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Title: The effect of institutional perspective on safety climate through a mediating role of governance practice
Author: Ibrahim, Fahad
ISNI:       0000 0005 0287 0912
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 2018
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Bangladesh has encountered several ready-made garments manufacturing (RMG) industry disasters leading to the loss of valuable human lives due to the factory owner’s tendency to cut corners on safety. In 2013, the safety issue came into the limelight when Rana Plaza took less than 90 seconds to crumble with the workers inside, killing more than 1,100 and injuring more than 2,500 people. The sudden breakdown of Rana Plaza fetched home the much-needed attention, persuading different institutions to offer corrective steps which can rectify hazardous situations in thousands of factories. Nonetheless, irrespective of various institutions’ making effort to improve the safety situation, much remains to be done to ensure industrial safety behaviour and compliance. Recently, Accord Bangladesh Quarterly Report (2018: 3) acknowledged that while making an improvement, “major life-threatening safety concerns remain outstanding in too many factories and need to be fixed urgently”. Hence, crucial questions need to be explored: To what extent do institutional perspectives improve organisational safety behaviours? Whether governance mechanism can force organisations to commit and ensure workers safety? While a considerable attention has been paid to the institutional perspectives, existing literature is fragmented and disconnected with safety climate and performance measures. Therefore, this study examines institutional impacts on changing organisational safety climate and its performance, through the mediating role of governance practice. The survey results of 256 RMG workers from128 garments factories in Bangladesh with a usable response rate of 72.31% and satisfactory indices (e.g. Chi-square x2/df=1.620, RMR=.012, SRMR=.051, RMSEA=.049, CFI=.982, IFI=.983) demonstrate each component of safety climate is significantly associated with at least two institutional perspectives. This study suggests that regulations and laws only provide procedural instructions and guidance rather than definitive protocols. While norms and culturally established standards are decisive to the establishment of safety practices. Additionally, making organisations more accountable and/or obedient towards lawful practices can guarantee management’s commitment to safety and create a compulsion to pledge safety practices. Furthermore, accountable and ethical organisational behaviours motivate workers to actively participate in safety activities that ultimately result in fewer accidents and injuries. Interestingly, the study found that culturally established norm of safety is perceived as taken-for-granted by the workers, which refrain them from participating in voluntary safety activities. In general, establishing organisational safety climate can be considered as a socialised activity that is much contingent on the institutional pressures to comply with specific requirements and the organisational intention to uphold their legitimacy. The findings shed light on the way in which different types of institutional influence could be better exercised to facilitate safety improvement; reconditioning and reinforcing government policy can resolve sporadic safety climate level of the industry. While the study has gone some way towards enhancing our understanding, it also arises several questions that need further investigations. Finally, further research is needed to determine the impact of improvement mechanisms on workplace safety performance, such as how workplace design, safety training programmes, and institutional enforcement policies protect the well-being of workers.
Supervisor: Akamavi, Raphaël K. Sponsor: University of Hull
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Business