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The theory of high hazard (HHT) based on grounded theory method and theories integration

Ahmad Ghaith (School of Management, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China)
Ma Huimin (School of Management, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China)

Kybernetes

ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 25 April 2024

52

Abstract

Purpose

Organizations working in high-hazard environments contribute significantly to modern society and the economy, not only for the valuable resources they hold but also for the indispensable products and services they provide, such as power generation, transportation and defense weapons. Therefore, the main purpose of this study is to develop a framework that outlines future research on systems safety and provides a better understanding of how organizations can effectively manage hazard events.

Design/methodology/approach

In this research, we developed the high hazard theory (HHT) and a theoretical framework based on the grounded theory method (GTM) and the integration of three established theoretical perspectives: normal accident theory (NAT), high reliability theory (HRT) and resilience engineering (RE) theory.

Findings

We focused on the temporal aspect of accidents to create a timeline showing the progression of hazard events and the factors contributing to safety and hazards in organizations. Given the limitations of the previous theories in providing a coherent explanation of hazard event escalation in high-hazard organizations (HHOs), we argue that the highlighted theories can be more complementary than contradictory regarding their standpoints on disasters and accident prevention.

Practical implications

A proper appreciation of the hazard nature of organizations can help reduce their susceptibility to failure, prevent outages and breakdowns of systems, identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to enhance performance.

Originality/value

By developing HHT, we contribute to systems safety research by developing a new, refined theory and enrich the theoretical debate. We also expand the understanding of scholars and practitioners about the characteristics of organizations working in high-hazard environments.

Keywords

Citation

Ghaith, A. and Huimin, M. (2024), "The theory of high hazard (HHT) based on grounded theory method and theories integration", Kybernetes, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/K-11-2023-2306

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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