Quality assurance and risk management

Description of current research projects

Previous research has revealed that safety culture is influenced by individual factors (e.g. skills, knowledge, and safety attitudes), interpersonal factors (e.g. leadership, communication and psychosocial work environment), and structural/organizational factors (e.g. formal regulations, technology, economic factors) that independently or in combination will influence safety outcomes in the maritime transportation sector. Following from this perspective an inter-disciplinary (e.g. psychology, sociology, and organizational science) and mixed methods (e.g. case study, observation, & survey methods) approach to the field is adopted.

The primary objective of current research is to identify individual, interpersonal, and organizational factors that influence safety culture and sustain desirable safety performance in the maritime transport sector. Secondary objectives will be to examine organizational factors that may limit the effect of formal regulations (e.g. the ISM Code) on safety performance in the maritime transportation sector. Examine what indicators should be included in a reliable and valid survey instrument of safety culture in maritime organizations.

Applicability of the research

The research will generate new knowledge about organizational and structural factors related to maritime accidents, how shipping companies view safety management issues, and how shipboard management influences and sustains safety culture over time. In light of limitations within current safety management, new knowledge will be generated with implications for both theoretical and applied understanding of safety management and its relationships to culture. The theoretical framework and proposed outcomes will apply to different maritime sectors and transcend to other transportation sectors.