Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Eric Sundstrom

Committee Members

John W. Lounsbury, Robert T. Ladd, Richard A. Saudargas


This archival field study examined the relationships of supportive leadership, employee engagement, and safety outcomes in order to address the current knowledge gap regarding these concepts and also to test predictions of and extend the Job Demands-Job Resources Model. Participants were 3,312 employees from multiple departments located at 11 different locations of a large southeastern utility company. Data were collected on supportive leadership, employee engagement, and safety climate using archival data from self-report questionnaires. Recordable injuries and first-aid instances were collected through the organization’s archival safety records. Three consecutive years of data were included in the study. As expected, supportive leadership and employee engagement both showed a negative relationship with safety outcomes, as measured by first-aid instances and injury rates. Partial support was found for the main hypothesis, which predicted employee engagement would mediate the relationship between supportive leadership and safety outcomes. Significant mediation was found in two of the three years included in this study, as well is when all years were combined. The current study was the first to empirically test the relationship between supportive leadership and safety outcomes mediated by employee engagement. The findings have implications for theory, research and, perhaps most importantly, practical application.

Table9.pdf (88 kB)
Table 9: Study Variables: Descriptive Statistics for Years 2007-2009 by Site

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