An immersed approach to workplace safety culture intervention and behavioural change: Insights about factors which the literature remains silent about

M Nazaruk, Andrew Weyman, E Hellier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Despite almost universal acceptance of the role of social influence on employee orientations and behaviour in relation to risk, to date, few mainstream studies have benefited from the richly patinated, data-driven, approach described here. This paper details the methodological benefits of an exploratory, qualitative approach, to gaining an appreciation of the, frequently complex, interplay of contextual variables that underpin employee behaviour in relation to risk. It is argued that this understanding is essential before proceeding with the design of change/improvement interventions. A uniqueness of this study is that the researcher was physically embedded within the study organisation, a large manufacturing plant, for three years. Having a desk in the company allowed for frequent interactions with the leaders and easy access to the shop-floor working groups. It is argued that the mainstream safety culture research is dominated by top-down extrapolations from established, fundamentally cognate, models of health and risk behaviour, rather than being the product of grounded, subject matter, insight. In this respect the perspective is data poor, published evidence on intervention design being dominated by what works; while remaining largely silent on key application elements surrounding why, how, and under what circumstances change and improvement can be achieved. The authors discuss the design of a sustainable safety culture intervention that they attempted to implement. Moreover, it is argued that many of the key insights into how to implement workplace behaviour change interventions are not to be found within the academic or even grey (practitioner) literatures, but remain unreported or, at best, under-reported. Therefore, this paper additionally, reports on a review of 'what works' in terms of operationalising behavioural change interventions, derived from the embedded knowledge of four groups of experts (N = 16): 1. Academics (N = 3), 2. H&S managers (N = 4), 3. External safety consultants (N = 4), 4. Leadership development coaches (N = 5). Questions were designed to elicit perspectives on factors that obstruct successful implementation of safety interventions. A thematic analysis was applied to interview transcripts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 9th European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies
Pages370-376
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010
Event9th European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies - Madrid, Spain
Duration: 24 Jun 201025 Jun 2010

Conference

Conference9th European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies
CountrySpain
CityMadrid
Period24/06/1025/06/10

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  • Cite this

    Nazaruk, M., Weyman, A., & Hellier, E. (2010). An immersed approach to workplace safety culture intervention and behavioural change: Insights about factors which the literature remains silent about. In Proceedings of the 9th European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies (pp. 370-376)