Paper prepared for presentation to the International Conference on Occupational Risk Prevention Seville, May 2006.
How do organisational cultures influence safety? To answer this question requires a strategy for investigating organisational culture. There are various research strategies available, including conducting a perception survey and ethnographical methodology; while another technique makes use of the wealth of material that is assembled by inquiries into major accidents. This paper describes how this material can be used to provide insights into organisational cultures. It draws on specific examples from the author’s own work as well as the cultural analysis carried out by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board. It concludes with some additional suggestions for carrying out research on safety-relevant aspects of organisational culture.