Chapter 10.1: The Organisation
Generalist Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) professionals need to work within organisations and contribute to overall organisational goals rather than attempt to impose OHS change from outside the organisational context. This chapter discusses the complexity of organisations and the scope of relevant theory before exploring three ‘lenses’ – metaphorical, structural and integral –which OHS professionals can apply to assist their understanding of organisations. Implications for OHS practice are considered and an appendix containing an excerpt from the 2012 edition of this chapter provides relevant perspectives on organisational health and safety.
Keywords: organisation, safety, health, professional, complexity, metaphor, integral
First year of publication: 2012
Current Version: 2020
Chapter 10.1: The Organisation
Table of contents
2 Historical context
3 Complexity in organisations
4 Some ‘lenses’ for viewing organisations
4.1 Metaphorical view
4.2 Structural view
4.3 Integral view
5 Implications for OHS practice
Appendix 1: Perspectives on health and safety and the organisation, 2012
Debra Burlington BSW, GradDipOHS, GradDipBusMan, FAIHS
Principal Consultant, Enhance Solutions
Debra has worked in occupational health and safety for more than 30 years. In a range of organisations in Australia and internationally, she has focused on developing safety leadership capability as well as overall safety culture. Debra is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Health & Safety and is actively involved in the development of a strong mentorship capability within the Institute.
Michael Griffiths BAPsych, GradDip(SocPsych&SportSci), MAPsych, MAPS
Director, Cornerstone Integral Solutions
Michael has more than 30 years’ experience as an organisational and leadership development consultant for organisations in a variety of industries, including mining and construction. He has a background in psychology and safety leadership consulting, and expertise in applying Integral Theory to organisational issues. Michael is founder and director of Cornerstone Integral Solutions, a boutique Melbourne-based organisational development consultancy
Learning Outcomes: The Organisation
The OHS Body of Knowledge takes a conceptual approach which enables it to be applied in different contexts and frameworks.
To optimise its value for education and professional development learning outcomes have been developed for each technical chapter in the Body of Knowledge.
The learning outcomes as described give an indication of what should be the capabilities of an OHS professional; it is up to those developing OHS education programs, OHS professionals planning their CPD or recruiters or employers selecting or developing people for the OHS function to consider the required breadth vs. depth .
Please read the section on using the learning outcomes before delving into the leaning outcomes of the individual chapters.
The numbers against each learning outcome refer to the chapter number of the BOK download page. No learning outcomes have been developed for the chapters considered introductory or underpinning knowledge (that is chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 1, .13, 14, 15.)