The measurement equivalence of a safety climate measure across five faultlines. Academic Article uri icon


  • This study examines the appropriateness of comparing safety climate survey responses across multiple faultlines-hypothetical dividing lines that split a group into subgroups based on one or more attributes. Using survey data from 8790 employees of a multinational chemical processing and manufacturing company from 76 work sites nested within 19 different countries, we examined the multilevel measurement equivalence of a safety climate measure across cultural dimensions, survey languages, organizational hierarchy, employment arrangements, and work environments. As simulation studies support the faultline at the individual-level requires measurement equivalence tests that are different from the faultline at the country-level, we used multi-group multilevel confirmatory factor analyses for the Level-3 faultline, and multilevel factor mixture models for known classes for the Level-1 faultlines. The results demonstrated that faultlines can prevent safety climate measurement equivalence, which prohibits the aggregation of individual-level scores to higher levels and making comparisons across faultlines. This first study on multilevel safety climate measurement equivalence serves as both a warning to safety climate researchers and practitioners regarding the importance of faultlines and reminds us to consider the level of the faultlines when testing measurement equivalence with multilevel data.

published proceedings

  • Accid Anal Prev

author list (cited authors)

  • Xu, X., Payne, S. C., & Bergman, M. E.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Xu, Xiaohong||Payne, Stephanie C||Bergman, Mindy E

publication date

  • January 2018