Leader-team Perceptual Distance Affects Outcomes of Leadership Training: Examining Safety Leadership and Follower Safety Self-efficacy

Susanne Tafvelin*, Karina Nielsen, Johan Simonsen Abildgaard, Anne Richter, Ulrica von Thiele Schwarz, Henna Hasson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Whether leaders and their teams agree or not on perceptions of leadership has been found to impact follower well-being and performance. Less is known about how agreements or disagreements play a role in relation to safety and leadership training. The present study examined the effects of leaders’ and followers’ perceptual distance on safety leadership prior to a leadership safety training. Forty-eight leaders and a total of 211 followers from the paper industry completed surveys before and after training. Polynomial regression with response surface analyses revealed that the agreement between leaders and their followers regarding safety leadership before training was positively related to training outcomes including safety leadership and followers’ safety self-efficacy. Line managers who overrated themselves on safety leadership before training had less favorable training outcomes. Our findings suggest that 360-degree feedback may not be sufficient for motivating leaders to change their behaviors during leadership training.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSafety Science
Pages (from-to)25-31
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Safety leadership
  • Leader-follower perceptual distance
  • Leadership training
  • Safety self-efficacy
  • Polynomial regression
  • Response surface analysis

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