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An exploration of workplace social capital as an antecedent of occupational safety and health climate and outcomes in the Chinese education sector

  • Jessica Janice Tang
  • Stavroula Leka
  • Nigel Hunt
  • Sara MacLennan
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

It is widely acknowledged that teachers are at greater risk of work-related health problems. At the same time, employee perceptions of different dimensions of organizational climate can influence their attitudes, performance, and well-being at work. This study applied and extended a safety climate model in the context of the education sector in Hong Kong. Apart from safety considerations alone, the study included occupational health considerations and social capital and tested their relationships with occupational safety and health (OSH) outcomes.

Methods

Seven hundred and four Hong Kong teachers completed a range of questionnaires exploring social capital, OSH climate, OSH knowledge, OSH performance (compliance and participation), general health, and self-rated health complaints and injuries. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to analyze the relationships between predictive and outcome variables.

Results

SEM analysis revealed a high level of goodness of fit, and the hypothesized model including social capital yielded a better fit than the original model. Social capital, OSH climate, and OSH performance were determinants of both positive and negative outcome variables. In addition, social capital not only significantly predicted general health directly, but also had a predictive effect on the OSH climate–behavior–outcome relationship.

Conclusions

This study makes a contribution to the workplace social capital and OSH climate literature by empirically assessing their relationship in the Chinese education sector.

Keywords

Occupational safety and health Safety climate Social capital General health Teachers Hong Kong 

Notes

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica Janice Tang
    • 1
  • Stavroula Leka
    • 1
  • Nigel Hunt
    • 1
  • Sara MacLennan
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Work, Health and OrganisationsUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  2. 2.Academic Urology UnitUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK

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