New research provides roadmap to developing HRO characteristics
Organisations aspiring to develop the characteristics of high reliability organisations (HROs) must focus their efforts on cultivating the appropriate environment and behaviours that will enable these characteristics to emerge.
This is the conclusion of four researchers from the University of Queensland’s School of Psychology who have analysed the current literature around HROs.
Professor Jolanda Jetter, Mazlan Maskor, Sarah Bentley and Niklas Steffens developed the Two-stage social identity model of high reliability organisations which demonstrates how the development of a sense of shared social identity can enable the emergence of HRO characteristics in an organisation.
Commissioner for Resources Safety and Health Kate du Preez said the new research from The University of Queensland showed that while the literature was good at describing what the end of the HRO journey looked like, it rarely provided a sense of how to get there.
“This two-stage model does a great job of exploring the behaviours which first need to be developed within an organisation before the five classic HRO characteristics can emerge,” Ms du Preez said.
“For an organisation to develop its identity as a HRO, it must also evolve through a process of identity realisation so that HRO behaviours move from being simply formally stated policies or strategic visions to socially embodied practices or tangible real-world actions.”
Ms du Preez said that the research presented the resources industry with a clearer theoretical understanding of the barriers that must be overcome during their journey to becoming HROs and guidance on the practical ways these challenges could be addressed.
“I encourage any organisation exploring HRO theory to consider the work of Professor Jolanda Jetter, Mazlan Maskor, Sarah Bentley and Niklas Steffens and reflect on how it can inform and encourage the work they are already doing.”
The Two-stage social identity model of high reliability organisations was presentedat a forum held by The University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute.
The forum—which drew on research leaders from across university's schools of psychology, business, and law, and from subject matter experts from the Sustainable Minerals Institute—explored the 34-year history of HRO research.
Presenters delved into key practical issues including:
- the role of leadership in entrenching a culture of high reliability
- implications for regulators
- coupling innovation with high reliability
- measuring reliability
- developing a HRO roadmap.
A recording of the forum can be viewed online.
Last updated: 29 Apr 2021