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Title: "Save face to make it safe" development of a model of social interaction and its application to safety interventions
Author: Krüger, Tanja
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 203X
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2011
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Safety leadership is emerging as a key factor in determining organisational safety performance at all levels of management (Zohar, 2002; 2004). This PhD addresses the relevance and challenges of conducting safety interventions in the workplace. It started out as an evaluation of a safety leadership course in the oil and gas industry, and moved on to conceptualise the underlying difficulties inherent in those conversations and the success factors that help supervisors and managers overcome these challenges. Study One and Study Two focused on attitudes and attitude changes in course participants with increasing focus on attitudes towards safety interventions. Utilising questionnaires designed according to the theory of planned behaviour (Ajzen, 1985) and Bandura’s concept of selfefficacy and analysing qualitative data, the studies showed that participants’ general safety attitudes, attitudes towards rules and procedures, control beliefs, intentions to perform safety interventions, general self-efficacy and self-efficacy to perform safety interventions would increase from before to after the course. Study Three and Study Four aimed to evaluate participants’ behavioural changes with regard to performing safety interventions. A behavioural rating tool and statistical analysis were utilised in the third study. Results obtained showed a skill gap in managers’ and supervisors’ ability to perform safety interventions 6-12 months after they had attended the course. This skill gap indicated that – despite acknowledgement of the importance of safety interventions and participants’ intentions to frequently perform safety interventions – people did not perform these conversations at the worksite as often as they had intended. Results also indicated that two particular communication strategies, the use of open ended questions and the creation of ‘what-if’ scenarios, were crucial for a positive safety conversation outcome. In the fourth study, discourse analysis techniques and the application of a derived framework on social interaction allowed for a further understanding of the success factors and challenges of safety interventions. Results obtained emphasised particular face keeping strategies that were associated with the successful performance of safety interventions. However, strategies which, once applied, would lead to the failure of a conversation could also be extracted. It could also be shown that the conversation ‘scheme’ that had been taught during the training course was not fit for purpose as it did not enable participants to successfully conduct safety interventions without upsetting their conversation partner.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Leadership ; Industrial safety ; Offshore oil industry ; Offshore gas industry