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Understanding organizational safety using value-focused thinking

Understanding organizational safety using value-focused thinking

Risk Analysis 25(4): 1029-1041

Decision analysis is recognized as the right way to make risk management decisions, using probabilistic techniques to assess the accident risk. It is also accepted that the decisions that individuals in the organization make affect the likelihood of an accident and thus managerial and organizational factors should be included in the risk modeling process. However, decision analytic techniques have not been used to understand the decisions that are made by these individuals. The initial domain for this research is marine transportation. We use the framework of value-focused thinking in order to understand safety decisions made within our research partner organization, a major domestic oil tanker operator. We describe the results of interviews held with managers and employees from this organization. Through these interviews, we sought to understand the values these experts apply in their roles within the organization and the objectives they seek to achieve to contribute to its overall safety performance. The end result is a framework that not only portrays the fundamental objectives of safe operations for various roles in the organization, but also interconnects these different decision contexts. We believe that this approach is fundamentally different from those used in previous work and that this is an interesting application of value-focused thinking.

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Accession: 050884610

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 16268947

DOI: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2005.00654.x

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