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The influence of organisational typology, strategy, leadership and psychological forces on UK offshore oil and gas industry safety performance.

Spence, Philip Alexander

Authors

Philip Alexander Spence



Contributors

Moira Bailey
Supervisor

Abstract

The UK Offshore Oil and Gas Industry is recognised as having made significant safety performance improvement progress, following the Piper Alpha disaster (6th July 1988), subsequent Public Inquiry and 106 recommendations made by the Cullen Report. However, accidents continue to occur on offshore assets due to leadership and organisational failures, poor behaviours, lack of operating discipline, asset integrity challenges and an absence of aligned safety strategy. Research was conducted through a strategic lens, looking across a typical operator company's value chain, and going beyond the predominant technical and engineering safety focus. Utilising safety climate as a leading indicator of safety performance, research explored the ways in which organisational typology, strategy, leadership and psychological forces contribute to safety performance on offshore assets. Research of this nature had not previously been conducted in the UK offshore oil and gas industry - triangulation of qualitative and quantitative data was utilised. Semi-structured interviews were conducted onshore with managers and supervisors to determine the organisational typology make-up of the value chain and associated safety strategy, with consideration for leadership and the psychological forces dynamic of human factors. An offshore workforce safety study was deployed at seven offshore assets. Under academic licence, the study utilised proven and validated data collection tools: authentic leadership questionnaire (ALQ); psychological capital questionnaire (PCQ); and the safety climate tool (SCT). The research identified organisational typology patterns across the value chain. Operator and contractor organisations were determined to typically identify as defenders and prospectors, while sub-contractors identified as analyzers and reactors. Considering safety performance at the offshore assets as measured by safety climate perception, it was concluded that organisational typology had no influence. There was no statistically significant difference between the safety performance indicator of safety climate perceptions across the typologies associated with the operator, contractor and sub-contractor value chain groups. Strict compliance with the operator control of work arrangements plus consistent operator safety messaging was concluded to be the mediating factor. Authentic leadership and psychological capital constructs were both demonstrated to be positively correlated with safety climate scores. Each of the seven assets studied returned 'Good' safety climate scores on a validated scoring system. However, there was no significant difference determined across operator, contractor and sub-contractor groups for safety climate scores by authentic leadership and psychological capital. Strict compliance with the operator control of work arrangements plus consistent operator safety messaging was again concluded to be the mediating factor. Persisting with current compliance-based practices was determined to possess a limiting effect over the ability to evolve from 'Good' to 'Excellent' safety climate scores in future offshore asset operations. Contributions to practice, knowledge and method were derived from the research findings and conclusion. Four specific recommendations were made for practice, plus four for future safety science research.

Citation

SPENCE, P.A. 2020. The influence of organisational typology, strategy, leadership and psychological forces on UK offshore oil and gas industry safety performance. Robert Gordon University, DBA thesis. Hosted on OpenAIR [online]. Available from: https://doi.org/10.48526/rgu-wt-1358146

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Jun 8, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jun 8, 2021
Keywords Organisational safety; Safety in the workplace; Risk management; Leadership; Oil and gas industry; Offshore working environments
Public URL https://rgu-repository.worktribe.com/output/1358146
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.48526/rgu-wt-1358146

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