A new look at compliance with work procedures: An engagement perspective

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This research presents a model of employee behaviour related to the use of procedures in safety critical industries. A key contribution is the focus on procedure-related behaviour that is enacted when employees are engaged with their work—such as when they invest personal effort into complying with procedures and voice suggestions or concerns they have with the procedures. This study examines how these two engaged behaviours, namely, effort towards compliance and procedure-related voice behaviour, are influenced by psychological and organizational factors. In doing so, we introduce Kahn's theory of work engagement into the safety procedure literature. Survey data were collected from 152 maintainers in a mining corporation in Australia. The data were analysed using path analysis. Our results indicated that supervisor helping behaviour had a significant positive effect on effort towards compliance and procedure-related voice, via its influence on perceived usefulness and job self-efficacy, respectively. The results suggest that employees’ perceptions of the utility value of the procedures as well as their own capabilities in carrying out their job tasks play a key role in shaping how employees use procedures. Organizations should influence those perceptions in order to encourage employees’ engagement in the use of procedures. Our study suggests that this can be achieved by structuring the role of supervisors to ensure they have the capacity and availability to help their team members.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-54
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018

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