Returning to the roots of culture : a review and re-conceptualisation of safety culture

Edwards, Jason, Davey, Jeremy D., & Armstrong, Kerry A. (2013) Returning to the roots of culture : a review and re-conceptualisation of safety culture. Safety Science, 55, pp. 70-80.

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Despite significant research, there is still little agreement over how to define safety culture or of what it is comprised. Due to this lack of agreement, much of the safety culture research has little more than safety management strategies in common. There is, however, a degree of acceptance of the close relationship between safety culture and organisational culture. Organisational culture can be described using traditional views of culture drawn from the anthropology and cultural psychology literature. However, the safety culture literature rarely ventures beyond organisational culture into discussions of these more traditional concepts of culture. There is a need to discuss how these concepts of culture can be applied to safety culture to provide greater understanding of safety culture and additional means by which to approach safety in the workplace. This review explores how three traditional conceptualisations of culture; the normative, anthropological and pragmatist conceptualisations, can and have been be applied to safety culture. Finally the review proposes a synthesised conceptualisation of safety culture which can be used to provide greater depth and practical applicability of safety culture, by increasing our understanding of the interactions between cultural and contextual variables in a given workplace and the effect they have on safety.

Impact and interest:

25 citations in Scopus
22 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 59195
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: safety culture, workplace health and safety, organisational culture, culture, organisational safety, safety attitudes
DOI: 10.1016/j.ssci.2013.01.004
ISSN: 0925-7535
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (111705)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Industrial and Organisational Psychology (170107)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Copyright Statement: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Safety Science. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Safety Science, Volume 55, June 2013.
Deposited On: 01 May 2013 01:46
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 23:38

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