Month: February 2015

New paper: Comparing safety culture and learning culture

Our paper (with Allison Littlejohn and Dane Lukic ) ‘Comparing safety culture and learning culture‘ has been accepted for publication in Risk Management journal (Risk Management (2015) doi:10.1057/rm.2015.2).

Extended abstract: This article examines the alignment of learning and safety culture in organisations. It tests the hypothesis that factors that indicate a good learning culture might also signify good safety and vice versa. The hypothesis was tested through an extensive literature review. Areas of alignment of learning culture and safety culture were identified. Six components of learning culture and safety culture can be measured by the same instrument. These components form guiding principles for measurement of safety culture and learning culture: open communication; employee empowerment; collaboration; alignment of espoused and enacted priorities; internal systemic alignment; management.  Another eight component areas were identified where learning culture and safety culture partially align: motivation; recognition and rewards; competence; commitment; workplace condition; risk; opportunities for learning; and policy and procedures. Four further components were found to be relevant to either safety culture or learning culture and do not align: social regulation; safety versus productivity; equipment; and innovation.  Overall, there is a relationship between learning culture and safety culture, but gauging one does not provide a reliable measure of the other.