Safety Leadership in Two Types of Safety-Critical Systems

Åsa Ek, Mattias Seth

Forskningsoutput: Kapitel i bok/rapport/Conference proceedingKonferenspaper i proceedingPeer review


In safety-critical systems, such as aviation systems, nuclear power plants and hospitals, system failures can cause loss of life, environmental and property damage. Safety-critical systems consists of loose or tight interactions, they are more or less complex, and these characteristics affect the system’s ability to prevent and overcome emerging system failures. The demand for good safety cultures, and safe and efficient work within these types of systems highlight the crucial role of safety leadership. This paper reports on findings from a small pilot study with the aim of exploring whether safety leadership in practice differs according to the built in properties of complexity and coupling in safety-critical organizations. Based on a literature review on safety leadership, interviews were conducted with one leader at a nuclear power plant, and one at a university hospital. The two systems can be viewed to have separate characters and differences in the way work is performed. Contrasts existed between safety leadership within the nuclear power plant and the hospital setting concerning flexibility in the organizations. The hospital setting were more suitable for adaptability and flexibility in relation to dynamical decision hierarchies. The nuclear power plant setting was viewed as more rigid with tightly coupled interactions, and the leadership and safety culture might be extra crucial within this system. Nevertheless, both interviewees promoted a transformational and inspirational leadership style. However, transactional leadership was preferable in critical situations.

Titel på värdpublikationProceedings of the 21st Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, IEA 2021 - Systems and Macroergonomics
RedaktörerNancy L. Black, W. Patrick Neumann, Ian Noy
FörlagSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Antal sidor9
ISBN (elektroniskt)978-3-030-74602-5
ISBN (tryckt)9783030746018
StatusPublished - 2021
Evenemang21st Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, IEA 2021 - Virtual, Online
Varaktighet: 2021 juni 132021 juni 18


NamnLecture Notes in Networks and Systems
Volym219 LNNS
ISSN (tryckt)2367-3370
ISSN (elektroniskt)2367-3389


Konferens21st Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, IEA 2021
OrtVirtual, Online

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Elektroteknik och elektronik


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