News Update on Organizational Behaviour Research: May – 2019

Safety culture in maritime transport in Norway and Greece: Exploring national, sectorial and organizational influences on unsafe behaviours and work accidents

The study compares crew members on Norwegian cargo vessels (N = 93) and passenger vessels (N = 76) with crew members on Greek cargo vessels (N = 99) and Greek passenger vessels (N = 99). The aims are to: 1) Examine the influence of national safety culture, sector safety focus and organizational safety culture on safety behaviours, compared with other explanatory variables (e.g. age, position, vessel type, working conditions) and to 2) Examine the influence of safety behaviours and other factors on occupational injuries. The paperfocuses on the following unsafe behaviours: 1) Risk acceptance/violations, 2) Working under the influence of alcohol, or while being hungover and 3) Non-intervention/non-reporting. Organizational factors like demanding working conditions and organizational safety culture are the most important predictors of Risk acceptance/violations and Non-intervention/non-reporting. National safety culture is the most important predictor of respondents’ tendency to work under the influence of alcohol/hungover. Respondents’ occupational injuries are influenced by Risk acceptance/violations, nationalityand age. The study indicates that safety culture at different analytical levels, influence different types of unsafe behaviours, which in turn influence the risk of work injuries. Thus, it is suggested that it is important to study safetyculture at different analytical levels (i.e. the national, sectorial and organizational), to fully understand the influence of culture on safety in transport. [1]

Community’s evaluation of organizational legitimacy: Formation and reconsideration

With the aim of delving into the legitimacy formation mechanisms used by communities to make judgements about project organizations, this research studied the local community and surrounding environment of four oil extraction projects located in three developing countries. The results of the cross-case analysis suggest that communities’ negative perceptions from government and media can influence their judgement of organizational behaviour. Additionally, this research proposes that local communities’ anticipation of the consequences of protesting against the organization can make them decide not to take any action. According to institutional theory, when community individuals arrive at a legitimacy verdict about an organization, their future perceptions will mainly be influenced by this decision rather than conscious consideration of the conditions. Accordingly, this research recommends that organizations aiming to recover their reputation need to adopt compensation activities with a substantial influence on the improvement of conditions. It is only in such conditions that communities will consciously evaluate organizational legitimacy. Trivial changes in organizational behaviour will only result in adding new evidences in support of the illegitimacy of organizations. [2]

Knowledge, skills and organizational capabilities for structural transformation

Structural transformation requires raising productivity and achieving competitiveness in increasingly higher-valued activities. This process can be constrained by different types of knowledge gaps. The importance of codified knowledge and practical know-how or skills are well recognized. But another type of knowledge critically affects the value of both. A society must have firms with the organizational capabilities to organize production competitively so that educated and skilled people can be employed profitably. This is a specific type of collective knowledge distinct from the codified knowledge and know-how embodied in individuals. Without appropriate organizational capabilities, investments in other types of knowledge can fail to achieve adequate returns. The required organizational capabilities can range from basic, intermediate to dynamic, depending on whether firms in the sector are catching up or innovating. Effective learning strategies have to identify and target interdependent knowledge gaps and to do this effectively, they also have to recognize distinct institutional and political economy problems of implementation. The general points are illustrated with reference to the emergence of the garments industry in Bangladesh and the challenges facing its upgrading. [3]

Adapting to Adaptations: Behavioural Strategies that are Robust to Mutations and Other Organisational-Transformatio

Genetic mutations, infection by parasites or symbionts, and other events can transform the way that anorganism’s internal state changes in response to a given environment. We use a minimalistic computational model to support an argument that by behaving “interoceptively,” i.e. responding to internal state rather than to the environment, organisms can be robust to these organisational-transformations. We suggest that the robustness of interoceptive behaviour is due, in part, to the asymmetrical relationship between an organism and its environment, where the latter more substantially influences the former than vice versa. This relationship means that interoceptive behaviour can respond to the environment, the internal state and the interaction between the two, while exteroceptive behaviour can only respond to the environment. We discuss the possibilities that (i) interoceptive behaviour may play an important role of facilitating adaptive evolution (especially in the early evolution of primitive life) and (ii) interoceptive mechanisms could prove useful in efforts to create more robust synthetic life-forms. [4]

Human Resource Management Practices and Employee Retention: A Review of Literature

Human Resources (HR) are the most valuable asset in any organisation. Even though organisations advanced with technology, they need HR to run the technology. With this advancement in the industries completion among the organisations are very high. This opens many pathways and opportunities in the hands of the HR. The major challenge by most of the organisation today is not only managing their workforce but also retaining them. Therefore, securing and retention of skilled workforce plays a vital role for any organisation due to knowledge and skills of the employees are central to the institution’s ability to be economically competitive for growth and sustainability. Additionally, employee satisfaction is another HR issue faced by the employers today. When taken to account the importance and sensitivity of the issue retention to any organisation, this study is aimed to identify the relationship between HRM practices and employee retention based on the literature review. [5]


[1] Nævestad, T.O., Phillips, R.O., Størkersen, K.V., Laiou, A. and Yannis, G., 2019. Safety culture in maritime transport in Norway and Greece: Exploring national, sectorial and organizational influences on unsafe behaviours and work accidents. Marine Policy99, pp.1-13. (Web Link)

[2] Derakhshan, R., Mancini, M. and Turner, J.R., 2019. Community’s evaluation of organizational legitimacy: Formation and reconsideration. International Journal of Project Management37(1), pp.73-86. (Web Link)

[3] Khan, M.H., 2019. Knowledge, skills and organizational capabilities for structural transformation. Structural Change and Economic Dynamics48, pp.42-52. (Web Link)

[4] Adapting to Adaptations: Behavioural Strategies that are Robust to Mutations and Other Organisational-Transformations

Matthew D. EgbertJuan Pérez-Mercader

Scientific Reports volume6, Article number: 18963 (2016) (Web Link)

[5] Abdul Azeez, S. (2017) “Human Resource Management Practices and Employee Retention: A Review of Literature”, Journal of Economics, Management and Trade, 18(2), pp. 1-10. doi: 10.9734/JEMT/2017/32997. (Web Link)