For several decades foundational theories in safety science have focused on the extent to which behaviours of top company management determine safety outcomes, due to their influence on all organisational actors. This shift in thinking away from the front line has not been matched by an equivalent move in empirical safety research, which remains focused on the actions of individuals and groups much lower in organisational hierarchies. Studying top management is not without its challenges, but, as we will show, the disconnect between the positioning of current theory and research practice is so distinct that safety science research could be characterised as looking for answers in places that are easy to access, rather than those that are most likely to lead to improvement.
|Title of host publication||Inside Hazardous Technological Systems|
|Subtitle of host publication||Methodological Foundations, Challenges and Future Directions|
|Editors||Kenneth Pettersen Gould, Carl Macrae|
|Place of Publication||United Kingdom|
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|