadership is positively correlated with employees' safety behavior. (2) Subordinates' moqi mediates between benevolent leadership and employees' safety behavior. (3) Safety climate moderates the mediating role of subordinates' moqi between benevolent leadership and employees' safety behavior. (4) The positive effect of subordinates' moqi on employees' safety behavior is enhanced under a positive safety climate.
Benevolent leadership is an effective leadership style that enhances employees' safety behaviors by promoting a moqi state between supervisors and subordinates. The invisible environmental climate, in particular, the safety climate, should be a key focus in the promotion of safety behaviors.
This study further broadens the research perspective of employee safety behavior from the perspective of implicit followership theory. It also provides practical guidance for improving employee safety behavior, namely selecting and cultivating benevolent leaders, enhancing subordinates' moqi, and actively fostering a positive organizational safety climate.