Leader-member exchange: Moderating the health and safety outcomes of job insecurity

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Journal of Safety Research


© 2015 Elsevier Ltd and National Safety Council. Introduction Job insecurity has been repeatedly linked with poor employee health and safety outcomes. Although research on high quality leader-member exchange (LMX) has demonstrated many beneficial effects, no research to date has examined the extent to which positive LMX might attenuate those adverse health and safety-related consequences of job insecurity. The current study extends research in this area by specifically examining the buffering impact of LMX on the relationship between job insecurity and safety knowledge, reported accidents, and physical health conditions. Furthermore, the study also examines whether positive LMX mitigates the typically seen negative impact of job insecurity on supervisor satisfaction. Methods The hypotheses were tested using survey data collected from 212 employees of a mine located in southwestern United States. Results As predicted, job insecurity was related to lower levels of supervisor satisfaction, more health ailments, and more workplace accidents, and was marginally related to lower levels of safety knowledge. Results indicated that LMX significantly attenuated these observed relationships. Conclusions The quality of the dyadic relationship between supervisor and subordinate has a significant impact on the extent to which job insecurity is associated with adverse health and safety outcomes. Practical applications Practical implications for supervisor behavior and developing high quality LMX are discussed in light of today's pervasive job insecurity.

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