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The application of the psychological contract to workplace safety

Walker, Arlene and Hutton, Dorothy 2006, The application of the psychological contract to workplace safety, Journal of safety research, vol. 37, no. 5, pp. 433-441, doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2006.06.001.

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Title The application of the psychological contract to workplace safety
Author(s) Walker, ArleneORCID iD for Walker, Arlene
Hutton, Dorothy
Journal name Journal of safety research
Volume number 37
Issue number 5
Start page 433
End page 441
Publisher Pergamon - Elservier
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2006
ISSN 0022-4375
Keyword(s) Workplace safety
Psychological contracts
Social exchange theory
Qualitative research
Scale development
Summary Introduction: Psychological contracts of safety are conceptualized as the beliefs of individuals about reciprocal safety obligations inferred from implicit or explicit promises. Although the literature on psychological contracts is growing, the existence of psychological contracts in relation to safety has not been established. The research sought to identify psychological contracts in the conversations of employees about safety, by demonstrating reciprocity in relation to employer and employee safety obligations. The identified safety obligations were used to develop a measure of psychological contracts of safety. Method: The participants were 131 employees attending safety training sessions in retail and manufacturing organizations. Non-participant observation was used to collect the data during safety training sessions. Content analysis was used to analyze the data. Categories for coding were established through identification of language markers that demonstrated contingencies or other implied obligations. Results: Direct evidence of reciprocity between employer safety obligations and employee safety obligations was found in statements from the participants demonstrating psychological contracts. A comprehensive list of perceived employer and employee safety obligations was compiled and developed into a measure of psychological contracts of safety. A small sample of 33 safety personnel was used to validate the safety obligations. Conclusions and impact on industry: Implications of these findings for safety and psychological contract research are discussed.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.jsr.2006.06.001
Field of Research 170107 Industrial and Organisational Psychology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2006, National Safety Council and Elsevier Ltd
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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