Testing extrinsic and intrinsic motivation as explanatory variables for the safety climate-safety performance relationship among long-haul truck drivers

Dov Zohar, Yueng Hsiang Huang, Jin Lee, Michelle M. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations


The paper tests the proposition that the organizational climate-behavior relationship is based primarily on extrinsic motivation induced by climate perceptions. Using safety climate as exemplar, the effect of climate-induced extrinsic motivation was compared with that of engagement-induced intrinsic motivation on safety behavior and subsequent injury outcomes. Using a sample of long-haul truck drivers representing lone employees, (individual-level) safety climate perceptions and employee engagement predicted safety behavior, which mediated their effect on subsequently measured road injury outcomes. Consistent with meta-analytic evidence suggesting a non-symmetric compensatory relationship between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, high safety climate undermined the effect of engagement on safety behavior with the reverse being true under low safety climate. This resulted in a moderation effect of engagement on the strength of relationship between climate perceptions and safety behavior. Theoretical and practical implications for climate, engagement, and lone work research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-96
Number of pages13
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
StatePublished - Apr 2015



  • Lone employees
  • Safety climate
  • Traffic safety
  • Truck driving
  • Work engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Applied Psychology

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