"Safety intelligence: An exploration of senior managers' characteristics." Published in Applied Ergonomics.
Senior managers can have a strong influence on organisational safety. But little is known about which of their personal attributes support their impact on safety. In this paper, we introduce the concept of ‘safety intelligence’ as related to senior managers' ability to develop and enact safety policies and explore possible characteristics related to it in two studies. Study 1 (N = 76) involved direct reports to chief executive officers (CEOs) of European air traffic management (ATM) organisations, who completed a short questionnaire asking about characteristics and behaviours that are ideal for a CEO's influence on safety. Study 2 involved senior ATM managers (N = 9) in various positions in interviews concerning their day-to-day work on safety. Both studies indicated six attributes of senior managers as relevant for their safety intelligence, particularly, social competence and safety knowledge, followed by motivation, problem-solving, personality and interpersonal leadership skills. These results have recently been applied in guidance for safety management practices in a White Paper published by EUROCONTROL.
Fruhen, L. S., Mearns, K. J., Flin, R., & Kirwan, B. (2013). Safety intelligence: An exploration of senior managers' characteristics. Applied Ergonomics. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2013.11.012