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The natural selection of organizational and safety culture within a small to medium sized enterprise (SME)


Brooks, BP, The natural selection of organizational and safety culture within a small to medium sized enterprise (SME), Journal of Safety Research, 39, (1) pp. 73-85. ISSN 0022-4375 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jsr.2007.09.008


Introduction: Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) form the majority of Australian businesses. Method: This study uses ethnographic research methods to describe the organizational culture of a small furniture-manufacturing business in southern Australia. Results: Results show a range of cultural assumptions variously 'embedded' within the enterprise. In line with memetics - Richard Dawkin's cultural application of Charles Darwin's theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, the author suggests that these assumptions compete to be replicated and retained within the organization. The author suggests that dominant assumptions are naturally selected, and that the selection can be better understood by considering the cultural assumptions in reference to Darwin's original principles and Frederik Barth's anthropological framework of knowledge. The results are discussed with reference to safety systems, negative cultural elements called Cultural Safety Viruses, and how our understanding of this particular organizational culture might be used to build resistance to these viruses. © 2007 National Safety Council and Elsevier Ltd.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Applied and developmental psychology
Research Field:Industrial and organisational psychology (incl. human factors)
Objective Division:Manufacturing
Objective Group:Wood, wood products and paper
Objective Field:Wood, wood products and paper not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Brooks, BP (Associate Professor Benjamin Brooks)
ID Code:63550
Year Published:2007
Web of Science® Times Cited:21
Deposited By:NC Ports and Shipping
Deposited On:2010-05-11
Last Modified:2011-07-29

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