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Safety sans frontières: an international safety culture model

Reader, Tom W., Noort, Mark C., Shorrock, Steven and Kirwan, Barry (2015) Safety sans frontières: an international safety culture model. Risk Analysis, 35 (5). pp. 770-789. ISSN 0272-4332

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Identification Number: 10.1111/risa.12327


The management of safety culture in international and culturally diverse organisations is a concern for many high-risk industries. Yet, research has primarily developed models of safety culture within Western countries, and there is a need to extend investigations of safety culture to global environments. We examined i) whether safety culture can be reliably measured within a single industry operating across different cultural environments, and ii) if there is an association between safety culture and national culture. The psychometric properties of a safety culture model developed for the air traffic management industry (ATM) were examined in 17 European countries from four culturally distinct regions of Europe (North, East, South, West). Participants were ATM operational staff (n = 5176) and management staff (n = 1230). Through employing multi-group confirmatory factor analysis, good psychometric properties of the model were established. This demonstrates, for the first time, that when safety culture models are tailored to a specific industry, they can operate consistently across national boundaries and occupational groups. Additionally, safety culture scores at both regional and national levels were associated with country-level data on Hofstede’s five national culture dimensions (collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity, and uncertainty avoidance). MANOVAs indicated safety culture to be most positive in Northern Europe, less so in Western and Eastern Europe, and least positive in Southern Europe. This indicates that national cultural traits may influence the development of organisational safety culture, with significant implications for safety culture theory and practice.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2015 Society for Risk Analysis
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2014 11:18
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 00:29
Funders: EUROCONTROL (A European Commission Agency)

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