Date of Award

Fall 11-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Bryan McCoy


The purpose of this study was to research whether the leadership styles of safety professionals, supervisory and management leaders of commercial trucking companies, were related to their companies’ safety ratings. The theoretical framework employed in this study was based on the full range leadership model of Avolio and Bass (1991). Sixty-two long-haul commercial truck drivers participated in the study. This quantitative research was a quasi-experimental, correlational study comparing leadership styles with safety indices of trucking companies. The leadership styles were determined using the 45-question Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) Rater Form (Avolio & Bass, 1991) and compared them to the safety indices of the participants’ trucking companies. The safety indices had two components, the companies’ safety ratings and their safety climate scores. The safety ratings were derived from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) database. The safety climate score was a content-validated 10-question Likert-scale survey derived from the Nordic Occupational Safety Climate Questionnaire (NOSACQ-50). Sixty-two truck drivers completed the MLQ Rater Forms and Safety Climate Scales. The study found that transformational leadership was negatively correlated to safety climates, and passive avoidant leadership had positive correlations to safety climates. These unexpected outcomes may be explained by the predisposition of long-haul truck drivers to share proactive, introverted personality types. These types respond better to the autonomy and self-reliance that passive avoidant leaders provide than that of transformational leaders. Future employee selection, training, and professional development may benefit from testing for leadership and personality types. These processes may then be utilized to improve the safety outcomes of trucking companies and other remote workforces.