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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2021

Ahmad Ghaith, Huimin Ma and Ashraf W. Labib

High-reliability performance and high-hazard are intertwined in High-Reliability Organizations (HROs) operations; these organizations are highly safe, highly hazardous and…

Abstract

Purpose

High-reliability performance and high-hazard are intertwined in High-Reliability Organizations (HROs) operations; these organizations are highly safe, highly hazardous and highly significant for the modern society, not only for the valuable resources they have, but also the indispensable services they provide. This research intend to understand how HROs could produce high quality performance despite their challenging and demanding contexts. The research followed an emic approach to develop an organizational framework that reflects the contribution of the seeming traits of the organizations to the operations safety based on the workers point of views about the safety of workstations.

Design/methodology/approach

This research adopted mixed methods of in-depth interviews and literature review to identify the structural characteristics of high-reliability organizations (HROs) embedded in the organizations studies and developed a theoretical based structural framework for HROs. Furthermore, a systemic literature review was adopted to find the evidence from the organizations literature for the identified characteristics from the interviews from the first stage. The setting for this study is six Chinese power stations, four stations in Hubei province central China and two stations in the southern China Guangdong province.

Findings

The organizational framework is a key determinant to achieve high-reliability performance; however, solely it cannot explain how HROs manage the risks of hazard events and operate safely in high-hazard environments. High-reliability performance is attributed to the interaction between two sets of determinants of safety and hazard. The findings of this research indicate that HROs systems would be described as reliable or hazardous depending on the tightly coupled setting, complexity, bureaucracy involvement and dynamicity within the systems from one hand, and safety orientation, failure intolerance, systemwide processing, the institutional setting and the employment of redundant systems on other hand.

Originality/value

The authors developed an organizational framework of organizing the safety work in HROs. The applied method of interviewing and literature review was not adopted in any other researches.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 22 May 2009

Victor Dos Santos Paulino

The adaptation perspective dominates the issue of organizational change and assumes that organizational inertia increases organizational mortality. This assumption is…

Abstract

Purpose

The adaptation perspective dominates the issue of organizational change and assumes that organizational inertia increases organizational mortality. This assumption is inadequate to analyze organizational change in risky activities. The purpose of this paper is to underline the relevance of organizational inertia when organizations face risky environments.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual framework was built that combines the adaptation and selection perspectives from the evolutionary approach and the high‐reliability organizations literature and apply it to space activities.

Findings

First, it was found that to prevent catastrophic failures, space organizations reproduce routines validated in previous successful programs, which leads to situations of organizational inertia; and second, the opposing perspectives of selection and adaptation become complementary when the author focus on the level of risk faced by organizations.

Research limitations/implications

This paper focuses on space organizations and not more general types of organizations. However, the findings could be generalized to organizations manufacturing complex products and systems.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper is based on the new empirical and theoretical frameworks provided to analyze organizational inertia. Organizational inertia may be a satisfying response to environments favoring organizations with high levels of reliability. This new way of viewing inertia would be of value to scholars studying organizations in which errors can have catastrophic consequences.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2018

Peter F. Martelli, Peter E. Rivard and Karlene H. Roberts

Given the pace of industry change and the rapid diffusion of high reliability organization (HRO) approaches, lags and divergences have arisen between research and practice…

Abstract

Purpose

Given the pace of industry change and the rapid diffusion of high reliability organization (HRO) approaches, lags and divergences have arisen between research and practice in healthcare. The purpose of this paper is to explore several of these theory-practice gaps and propose implications for research and practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Classic and cutting-edge HRO literature is applied to analyze two industry trends: delivery system integration, and the confluence of patient-as-consumer and patient-centered care.

Findings

Highly reliable integrated delivery systems will likely function very differently from classic HRO organizations. Both practitioners and researchers should address conditions such as how a system is bounded, how reliable the system should be and how interdependencies are handled. Additionally, systems should evaluate the added uncertainty and variability introduced by enhanced agency on the part of patients/families in decision making and in processes of care.

Research limitations/implications

Dramatic changes in the sociotechnical environment are influencing the coupling and interactivity of system elements in healthcare. Researchers must address the maintenance of reliability across organizations and the migration of decision-making power toward patients and families.

Practical implications

As healthcare systems integrate, managers attempting to apply HRO principles must recognize how these systems present new and different reliability-related challenges and opportunities.

Originality/value

This paper provides a starting point for the advancement of research and practice in high-reliability healthcare by providing an in-depth exploration of the implications of two major industry trends.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Jessica L. Ford

The purpose of this paper is to complicate and critique contemporary scholarship on high-reliability organizations (HROs). This paper argues that although HRO scholarship…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to complicate and critique contemporary scholarship on high-reliability organizations (HROs). This paper argues that although HRO scholarship helps to identify communicative patterns that facilitate reliability and safety, it also simplifies processes that undermine the effectiveness of existing recommendations for HROs.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper frames high-reliability organizing as the enactment of mindfulness, which is the theoretical mechanism behind each of the five principles of high-reliability organizing. Using this framework, this paper then elaborates on each of the HRO principles: preoccupation with failure, reluctance to simplify interpretations, sensitivity to operations, commitment to resilience, and deference to expertise.

