The moderating role of trust in the relationship between work locus of control and psychological safety in organisational work teams

Suellen M. Triplett, Jennifer M.I. Loh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Previous studies have found that psychological safety is central to effective team functioning and teamwork. Research has also found that psychological safety is dependent on work locus of control (WLOC). Specifically, external WLOC (i.e., perceived lack of personal control over work life) is negatively associated with psychological safety. However, there is limited understanding of underlying mechanisms, such as trust, which may affect this relationship.

Method: Surveys from 131 adult employees from Western Australia were collected from four different organisations. Results: Results indicated a negative relationship between participants' expression of external WLOC and psychological safety.

Results also indicated that trust significantly moderated the relationship between WLOC and psychological safety.

Conclusion: These findings are valuable for all organisations that wish to increase psychological safety among team members for enhanced productivity and employee wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-84
Number of pages24
JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
Volume70
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

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Internal-External Control
Psychology
Safety
Western Australia
Research

Cite this

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AU - Loh, Jennifer M.I.

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AB - Objective: Previous studies have found that psychological safety is central to effective team functioning and teamwork. Research has also found that psychological safety is dependent on work locus of control (WLOC). Specifically, external WLOC (i.e., perceived lack of personal control over work life) is negatively associated with psychological safety. However, there is limited understanding of underlying mechanisms, such as trust, which may affect this relationship. Method: Surveys from 131 adult employees from Western Australia were collected from four different organisations. Results: Results indicated a negative relationship between participants' expression of external WLOC and psychological safety. Results also indicated that trust significantly moderated the relationship between WLOC and psychological safety. Conclusion: These findings are valuable for all organisations that wish to increase psychological safety among team members for enhanced productivity and employee wellbeing.

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