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Risk and Socio-technical Systems: A study of the Taiwanese Campus Accident Reporting System

Huang, Bao-Chuang (2011) Risk and Socio-technical Systems: A study of the Taiwanese Campus Accident Reporting System. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

The main purpose of my thesis is to examine the processes and problems of risk governance within the functioning of a socio-technical system in a hierarchical organization. I explore the actual problems of operators of the Campus Security Report System and the solutions they deploy as different groups of people. The thesis examines the governance of risk-related events as found within people’s daily life drawing on culture theory, risk society and risk management approaches, and attempts to evaluate the relationships between risk, risk management and organisational culture. The research starts from the exposition of risk management ideas, focused on the daily risks happening in schools precisely because they are ‘everyday’, often quite mundane, yet potentially posing as much organisational challenge as major disasters which can, quite literally, cause organisational collapse. The thesis focuses not only on the concept of culture theory to explore the interaction of risk management existing across an organisational culture but also relies on the ideas of the Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) approach to explore the dynamic of managing daily risks in a hierarchical organisation. The main areas to focus on are: • Explore how unpredictable risks are managed • Examine the ways in which systems are modified in response to changing risk • Examine the ways in which managers and users interact and how hierarchical and local cultural practices work together or in different directions • Examine what are seen as hard to control risks and how these are reported • Examine the play of groups and their interests in shaping the system and how problems are dealt with • Examine the relationship between leaders/designers and users of the system and how this shapes the acceptability of risk. My thesis suggests that if managers ignore the factor of culture to manage risk, even with the help of technology, they may not only experience the reduplication of risk but also create new risks for an organisation or managers once again. In order to avoid such unacceptable phenomena when governing risk one of the possible ways may be to rely on the functioning of SCOT as a process, this would probably effectively empower the socio-technical system’s ability to manage risk in a more socially robust way in risk society.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Risk, Risk Governance, Socio-technical System
Academic Units: The University of York > Sociology (York)
Depositing User: Mr. Bao-Chuang Huang
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2011 14:26
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:46
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1625

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