Benefits of systems thinking for a human and organizational factors approach to safety management

Benefits of systems thinking for a human and organizational factors approach to safety management This paper highlights the value of systems theory and its application to human and organizational factors (HOF). HOF specialists consider multiple systems characteristics in their analyses but are often unaware of the relevant theory applied in their analysis. We argue that a structured effort to take key systems characteristics into account in HOF practice would increase the depth and breadth of safety management analyses and help HOF specialists to act more effectively on industrial socio-technical systems. First, the paper identifies the following seven system theory characteristics: constitution, multi-axis representation, limit, emergence, variety, coherence, and causal interaction, which are then illustrated with examples from the HOF field. Finally, we discuss the two main benefits of integrating system thinking in a HOF approach to safety management: (1) an improved understanding of the inner workings of an industrial socio-technical system; and (2) a compendium or a reference to guide for decision-making and the implementation of actions within the industrial socio-technical systems. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Environmentalist Springer Journals

Benefits of systems thinking for a human and organizational factors approach to safety management

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature
Subject
Environment; Environment, general; Environmental Management; Science, multidisciplinary; Quality Control, Reliability, Safety and Risk; Systems Theory, Control
ISSN
2194-5403
eISSN
2194-5411
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10669-018-9692-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper highlights the value of systems theory and its application to human and organizational factors (HOF). HOF specialists consider multiple systems characteristics in their analyses but are often unaware of the relevant theory applied in their analysis. We argue that a structured effort to take key systems characteristics into account in HOF practice would increase the depth and breadth of safety management analyses and help HOF specialists to act more effectively on industrial socio-technical systems. First, the paper identifies the following seven system theory characteristics: constitution, multi-axis representation, limit, emergence, variety, coherence, and causal interaction, which are then illustrated with examples from the HOF field. Finally, we discuss the two main benefits of integrating system thinking in a HOF approach to safety management: (1) an improved understanding of the inner workings of an industrial socio-technical system; and (2) a compendium or a reference to guide for decision-making and the implementation of actions within the industrial socio-technical systems.

Journal

The EnvironmentalistSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 4, 2018

References

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