Cover art for Organising for Safety
Cch, April 2019

Organising for Safety How structure creates culture

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How do we change the culture of an organisation? The culture change industry assumes that this is best done with educational campaigns - the hearts and minds approach. But this seldom works, because it does not come to terms with the real source of organisational culture - the way the organisation is structured.

This book explores just how organisational structure shapes culture. It shows how decentralized organisational structures allow profit and production to take precedence over safety, while centralised risk control is conducive to a culture of operational excellence. The argument is based on case study material from the petroleum industry, the mining industry and even, the Australian Air Force.

Drawing on the theory of high reliability organisations, and also on recent scandals in banking industry, the book concludes with some suggestions as to how company boards can increase the effectiveness of the risk specialists in their organisations.

Andrew Hopkins has written widely about the causes of major accidents in the oil, gas and mining industry, as well as in aviation and rail transport. This latest book highlights the ways in which organisational cultures can be transformed to ensure that corporations fulfil their social obligations.

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