Quantity and quality: Increasing safety norms through after action reviews

Alexandra M. Dunn, Clifton Scott, Joseph A. Allen, Daniel Bonilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Workplace safety is a concern for both scholars and practitioners alike because accidents and injuries can result in time away from work and lost organizational resources. This study focuses on how one type of post-incident discussion can be effectively used to promote positive safety norms. It adds to the growing body of research on after action review meetings, one type of post-incident discussion intervention commonly used in high reliability organizations to increase future workplace safety behaviors. This study also extends the sensemaking and high reliability literatures by examining a three-way interaction between perceived frequency of after action review meetings, ambiguity reduction and psychological safety. Survey data were obtained from 330 firefighters. Results from the three-way interaction showed that safety norms were highest when perceived after action review frequency, ambiguity reduction and psychological safety were simultaneously high, and safety norms were lowest when perceived after action review frequency, ambiguity reduction and psychological safety were simultaneously low. By examining both the perceived quantity and quality of after action review meetings, this study provides insight into which after action review facilitation objectives are most likely to increase positive safety norms and ultimately create a shared understanding of how to behave safely in future workplace events in high reliability organizational contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1209-1232
Number of pages24
JournalHuman Relations
Volume69
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015

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Keywords

  • after action review meeting
  • after action reviews
  • ambiguity reduction
  • meetings
  • psychological safety
  • safety norms
  • sensemaking
  • workplace safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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