Just Culture: Balancing Safety and Accountability

Just Culture: Balancing Safety and Accountability

Paperback

By (author) Sidney Dekker

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  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Limited
  • Format: Paperback | 190 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 218mm x 14mm | 358g
  • Publication date: 22 June 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Aldershot
  • ISBN 10: 1409440605
  • ISBN 13: 9781409440604
  • Edition: 2
  • Edition statement: 2nd edition
  • Illustrations note: includes 1 b&w illustration
  • Sales rank: 67,212

Product description

A just culture protects people's honest mistakes from being seen as culpable. But what is an honest mistake, or rather, when is a mistake no longer honest? It is too simple to assert that there should be consequences for those who 'cross the line'. Lines don't just exist out there, ready to be crossed or obeyed. We - people - construct those lines; and we draw them differently all the time, depending on the language we use to describe the mistake, on hindsight, history, tradition, and a host of other factors. What matters is not where the line goes - but who gets to draw it. If we leave that to chance, or to prosecutors, or fail to tell operators honestly about who may end up drawing the line, then a just culture may be very difficult to achieve. The absence of a just culture in an organization, in a country, in an industry, hurts both justice and safety. Responses to incidents and accidents that are seen as unjust can impede safety investigations, promote fear rather than mindfulness in people who do safety-critical work, make organizations more bureaucratic rather than more careful, and cultivate professional secrecy, evasion, and self-protection. A just culture is critical for the creation of a safety culture. Without reporting of failures and problems, without openness and information sharing, a safety culture cannot flourish. Building on the enormous success of the 2007 original, Dekker revises, enhances and expands his view of just culture for this second edition, additionally tackling the key issue of how justice is created inside of organizations. The goal remains the same: to create an environment where learning and accountability are fairly and constructively balanced.

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Author information

Sidney Dekker is Professor and Director of the Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. Previously Professor at Lund University, Sweden, and Director of the Leonardo Da Vinci Center for Complexity and Systems Thinking there, he gained his Ph.D. in Cognitive Systems Engineering from The Ohio State University, USA. He has worked in New Zealand, the Netherlands and England, been Senior Fellow at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, Visiting Academic in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University in Melbourne, and Professor of Community Health Science at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba in Canada. Sidney is author of several best-selling books on system failure, human error, ethics and governance. He has been flying the Boeing 737NG part-time as airline pilot for the past few years. The OSU Foundation in the United States awards a yearly Sidney Dekker Critical Thinking Award.

Review quote

' - it is difficult to think of a more relevant and challenging book for health and safety practitioners, company managers and directors, regulators of all stripes, and members of parliament.' Safeguard, New Zealand, Jan/Feb 2013

Table of contents

Preface; Prologue; What is the right thing to do?; 'You have nothing to fear if you've done nothing wrong" Between culpable and blameless; Are all mistakes equal?; Report, disclose, protect, learn; A just culture in your organization; The criminalization of human error; Is criminalization bad for safety?; Without prosecutors there would be no crime; Three questions for your just culture; Why do we blame?; Epilogue; Index.