Crossing the domain: unintended consequences of safety and service climates

Ruixue Zhang, Yaping Gong, Mingjian ZHOU

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


Domain-specific roles of service climate and safety climate are well-established, but little is known about their cross-domain roles. In this study, we examined the cross-domain main roles of service climate (on safety performance) and safety climate (on service performance) and their joint roles in predicting service and safety performance. Drawing on the exploration–exploitation framework, we further introduced team exploration and team exploitation as explanatory mechanisms for the cross-domain relationships. We conducted two multiwave, multisource field studies using nursing teams in hospitals. Results from Study 1 showed that service climate had a positive relationship with service performance but a nonsignificant relationship with safety performance. Safety climate, though, had a positive relationship with safety performance but a negative relationship with service performance. Study 2 found support for all main relationships and also revealed that safety climate moderated the indirect relationships that service climate had with safety and service performance through team exploration. Moreover, service climate moderated the indirect relationships that safety climate had with service and safety performance through team exploitation. We extend the climate literature by uncovering the missing cross-domain relationships between service and safety climates.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • service climate
  • safety climate
  • team exploration/exploitation
  • team service performance
  • team safety performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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