Organisational culture shaped many aspects of performance. Dr. Ron Westrum displayed in this paper that there is a predictive relationship with safety and that particular kinds of of organisational culture improve safety. Later this research was extended and validated in the context of high-performance software delivery organisation (Accelerate).
Westrum recognised three culture models and its characteristics based on the flow of information in an organisation. According to Westrum it is the flow of information that displays the safety in an organisation.
|Power oriented||Rule oriented||Performance oriented|
|Low cooperation||Modest cooperation||High cooperation|
|Messengers shot||Messengers neglected||Messengers trained|
|Responsibilities shirked||Narrow responsibilities||Risks are shared|
|Bridging discouraged||Bridging tolerated||Bridging encouraged|
|Failure -> scapegoating||Failure -> justice||Failure -> inquiry|
|Novelty crushed||Novelty -> problems||Novelty implemented|
This culture is predominantly determined by the preoccupation from the leaders. These preoccupations and priorities are absorbed by the workforce, who then operate with them in mind. It leads information to flow or not. A generative culture will make this information flow and as such leads to the best results. A pathological will not. It is what the theory predicts and what empirical case studies have shown.
Westrum suggest the following implication (for clinical practice):
Westrum, Ron. “A Typology of Organisational Cultures.” BMJ Quality & Safety 13, no. suppl 2 (2004): ii22–27.