Findings

This paper details how research guided by HRO theory must address the following obstacles to safety and resilience: information accessibility limiting preoccupation with failure, identity constructions encouraging the simplification of interpretations, message fatigue repressing sensitivity to operations, the information environment within HROs weakening commitment to resilience, and generational differences impeding deference to expertise.

Originality/value

This paper highlights key issues obstructing safety and reliability in organizations that have been largely ignored by extant literature and encourages scholars to do more to acknowledge the role communication plays in constituting and reconstituting organizational reliability. Failing to fully address complex communicative interactions in HROs obstructs efforts to safeguard employee health and safety.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 October 2018

Corinne Amel Zayani, Leila Ghorbel, Ikram Amous, Manel Mezghanni, André Péninou and Florence Sèdes

Generally, the user requires customized information reflecting his/her current needs and interests that are stored in his/her profile. There are many sources which may…

Abstract

Purpose

Generally, the user requires customized information reflecting his/her current needs and interests that are stored in his/her profile. There are many sources which may provide beneficial information to enrich the user’s interests such as his/her social network for recommendation purposes. The proposed approach rests basically on predicting the reliability of the users’ profiles which may contain conflictual interests. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

This approach handles conflicts by detecting the reliability of neighbors’ profiles of a user. The authors consider that these profiles are dependent on one another as they may contain interests that are enriched from non-reliable profiles. The dependency relationship is determined between profiles, each of which contains interests that are structured based on k-means algorithm. This structure takes into consideration not only the evolutionary aspect of interests but also their semantic relationships.

Findings

The proposed approach was validated in a social-learning context as evaluations were conducted on learners who are members of Moodle e-learning system and Delicious social network. The quality of the created interest structure is assessed. Then, the result of the profile reliability is evaluated. The obtained results are satisfactory. These results could promote recommendation systems as the selection of interests that are considered of enrichment depends on the reliability of the profiles where they are stored.

Research limitations/implications

Some specific limitations are recorded. As the quality of the created interest structure would evolve in order to improve the profile reliability result. In addition, as Delicious is used as a main data source for the learner’s interest enrichment, it was necessary to obtain interests from other sources, such as e-recruitement systems.

Originality/value

This research is among the pioneer papers to combine the semantic as well as the hierarchical structure of interests and conflict resolution based on a profile reliability approach.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 44 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 16 September 2013

Roozbeh Hesamamiri, Mohammad Mahdavi Mazdeh and Mostafa Jafari

As a way of assessing the ability of organizations to discover and manage unexpected failures in organizational capabilities of knowledge management (KM), this study aims…

Abstract

Purpose

As a way of assessing the ability of organizations to discover and manage unexpected failures in organizational capabilities of knowledge management (KM), this study aims to develop a measurement instrument that involves the five reliability dimensions of preoccupation with failure, reluctance to simplify interpretations, sensitivity to operations, commitment to resilience, and deference to expertise.

Design/methodology/approach

To generate measurement items, previous research related to organizational reliability, high reliability theory, mindfulness, and required organizational capabilities of KM was reviewed. The measurement instrument was then verified in terms of reliability and validity, empirically using data from 240 companies in North America. Internal consistency of measurements, measurement item reliability, and construct reliability were examined to ensure the reliability of the instrument. Based on confirmatory factor analysis using structural equation modelling, construct validity was also tested.

Findings

The reliability evaluation instrument for KM suggested in this study was constructed with four dimensions, preoccupation with failure in KM, sensitivity to KM operations, commitment to resilience in KM, and deference to expertise. The related measurement items were also identified.

Practical implications

This instrument is useful for researchers and executives looking for appropriate outcomes through the implementation of KM initiatives. Furthermore, the study provides a starting point for further research on KM reliability.

Originality/value

To date, while many of the KM success or failure studies have relied on developing success factors or organizational capability requirements, few studies have been conducted to identify evaluation measures that can assess the cognitive infrastructure that enables simultaneous adaptive learning and provides organizational reliability infrastructure through the management of unwanted, unanticipated, and unexplainable failures in KM-required capabilities.

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Article
Publication date: 17 May 2013

Evan H. Offstein, Raymond Kniphuisen, D. Robin Bichy and J. Stephen Childers

In light of and due to the spike in concern regarding high hazard industries, in general, and nuclear power plants (NPPs) in particular, resulting from the Japanese…

Abstract

Purpose

In light of and due to the spike in concern regarding high hazard industries, in general, and nuclear power plants (NPPs) in particular, resulting from the Japanese earthquake and crisis at Fukushima, the purpose of this paper is to offer an innovative organizational development (OD) intervention that may enhance safety and operational performance directed at these critical organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on and integrating key elements of strategy, leadership coaching and development and assessment, the authors describe and detail an intervention designed to bring a troubled NPP to a state of reliability.

