Systematic Review of Safety Leadership: A Fresh Perspective

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering book series (LNME)


Due to its importance, safety leadership has witnessed much attention for many decades. Safety leadership plays a significant role in improving safety performance in different industries. For safety managers, the main role of leadership revolves around influencing the relevant people in order to build a safer work environment. Thus, most of previous safety leadership research studies focused on leadership behaviours and competencies that help and support leaders in their influencing role. Because of the continual rise of workplace complexity, knowing only how to influence others may not be enough. Leaders need to understand the influencing process itself by knowing what and when influencing should be practised as well as how to gain maximum benefits. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to systematically review the previously published relevant papers over the past seven years. The paper presents a critical review of leadership behaviours and competencies which has led to the development of a fresh perspective that is based on the well-known Systems Thinking approach. The paper advocates that this perspective would enhance managers’ influencing ability, and thus stepping up safety leadership practice to a higher level.


Safety leadership Systems thinking Leadership competencies Leadership behaviour Systematic review 



The first author would like to thank King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for providing the required funding and support to conduct and publish this research study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EngineeringGriffith UniversityGold CoastAustralia

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