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Safety Culture in the Maritime Industry: Psychological Safety and Leadership : An exploratory study regarding safety perspectives within a heavy lift shipping and installation company

Platenkamp, T (2021) Safety Culture in the Maritime Industry: Psychological Safety and Leadership : An exploratory study regarding safety perspectives within a heavy lift shipping and installation company.

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Abstract:The interpretation of safety management systems (SMS) and safety culture has been challenged. Traditional viewpoints (i.e. Safety-I) focus upon avoiding risks and respond reactively to deviations. These approaches aim to understand the cause of failure and neglect positive aspects. New ideas around safety management are emerging (i.e. Safety-II). These aim to complement SMS by valuing humans as credible sources of information. This perspective purposes to understand current performances and acknowledges human variability. To obtain this input, individuals should feel free to express themselves. Psychological safety promotes open sharing and supports a ‘blame-free’ atmosphere. Moreover, the behaviour of leaders may impact to what extend followers engage in open communication; authority figures should act as leading examples and build trust with followers. The current study explored to what extent Safety-II ideas are emerging within the maritime industry. It was examined how psychological safety and leadership (e.g. authentic leadership) are experienced and related to this perspective. The sample includes crew members from various ranks (N= 10). The objective is to seek opportunities to improve safety culture. Themes related to Safety-II became evident among various crew members (e.g. feeling of ‘doing it together’). Additionally, initiatives to improve safety management were shared. As expected, SMS positive impact was acknowledged yet associated with high amounts of ‘paperwork’. This may induce the feeling of bureaucracy and disempowerment among the crew. Furthermore, the hierarchical composition and cultural differences within the maritime industry were revealed to hinder free speech. Positive leadership characteristics were described to improve this (e.g. caring or being accessible). This study revealed positive ideas and initiatives concerning the Safety-II perspective. It is recommended to further examine and implement Safety-II approaches aboard ships. Applying ideas from the bottom-up may improve SMS and facilitate safety culture. The initiatives were related to positive characteristics of psychological safety and (authentic) leadership. Keywords: Maritime industry, Safety Management Systems (SMS), Safety culture, Safety-I, Safety-II, Psychological Safety, Authentic leadership
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Clients:
Jumbo Maritime, Schiedam, The Netherlands
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:71 sociology, 77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/88602
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