The role of safety professionals in organizations - developing and testing a framework of competing safety management principles

Teemu Reiman, Elina Pietikäinen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsProfessional

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Safety professionals have a key role in influencing the safety of an industrial organization. Relatively little research attention has been paid to this professional group. Many safety professionals apply the principles that underlie their field of technical expertise or refer to lay theories and folk models of human behavior. Recent conceptualizations of organizations as complex adaptive systems have put further challenges in our understanding of safety professionals' work. What is the role of a safety professional in a system that is inherently unpredictable, as complex adaptive systems theories proclaim? In light of our increased understanding of the complexity and dynamics of safety-critical organizations is there a need to rethink the role of safety professionals? The paper will focus on the underlying principles that the safety professionals rely on in their work. The study design is a longitudinal study of nine safety professionals in three different safety-critical organizations. A model of eight distinct management principles is tested and mechanisms that influence the formation of each professional's role are identified. The potential tensions between the different principles will be discussed as well as the influencing mechanisms in defining which principles are emphasized and which not.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPSAM 12
    Subtitle of host publicationProbabilistic Safety Assessment and Management June 22-27, 2014
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    MoE publication typeD3 Professional conference proceedings
    Event12th International Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management Conference, PSAM 2014 - Honolulu, United States
    Duration: 22 Jun 201427 Jun 2014

    Conference

    Conference12th International Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management Conference, PSAM 2014
    Abbreviated titlePSAM 2014
    CountryUnited States
    CityHonolulu
    Period22/06/1427/06/14

    Fingerprint

    Testing
    Adaptive systems
    System theory

    Keywords

    • safety management
    • safety culture
    • expertise
    • human factors

    Cite this

    Reiman, T., & Pietikäinen, E. (2014). The role of safety professionals in organizations - developing and testing a framework of competing safety management principles. In PSAM 12: Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management June 22-27, 2014
    Reiman, Teemu ; Pietikäinen, Elina. / The role of safety professionals in organizations - developing and testing a framework of competing safety management principles. PSAM 12: Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management June 22-27, 2014. 2014.
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    Reiman, T & Pietikäinen, E 2014, The role of safety professionals in organizations - developing and testing a framework of competing safety management principles. in PSAM 12: Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management June 22-27, 2014. 12th International Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management Conference, PSAM 2014, Honolulu, United States, 22/06/14.

    The role of safety professionals in organizations - developing and testing a framework of competing safety management principles. / Reiman, Teemu; Pietikäinen, Elina.

    PSAM 12: Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management June 22-27, 2014. 2014.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsProfessional

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    AU - Pietikäinen, Elina

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    AB - Safety professionals have a key role in influencing the safety of an industrial organization. Relatively little research attention has been paid to this professional group. Many safety professionals apply the principles that underlie their field of technical expertise or refer to lay theories and folk models of human behavior. Recent conceptualizations of organizations as complex adaptive systems have put further challenges in our understanding of safety professionals' work. What is the role of a safety professional in a system that is inherently unpredictable, as complex adaptive systems theories proclaim? In light of our increased understanding of the complexity and dynamics of safety-critical organizations is there a need to rethink the role of safety professionals? The paper will focus on the underlying principles that the safety professionals rely on in their work. The study design is a longitudinal study of nine safety professionals in three different safety-critical organizations. A model of eight distinct management principles is tested and mechanisms that influence the formation of each professional's role are identified. The potential tensions between the different principles will be discussed as well as the influencing mechanisms in defining which principles are emphasized and which not.

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    KW - safety culture

    KW - expertise

    KW - human factors

    M3 - Conference article in proceedings

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    Reiman T, Pietikäinen E. The role of safety professionals in organizations - developing and testing a framework of competing safety management principles. In PSAM 12: Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management June 22-27, 2014. 2014