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Risk, culture, and organization: A study of injury among construction workers

Maguire, KJP 2008, Risk, culture, and organization: A study of injury among construction workers , PhD thesis, Salford : University of Salford.

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    Abstract

    National statistics reveal that construction workers are at greater risk of fatal injury than most other workers in Great Britain. Using cultural and organisational theories and carrying out qualitative studies, the thesis attempts to understand why this is so. The main source of understanding for culture and risk comes from the writings of Mary Douglas and her cultural theory, in particular how different social forms each have a typical risk attitude. The focus for understanding organization has been contingency theory, interpreted in the wider context of Weber's concept of the rationalisation process. Out of the theoretical chapters emerged a shape for the studies, the rationale for which is given in the methodology. As well as the early analysis of secondary data (mainly official statistics), the study consisted of four phased qualitative cases: a set of orienting interviews and construction site visits, an examination of the records of two very different coroners' courts, a series of visits and interviews to an above ground construction site, and a series of visits and interviews to a belowground construction site. There is a discussion of these findings using Layder's resource map before the thesis embarks on a more theoretically driven discussion. The principle finding is that both organizational and cultural approaches give partial explanations but neither alone gives a complete account of injury among construction workers. Rather they complement each other in giving a fuller understanding of how construction workers come to be harmed. From this a simple model which combines both approaches is developed which is evaluated in the concluding chapter. The results draw attention to the problem that indirect employment (subcontracting) poses for regulation of health and safety in the construction industry and suggest that it may contribute to the high accidental injury rates.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Contributors: Bellaby, P(Supervisor)
    Additional Information:
    Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences
    Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Institutional Repository
    Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 14:34
    Last Modified: 19 Feb 2014 10:24
    URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/26789

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