Safety Leadership Functions Using Complexity Science

  • John Ojuola
  • Sherif Mostafa
  • Sherif MohamedEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering book series (LNME)


In order to put a proactive approach in place with regards to the prevention of workplace injuries, there is a lean towards the main determinants of safety; e.g. leadership. As a result of their vital role in organisations, leaders are seen as prime players in the creation of safe work environments. However, leadership is a complex, multi-phased concept which advocates that various leadership styles affect the outcome of safety in diverse ways. Therefore, this paper highlighted that complex systems predominantly focus on the relationship amongst teams, behavioural patterns and the interdependencies within an evolving system. Thus, applying the same concept to safety and leadership provided direction in practice and presented an unorthodox leadership construct that would enable managers to imbibe leadership apt for the twenty-first century. The aim of this paper was to develop a framework for safety leadership functions using complexity science. This study was centred on literature review based on the following themes—leadership style, complexity leadership theory and safety leadership. Discussions on the study carried out was presented, followed by a framework for safety leadership. This paper concluded that complexity science supports the flexibility, innovative and dynamism of leadership; not as a set of capabilities or standards innate in any one person.


Complexity leadership theory Leadership style Safety leadership 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Engineering and Built EnvironmentGriffith UniversityGold CoastAustralia

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