Assessing the maintenance unit of a nuclear power plant: Identifying the cultural conceptions concerning the maintenance work and the maintenance organization

Teemu Reiman (Corresponding Author), Pia Oedewald

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Various organizational accidents have indicated that the shared interpretations and experiences of the personnel concerning the work, the organization, and the associated risks are of crucial importance for the safety and effectiveness of the operations. These conceptions are an element of the organizational culture. The cultural conceptions should thus be studied and their contribution to the organizational safety and effectiveness should be assessed proactively. Nevertheless, organizational assessments often focus on either the general safety attitudes and/or values of the personnel, or formal organizational structures and the official practices. In this article a case study is reported that was carried out in a Nordic nuclear power plant maintenance unit. We will illustrate how the employees in the organization construct their work, their organization and the demands of the maintenance task. We focus on explicating and assessing the cultural conceptions prevalent in the maintenance organization. Our aim is to illustrate how the cultural conceptions and organizational practices, tools and the organizing of the work and the organizational climate influence each other, and how they relate to the demands of the maintenance work. The principal methods utilized in the case study were organizational culture questionnaire (CULTURE), semi-structured interviews, group working, and personnel development seminars.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-850
JournalSafety Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2006
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed



  • organizational culture
  • organizational assessment
  • safety culture
  • maintenance
  • nuclear power plants

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