Ethical climates and workplace safety behaviors: An empirical investigation [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 80 (3):515 - 529 (2008)
In this article, the important but neglected link between workplace safety-enhancing behavior and ethics is explored. Using data from 237 employees from five manufacturing plants in the Midwest, we investigated how specific local ethical climate types are linked to incidences of injuries and two types of safety-enhancing behaviors: safety compliance and safety participation. It was hypothesized that egoist climates are positively related to injuries and negatively related to safety-enhancing behaviors. In contrast, it is proposed that both benevolent and principled climates have negative relationships with injuries and positive relationships with safety-enhancing behaviors. Results provided support only for our principled climate types while benevolence has the desired negative relationship with injuries. Egoism and benevolence are not related to safety-enhancing behaviors. Theoretical and practical implications of findings are discussed.
Keywords ethical climates  safety-enhancing behavior  occupational safety
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Robert K. Merton (1961). Social Theory and Social Structure. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 11 (44):345-346.

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