The role of blame in the risk management of everything: a study of risk management style and implications for safety culture in train operating companies in Great Britain

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Taking its inspiration from theoretical commentaries on the rise of 'the risk society', this paper reports on an empirical study of risk management practices in the railways sector in Great Britain. Although rooted within the workplace safety culture tradition the evidence cited takes the interpretation of variables impacting on the profile of blame and accountability beyond the boundaries of the organisation, in referencing interpretations to the wider social profile of risk. Qualitative findings from interviews and focus groups (N ~ 580) indicate that blame operates as a core defining characteristic of railway culture, impacting upon how risk is reacted to and managed, by organisations and individuals. Fundamentally risk averse orientations highlight tensions between defensive coping strategies, focused on mitigation of corporate and personal liabilities and effective hazard management and control. Findings are discussed with reference to implications for organisational learning
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Midland Institute of Mining Engineers Conference 2008
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventMidland Institute of Mining Engineers Annual Conference - Sheffield
Duration: 1 Jan 2008 → …

Conference

ConferenceMidland Institute of Mining Engineers Annual Conference
CitySheffield
Period1/01/08 → …

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