Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Michelle A. Barton; Kathleen M. Sutcliffe
    Date: 2009
    Source: Human Relations. 62(9): 1327-1356.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (141.66 KB)

    Description

    Research on organizational safety and reliability largely has emphasized system-level structures and processes neglecting the more micro-level, social processes necessary to enact organizational safety. In this qualitative study we remedy this gap by exploring these processes in the context of wildland fire management. In particular, using interview data gathered from 28 individuals involved in wildland firefighting, we explore the validity of the idea that a deterrent to organizational safety is an inability to redirect ongoing actions once they are underway. The findings suggest four major themes. First, individuals and groups redirect ongoing action as a result of re-evaluating that action. Second, noticing early warning signs, while necessary, is not sufficient to drive change. Third, two social processes - giving voice to concerns and actively seeking alternative perspectives - appear to be key drivers of re-evaluation. Fourth, the process of redirecting action is moderated by two social factors: institutional pressures and self-interest.We discuss the implications of these patterns for organization theory and for future research.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to rmrspubrequest@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Barton, Michelle A.; Sutcliffe, Kathleen M. 2009. Overcoming dysfunctional momentum: Organizational safety as a social achievement. Human Relations. 62(9): 1327-1356.

    Keywords

    high reliability organizing, knowledge sharing, organizational safety, sensemaking, social construction, voice

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/35994