Just Culture: Balancing Safety and Accountability, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Just Culture

Balancing Safety and Accountability, 2nd Edition

By Sidney Dekker

CRC Press

200 pages

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pub: 2012-06-22
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Description

Building on the 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 organizations. The goal remains the same: to create an environment where learning and accountability are fairly and constructively balanced. The First Edition of Sidney Dekker’s Just Culture brought accident accountability and criminalization to a broader audience. It made people question, perhaps for the first time, the nature of personal culpability when organizational accidents occur. Having raised this awareness the author then discovered that while many organizations saw the fairness and value of creating a just culture they really struggled when it came to developing it: What should they do? How should they and their managers respond to incidents, errors, failures that happen on their watch? In this Second Edition, Dekker expands his view of just culture, additionally tackling the key issue of how justice is created inside organizations. The new book is structured quite differently. Chapter One asks, ’what is the right thing to do?’ - the basic moral question underpinning the issue. Ensuing chapters demonstrate how determining the ’right thing’ really depends on one’s viewpoint, and that there is not one ’true story’ but several. This naturally leads into the key issue of how justice is established inside organizations and the practical efforts needed to sustain it. The following chapters place just culture and criminalization in a societal context. Finally, the author reflects upon why we tend to blame individual people for systemic failures when in fact we bear collective responsibility. The changes to the text allow the author to explain the core elements of a just culture which he delineated so successfully in the First Edition and to explain how his original ideas have evolved. Dekker also introduces new material on ethics and on caring

Reviews

’Readers interested in organizational ethics and decision-making will benefit from the case studies and examples. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates; general readers.’ Choice, February 2013 ’…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 Comments on the First edition (2007): 'Sidney Dekker's book is a thought-provoking exposition of the concept of a just society. Would that we could achieve it! The questions that the author raises need to be discussed at all levels of government, and by judges and lawyers, and by ministers of health. Dekker makes it clear that profound changes must be made in both the legal and the medical systems if we really wish to improve medical safety.' John W. Senders, University of Toronto, Canada 'A timely book about the current major safety dilemma - how do we resolve the apparent conflict between increasing demands for accountability and the creation of an open and reporting organisational culture? Thought-provoking, erudite, and analytical, but very readable, Sidney Dekker uses many practical examples from diverse safety-critical domains and provides a framework for managing this issue. A 'must-read' for anyone interested in safety improvement, but also, one hopes, for politicians, law-makers and the judiciary.' Dr Tom Hugh. MDA National Insurance Ltd, Sydney, Australia 'With surgical precision Sidney Dekker lays bare the core elements of a just culture. He convincingly explains how this desired outcome arises from a combination of accountability and (organisational) learning. The real-life cases in the book serve to drive his arguments home in a way that will be easily recognised and understood by practitioners in safety-critical industries, and hopefully also by rule makers and lawyers.' Bert Ruitenberg, IFATCA Hum

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Prologue: a nurse's error became a crime; 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.

About the Author

Sidney Dekker is Professor of Humanities at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. Educated as a psychologist in the Netherlands, he gained his Ph.D. in Cognitive Systems Engineering from The Ohio State University, USA. He has lived and worked in Sweden, England, Singapore, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. The author of several best-selling books on system failure and human error, Sidney has been flying the Boeing 737NG part-time as an airline pilot.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSY021000
PSYCHOLOGY / Industrial & Organizational Psychology
TEC017000
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Health & Safety