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Thu, Jul 22



Beliefs About the Causes of Safety: What Do Safety Professionals Think?

Insightful conclusion to our community participation in the MIT research study: How People Think About Safety

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 Beliefs About the Causes of Safety: What Do Safety Professionals Think?
 Beliefs About the Causes of Safety: What Do Safety Professionals Think?

Time & Location

Jul 22, 2021, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM


About The Event

John Carroll, from the MIT Sloan School of Management, will lead this discussion about insights gained from two surveys of CHOL members asking for beliefs about the causes of safety and identifying sources of variation associated with demographic characteristics, work experience, and cognitive style.

The first survey relied primarily on open-ended questions and the second allowed selection from a list of causes of safety, developed after coding responses from the first survey into 36 categories of causes. Notably, few causes were external to the operating organization. In the second survey, we added additional causes to create a list of 42 causes from which respondents could choose their most important causes. We found considerable variation among respondents, with even the most frequent safety causes given by fewer than 25% of respondents. We grouped the 42 causes into a parsimonious yet meaningful list of 15 higher-level cause categories. Causal beliefs varied by demographic characteristics, work experience, and cognitive style (Cognitive Reflection Test).

To facilitate collaborative learning, we need to acknowledge variability in safety management beliefs and approaches, respect and appreciate contributions from varied sources, and strengthen capabilities to converse across boundaries and more effectively share knowledge.

About the Speaker: 

John Carroll is the Gordon Kaufman Professor of Management, Emeritus and a Professor Post Tenure of Work and Organization Studies at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He was also Professor of Engineering Systems until 2015 and served as Co-Director of MIT's Lean Advancement Initiative (LAI) 2003-2013.

Carroll is an excellent source for information on individual and group decision-making, with a focus on its relationship to organizational learning and change practices such as self-assessment and root cause analysis. His recent work focuses on industries that manage significant hazards, such as nuclear power, petrochemicals, and healthcare. He has examined the relationships among leadership, management philosophies, teamwork, mental models, safety culture, and human performance improvement.

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