Outcomes of Safety Climate in Trucking: a Longitudinal Framework

Jin Lee, Yueng Hsiang Huang, Robert R. Sinclair, Janelle H. Cheung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Utilizing a longitudinal approach, this study examined mechanisms explaining how safety climate is associated with truck drivers’ safety behavior and outcomes. The present study also examined the top-down process of how organization-level safety climate (i.e., top management referenced) is related to group-level safety climate (i.e., supervisor referenced). Two waves (matched N = 481) of safety climate and safety behavior data (with a 2-year interval) were obtained from a large US trucking company. Days lost due to road injuries were assessed 6 months after time 2. Autoregressive, cross-lagged, and prospective effects were examined. Safety climate scores and safety behavior were moderately stable across a 2-year period. Both organization- and group-level safety climate scores were positively associated with safety behavior. The top-down association between time 1 organization-level safety climate and time 2 group-level safety climate was supported. Safety behavior mediated the relationship between group-level safety climate and future lost days due to injury. Contrary to suggestions of some prior research, the present study shows that safety climate measures may have lasting ability to predict safety behavior/outcomes in the trucking industry. In particular, the present study supported a hierarchical model in which organization-level safety climate influences safety outcomes through its influence on group-level climate. The top-down model connotes that top management efforts to instill a strong positive safety climate to affect workers’ driving behavior operate through management’s influence on the actions of the workers’ immediate supervisor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)865-878
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Business and Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Autoregressive effect
  • Lagged effect
  • Longitudinal design
  • Mediation
  • Safety climate and safety behavior
  • Top-down process
  • Trucking industry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Applied Psychology
  • General Psychology


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