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Type: Journal article
Title: Occupational health and safety management in organizations: a review
Author: Zanko, M.
Dawson, P.
Citation: International Journal of Management Reviews, 2012; 14(3):328-344
Publisher: British Academy of Management and Blackwell Publishing
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 1460-8545
Statement of
Michael Zanko and Patrick Dawson
Abstract: In examining the research literature on occupational health and safety (OHS), this paper argues that the growth in the number of specialists in OHS has resulted in an emphasis on policy and practice away from more scholastic concerns previously addressed by academics in the disciplines of psychology and sociology. A hiatus has occurred, and this is evidenced by the general absence of studies in management, even though OHS is increasingly seen as a key operational and strategic concern of business organizations. The authors call for OHS to be placed firmly on the research agenda of management scholars, and advocate the need for greater conceptual development, empirical study and theoretical reflection to complement existing pragmatic concerns of OHS specialists. In this review, the contributions of psychology, sociology, industrial relations and management studies are assessed, and five categories of specialist OHS literature are analysed, namely: prescriptive; systematic OHS management; success based; error and disaster based; and culture, climate and high-reliability studies. The conceptual and methodological limitations of this specialist focus are discussed, and future research opportunities are highlighted, for which the authors argue that management scholars embrace a range of methodological approaches. The authors advocate the value of extended case studies which examine OHS in context and over time in particular workplace settings. There remains considerable scope to develop this field further and, in conclusion, particular attention is drawn to the value of process-oriented contextual approaches for understanding OHS management in organizations.
Rights: © 2011 The Authors. International Journal of Management Reviews © 2011 British Academy of Management and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2370.2011.00319.x
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 8
Business School publications

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