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Individual and environmental dimensions influencing the middle managers’ contribution to safety: the emergence of a ‘safety-related universe’

Abstract : Even if enhancing safety remains a key challenge in civil aviation, safety research has mainly focussed on front line operators, senior managers and safety managers. This paper aims to shed light on the middle managers, more specifically on the overall context that influences their contribution to safety in their daily operations, and the challenges they face. Over a two-year period, extensive field research was undertaken involving six sector organisations, and overall forty-three middle managers. Interviews were conducted to capture the participants’ views and experiences in embedding safety-related aspects in their daily activities and actions. A data-driven approach was used to support the emergence of recurring codes/themes that could describe the conditions the middle managers face in their organisations, and explain how the specific factors interplay and impact on their action. NVivo, with its tools, supported the entire research process (data storage, codification, both qualitatively and quantitatively descriptive analysis at code level, and explanatory analysis at codes-relationship level). Our results suggest a number of conditions/dimensions (internal and external to the organisation) that interplay to either support or hinder the middle managers’ contribution to safety. This contribution is translated in practices (i.e. strategies and actions that the middle managers apply to support safety-related outcomes) modulated by a certain ‘mindset’ that each middle manager possesses as a result of past experiences, background education and view on the role of a manager. These aspects are interrelated not only with the middle managers’ safety-related practices directly, but also with one another. To understand management contribution to safety, and what may promote or hinder it, one should adopt a systemic view combining individual, organisational, external aspects and their interrelations.
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Soumis le : jeudi 8 septembre 2022 - 15:25:43
Dernière modification le : jeudi 8 septembre 2022 - 15:25:49


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Corinne Bieder, Tiziana Callari. Individual and environmental dimensions influencing the middle managers’ contribution to safety: the emergence of a ‘safety-related universe’. Safety Science, Elsevier, 2020, 132, pp.104946. ⟨10.1016/j.ssci.2020.104946⟩. ⟨hal-02934144⟩



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