Ph.D Thesis

Ph.D StudentLeibovitz-Zur Shalhevet
SubjectThe Effect of Traffic Safety Climate and Service Climate on
the Involvement of Company Car Drivers in Traffic
Accident and Customer Satisfaction
DepartmentDepartment of Quality Assurance and Reliability
Supervisors PROF. Eitan Naveh
PROF. Joseph Prashker (Deceased)


The research presents the application of organizational climate theory to the phenomenon of traffic accidents and its relationship with service in organizations. Climate literature asserts that more than one climate can be found in parallel in an organization. Two such climates are Safety Climate and Service Climate. Three hypotheses were tested- the first postulated a negative correlation between traffic safety accidents and the amount of traffic safety practices applied in the organization. The second suggested that traffic safety climate functions as a mediator between traffic safety practices and traffic safety accidents. The third dealt with the possible nature of the interaction between the two kinds of climates on organizational performance.

 The study was conducted in 56 units from three companies (fast food organization, local authorities, and the Israeli air force), whose primary operations sector is service provision outside of the organizational building. The analysis of the data was conducted on the unit level by using SPSS and SAS software and included a hierarchy analysis of the data.

It found that the traffic safety climate level and traffic safety practices have a negative correlation with the dependent variable, traffic accidents. It also found that the more the organization implements service practices, the more its workers will be involved in traffic accidents. The interaction between traffic safety climate and service climate was found to be a factor affecting organizational performance, depending on the climate strength. When traffic safety climate and service climate are strong, traffic safety performance and service performance will be impaired. If one climate is weak, the congruence can be seen.  When both climates are weak, predicting performance becomes much more difficult. The research did not find a mediation role for traffic safety climate or service climate.

Practical implications dealt with managers' ability to monitor their workers, even if they are working off site and can adjust the demands they make upon their workers to act in accordance with service quality while also making them abide by traffic rules. Limitations have to be considered - an equal weight was given to all the traffic safety practices while there are differences between organizations. Another limitation is the timing of the data gathering, whereas the climate data was collected in one session, and traffic accident data was drawn from an extended period. Additional research is needed in order to investigate the relationships among different kinds of climates in organizations and the effect these climates have on workers working off-site.