• Trost Amos

Student thesis: Doctor of Business Administration


This research investigated how the likelihood of accidents across job types in a safety critical organisation influences leadership styles linked to safety and team performance. Existing literature views safety critical organisations using a lens of a high likelihood of accidents (or high-risk). Several roles within a safety critical organisation differ in the likelihood of accidents with performing the job task. Job roles occur in a low to high-risk continuum based on the likelihood of accidents. The context in which work is performed influences leadership styles associated with safety and team performance, within the same organisation. This research uses the transformational-transactional leadership framework and authentic leadership to explore sub-dimensions of the transformational-transactional leadership styles that will have similar and differential effects on safety performance, measured by safety climate, across low and high-risk roles in a safety critical organisation. The research argues that intellectual stimulation and management by exception-active sub-dimensions of transformational-transactional leadership would show differential effects across these risk-based job types, with all other dimensions displaying similar effects. In addition, the research explores the mediating effect of Leader Member Exchange on leadership styles expected to show a differential effect. A mixed method explanatory sequential design was used in this research, starting with a quantitative study and a subsequent qualitative study to derive practical insights from the quantitative study findings. The quantitative survey study comprised team members and their leaders working across low and high-risk teams based on the accident likelihood of their jobs in a safety critical organisation. Results showed that intellectual stimulation and management by exception active had differential effects across these teams in achieving safety climate. All other sub-dimensions of transformational-transactional leadership and authentic leadership had a similar effect. No differential effects were seen across all leadership styles on team performance, while Leader-Member Exchange mediated only intellectual stimulation but not management by exception – active. The qualitative analysis highlights how leaders display the two differentiating leadership styles daily in achieving safety performance. This research provides practitioners with a model of leadership behaviours to display as they navigate careers and deliver safety performance across low and high-risk teams within large safety critical organisations. Academically, the research extends understanding of safety leadership within safety critical organisations across several job contexts.
Date of Award31 Dec 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorSharon Clarke (Supervisor) & Robin Martin (Supervisor)


  • high risk
  • accident
  • safety critical

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