To Get Vaccinated or Not? Psychological Safety as a Catalyst for the Alignment Between Individual Beliefs and Behavior
- Journal Article
While many studies have investigated the consequences of psychological safety for behavior, there is little theorizing on the mechanisms that account for these effects. Since psychological safety makes individuals feel safe to express their true self, we argue that it should act as a catalyst for alignment between individual beliefs and behavior. Drawing on the reasoned action model, we postulate that psychological safety interacts with individuals' attitudes and perceived norms in predicting intention and behavior. We tested our model with physicians' influenza vaccination behavior. We surveyed 208 physicians from a Swiss hospital before and after the vaccination phase. Results show that the effect of attitude, but not perceived norm, on intention to get vaccinated was moderated by perceived psychological safety in the physicians' team: High psychological safety strengthened the effect of physicians' attitude on their intention, which in turn predicted actual vaccination behavior. We provide first evidence that high psychological safety may render individuals more comfortable to act in accordance with their attitudes. Depending on whether attitudes are in line with organizational goals, increasing psychological safety could facilitate positive or negative consequences. This more differentiated understanding of psychological safety can fruitfully inform both future research and organizational practice. Show more
Journal / seriesGroup and Organization Management
Pages / Article No.
Subjectpsychological safety; reasoned action model; attitude; norm; beliefs; vaccination
MoreShow all metadata