PurposeContainer terminal operation is one of the most risky industries. Many of the accidents that occurred were found to be caused by human errors. However, it seems relatively little research has been conducted to examine the influence of leader-member exchange (LMX) relationship on employee safety behavior. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine the effects of leader-member exchange and safety climate on employees’ safety organizational citizenship behaviors (SOCB) in the container terminal context based on the social exchange theory.Design/methodology/approachA structural equation modeling was used with confirmatory factor analysis, and survey data are collected from 265 employees in major container terminals in Taiwan.FindingsResults indicated that LMX is positively associated with safety climate, whereas safety climate positively influences employees’ safety citizenship behavior. Specifically, results indicated that safety climate mediates the effect of LMX on employees’ SOCB.Research limitations/implicationsThis study was limited to LMX dimensions adapted from the studies of Li and Liao (2014) and Vidyarthiv et al. (2014). Future research could examine the linkages between LMX, ethical climate, safety performance and supervisor leadership influence. Furthermore, this research focused specifically on employees from the container terminal operators in Taiwan. It would be valuable to collect data from employees from other countries to obtain a balanced view of the relationship between LMX, team-member exchange (TMX), safety climate and employee SOCB in container terminal operations.Practical implicationsThis research provides a useful implication for container terminal operators to enhance LMX qualities and employee safety behavior through organizational participation, employee-helping behaviors and informing workers to obey safety rule and regulation.Originality/valueGiven the prevalence of accidents and unsafe behavior in container terminal operations, this research sought to examine the relationships among LMX, safety climate and employee SOCB in the container terminal context. Theoretically, this study highlights the importance of LMX and safety climate in explaining the SOCB of employees.
Maritime Business Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 15, 2017
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