To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Managerial implications for construction practices as a consequence of using a psychological contract of safety

Mohammad Tanvi Newaz (School of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia)
Marcus Jefferies (School of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia)
Peter Rex Davis (School of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia)
Manikam Pillay (School of Health Sciences, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 3 August 2020

Issue publication date: 28 April 2021

308

Abstract

Purpose

Despite many studies that aim to argue, develop and position the concept of psychological contracts, few have explored how a psychological contract may be applied to safety in the construction industry. A psychological contract of safety (PCS) describes an individual's conceptualized belief that relates to mutual safety obligations, drawn from explicit or implicit promises of associated workers or its supervisor. This study investigates safety practices on construction sites through the lens of the widely applied and researched psychological contract theory emanating from a business paradigm.

Design/methodology/approach

The process of validating a PCS scale within the construction industry required the collection of data from a mega-construction project in Sydney, Australia. A quantitative methodology was used to collect data from 352 construction workers through a survey instrument designed to reveal their perception of procedures, policies and practices. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to ensure data reliability and data validity of the survey findings together with goodness of fit of PCS model.

Findings

The findings showed the presence of a PCS in a construction safety setting examined. A two-factor model underlying aspects, namely employer and employee obligations was recommended since the four-factor model, including relational and transactional components of both parties' safety obligations, could not be validated due to the discriminant validity associated with the particular constructs.

Originality/value

Conceptualizing the extant PC theory as a framework from which to leverage safety management initiatives brings a new approach to construction safety studies, revealing the influential role of supervisors in interpreting safety practices. The research aimed to identify safety obligations, which are influential in the development of PSC scale, further the research provides an explanation as to how a PCS may be contextualized in the construction industry.

Keywords

Citation

Newaz, M.T., Jefferies, M., Davis, P.R. and Pillay, M. (2021), "Managerial implications for construction practices as a consequence of using a psychological contract of safety", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 28 No. 4, pp. 1134-1155. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-02-2020-0119

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles