Safety compliance is of paramount importance in guaranteeing the safe running of nuclear power plants. However, it depends mostly on procedures that do not always involve the safest outcomes. This article introduces an empirical model based on the organizational role theory to analyze the influence of legitimate sources of expectations (procedures formalization and leadership) on workers’ compliance behaviors. The sample was composed of 495 employees from two Spanish nuclear power plants. Structural equation analysis showed that, in spite of some problematic effects of proceduralization (such as role conflict and role ambiguity), procedure formalization along with an empowering leadership style lead to safety compliance by clarifying a worker's role in safety. Implications of these findings for safety research are outlined, as well as their practical implications.
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