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Readiness to Change: Perceptions of Safety Culture up and down the Supply Chain

Lookup NU author(s): Jill King


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© 2019, Springer Nature Switzerland AG. Safety culture research tends to treat organisations as a single body, with less focus on understanding how perceptions vary in a multi stakeholder environment. One such example of a multi-stakeholder environment is a construction project. The success of safety interventions must be sensitive to the interfaces and relationships, and different perceptions, between Principal Contractors and their Supply Chain, particularly for Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that may have fundamentally different safety management systems and culture. This paper explores whether there is a difference in perception between project members. It tests whether perceptions are driven by a perceived hierarchy of greater maturity for Principal Contractors or whether different organisational layers of the project rate themselves highly in comparison to others, as a form of self enhancement. 17 workshops were undertaken across four different Principal Contractors, and their respective Supply Chains, comprising a total of 367 participants (Principal contractor n = 114; supply chain n = 253). Participants were asked to rate the safety culture maturity of their organisation and the safety culture maturity of the other group using Hudson’s safety culture maturity model. The results identified a significant difference in the perceived safety culture maturity of the Principal Contractor and Supply Chain, with Principal Contractors perceived by all parties as more mature than the supply chain. This suggests that the power structure across a project has more of an effect on perceptions than self-enhancement by any organizational type. The divergent power relationship between Principal Contractor and their Supply Chain may influence the reported levels of safety culture maturity for the project as a whole, and has a bearing on how safety culture interventions should be delivered to effect change.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stiles S, Ryan B, Golightly D

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing

Year of Conference: 2019

Pages: 213-223

Online publication date: 05/08/2018

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

Publisher: Springer Verlag


DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-96089-0_24

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9783319960883