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Management and control: implications for safety. A study of the use of Indicators at Ringhals AB
University of Borås, School of Business and IT.
2014 (English)Report (Other academic)
Sustainable development
The content falls within the scope of Sustainable Development
Abstract [en]

Safety is more than the management of risk. It is more than the absence of accidents, avoidance of error or even the control of risk. Defining an organization as safe because it has a low rate of error or accident has the same limitations as defining health in terms of not being sick. Safety, seen as a collective property that emerges from the interaction between actors in an organization, is continuously maintained by a self-conscious dialectic between collective learning from success and a deep belief that no learning can be taken to be exhaustive as the knowledge base for the complex and dangerous operations is inherently and permanently imperfect. Safety, seen as a constructed human concept does not exist ‘out there’ independent of our minds and culture ready to be measured (Rochlin, 1999). However, performance measurement and indicators are today a fundamental principle of management in many organizations as the idea that well defined performance indicators may support the identification of performance gaps between current and desired performance and provide indication of progress towards closing the gaps. Indicators are thus seen as potent tools for aiding managers in focusing resources to particular areas of the organization that impact upon organizational outcomes; as well as being part of error detection to support safe practice and to build resilient organizations (Mauléon & Gauthereau, 2012; Gauthereau, 2001; Hutchins 1995). Following these arguments the pursuit of safety and performance measurement could seem to be conflicting. Based upon these assumptions the purpose of this pilot study has therefore been to investigate the use of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) or indicators as they are called at Ringhals AB in order to gain a deeper understanding of how this shapes organizational practice in terms of safety. The results show that RAB as an organization needs to reflect upon the way QPR as a management control tools is enacted within the organization as this have implications on organizational processes and output including the safety culture. Questions needed to be asked are how do employees interpret and translate indicators in their practice? How do data owners collect, translate and transfer data into the indicator system? how do indicator owners, managers and regulatory institutions and organizations requiring this data (e.g. WANO, SSM) translate it? And how is the indicator system continuously adapted in a continuously changing environment? As a culture of safety depends on remaining dynamically engaged in new assessments and avoiding stale, narrow, or static representations of the changing paths (revising or reframing the understanding of paths toward failure over time); safety should thus be seen as a dynamic non-event (Weick,1987; Hollnagel et al., 2006). And success in terms of safety belongs to organizations, groups and individuals who are resilient in the sense that they recognize, adapt to and absorb variations, changes, disturbances, disruptions, and surprises – especially disruptions that fall outside of the set of disturbances the system is designed to handle (Rasmussen, 1990; Rochlin, 1999; Weick et al., 1999; Sutcliffe & Vogus, 2003) but what is often neglected is that this need for adaptation and recognition includes the adaptation of indicators and performance measurement systems such as QPR.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keywords [en]
styrsystem, risk, organisering, ledning, control
Keywords [sv]
nyckeltal, säkerhet, översättning, mätning, Företagsekonomi - organisation och ledarskap
National Category
Social Sciences Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-4660Local ID: 2320/14654OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-4660DiVA, id: diva2:884056
Projects
Användningen av ledningssystem och nyckeltal för organisering och kontroll: En studie i hur dessa tolkas och ageras i praktiken med konsekvenser för individ, organisation och samhälle.
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2013-1167Available from: 2015-12-17 Created: 2015-12-17 Last updated: 2018-01-10Bibliographically approved

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Mauléon, Christina

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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