Abstract

Practitioner views on good safety leadership constitute implicit leadership theories. Themes in the descriptions of best practices in safety leadership, illustrate what behaviours are seen as most effective and may be most beneficial in leader development. Paricipants of this study (n=112) completed an online survey consisting of open questions regarding their views on safety leadership and multiple choice items concerned with how these behaviours may best be trained. Based on a model of safety leadership that contains four behaviours (Leveraging, Energising, Adapting, and Defending), the responses were analysed to identify themes. The analysis indicated that participants' responses particularly reflected three of the leadership behaviours namely Leveraging, Energising, and Defending. Adapting, which contains future oriented behaviours related to learning was not frequently indicated. Participants' responses also showed a preference for a blended approach for safety leadership training consisting of online and face to face learning. The results provide insights into the similarities and discrepancies between academics and practitioners' views on the conceptualization of safety leadership and can inform leader development.

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