Findings

It was found that performance improved in a relatively short amount of time from implementing this OD tool.

Practical implications

The findings contained herein may apply to any organization aiming to improve on safety and operational performance.

Originality/value

The paper's findings should appeal to high hazard and high reliability organizations, such as those found within the energy industry, that must continuously strive toward improved operational and safety performance.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2019

Emmanuel Sawyerr and Christian Harrison

The purpose of this study is to identify the prescribed formative elements of supply chain resilience (SCR) in literature, to compare them with the unique characteristics…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify the prescribed formative elements of supply chain resilience (SCR) in literature, to compare them with the unique characteristics of high reliability organisations (HROs) and derive lessons useful for improving SCR.

Design/methodology/approach

Two systematic literature reviews are carried out as follows: one on SCR and the other on HRO, which identified 107 studies and 18 papers, respectively. The results from the review are presented, analysed and synthesised.

Findings

Findings suggest that despite significant similarities in some of the proposed formative elements for SCR and the characteristics of HROs, the strong managerial commitment exhibited in HROs is absent in SCR literature. More importantly, the most cited characteristic of HROs, which is their flexible decision making structure is pointed out as a prima lesson towards developing resilience in supply chains.

Practical implications

A decision making framework to facilitate flexible decision making for supply chains during crisis is presented. Further, practical lessons are pointed out from principles common to both streams of literature such as redundancy, human resource management, collaboration, agility, flexibility, culture and risk avoidance that can be implemented in supply chains.

Originality/value

This paper is the first study to systematically review HROs, adapt a HRO decision making framework and also apply the Cynefin framework to SCR. This, therefore, provides the basis to launch further research into the use of these theories and the role of decision-making in SCR creation.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2018

Rebecca M. Rice

The purpose of this paper is to expand understandings of interorganizational collaboration among high reliability organizations (HROs). It proposes that HROs face unique…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to expand understandings of interorganizational collaboration among high reliability organizations (HROs). It proposes that HROs face unique needs for relationship building, pre-planning, and retrospective sensemaking that do not fit within prior models of collaboration. For HROs, definitions of collaboration vary contextually based on needs that arise during emergency situations. HROs have a need for both hierarchical structure and collaborative processes and use collaboration as a sensemaking frame that allows practitioners to attend to both needs.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a case study from an ongoing ethnographic study of an emergency response collaboration. The paper uses open-ended interviews about collaboration with all key members of the incident response hierarchy, and participant observation of collaboration before, during and after a key emergency incident.

Findings

The paper proposes a new framework for HRO collaboration: that collaboration is a sensemaking frame for HROs used to make sense of individual actions, that HRO collaboration is more complex during pre-planning and focused on individual decision making during incidents, and that members can communicatively make sense of the need for hierarchy and collaborative action by defining these needs contextually.

Research limitations/implications

The paper uses an in-depth case study of an incident to explore this collaborative framework; therefore, researchers are encouraged to test this framework in additional high reliability collaborative contexts.

Practical implications

The paper includes implications for best communicative practices to recognize the need to be both hierarchical and flexible in high reliability organizing.

Originality/value

This paper fulfills a need to expand collaboration literature beyond idealized and egalitarian definitions, in order to understand how practitioners use communication to understand their actions as collaborative, especially in organizations that also require hierarchy and individual actions. This case study suggests that collaboration as a sensemaking frame creates collaborative advantages for HROs, but can also limit sensemaking about incident management.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2019

Alireza Pezeshkian and Naser Hamidi

In order to increase productivity and create added value in ceramic and tile industries of Iran, the role of physical assets including machinery, equipment and utilities…

Abstract

Purpose

In order to increase productivity and create added value in ceramic and tile industries of Iran, the role of physical assets including machinery, equipment and utilities is very important in these industries, and management of those take an important role. Organizational culture and its role in physical asset management implementation are very important in the Iran ceramic and tile industries. In these industries, there is a secret force called culture, which must be changed if the organization wants to grow up and improve physical assets management. The purpose of this paper is to identify organizational cultural, technical and reliability variables and structure of these variables in form of a combined structural model.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to present a structural combination model, a development model type, the mixed research method is used, and expert’s comments are also used. This model was implemented at Apadana Ceram Company, and its results, in comparison with previous models on physical assets, have shown that consideration of four culture elements can be of great help to reach an optimal point in maintenance and excellence.

Findings

In this paper, analysis of previous research studies, project documents and expert’s opinions in ceramic and tile industries have been used. In the presented model, special attention has been paid to organizational culture and its four elements including values, patterns, rituals and procedures and cultural infrastructure in order to achieve excellence and reach an optimal point in maintenance. Also, governing structure between organizational culture and technical and reliability variables was nominated, which could help companies in physical asset management. Furthermore, eight components of change management were expressed, which are important in order to implement this model.

Originality/value

This model with special consideration of four culture elements can be of great help to industries to reach an optimal point in maintenance and excellence.

Details

Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2511

Keywords

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