Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
School Of Communications and Arts
Communications And Creative Industries
Dr. Leila Green
Many organisations which aim to achieve excellent workplace safety choose 'culture change' as the means to achieve this. They make use of employee communication media to help re-form the values, beliefs, norms and behaviours which are generally thought to comprise culture. However, culture is a complex and profound phenomenon. Successful communication between two culturally separate groups requires each to achieve an understanding of the other, no less so in workplaces than in societies composed of different cultures.Yet even employers who believe in communicating fully with their workforces find it difficult to convey viewpoints other than their own. Their communication tends therefore to be one-directional, asymmetrical and controlling, typified by the ubiquitous staff newsletter containing articles about people's contribution to corporate goals. The messages contained in such media have little or none of their desired effect because they tend to be re-interpreted via the cultural forces of the workers to whom the messages are directed.This study investigated a large industrial minerals refinery to analyse the working lives of shop floor employees and the effectiveness of various communication channels. It focused on one group to whom safety messages were communicated, the shop floor `crews', and examined how the organisation's hierarchy, rules, and informal organisation mediated this communication.
Leith, David R., "An ethnographic investigation of the relevance of shop floor culture to effective safety communication in an Australian minerals refinery" (2003). Theses: Doctorates and Masters. Paper 117.