Disaster prevention through a harmonized framework for high reliability organisations

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The increasing havoc wrecked by catastrophic incidents on organisations worldwide, as well as the increasing devastating effects of these incidents, has necessitated the development of a framework to improve the reliability of organisations. Despite operating in tightly coupled and complex technologies, high reliability organisations (HROs) continue to operate mindfully with minimal incidents. Given that most disasters have occurred in organisations and industries not considered as truly HROs, this paper argues that applying organisational learning from HROs across diverse organisations in different industries could potentially reduce organisational disasters. This paper recognised the numerous researches in HRO theory, but noticed the unavailability of a harmonized measurable framework that could be standardized and applied across diverse organisations. Using the HRO principles, this paper conducted a research in 8 organisations, in 3 industries across 2 continents. It developed the organisational reliability maturity model (ORM⁠2) to track the progression organisations through 5 maturity levels. It developed the framework for organisational reliability maturity (FORM) to measure maturity levels of organisations, predict potentials for disasters, benchmark, and improvement organisations. It is hoped that this paper will deepen existing research in disaster prevention and HRO theory, while opening up new areas of knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-312
Number of pages15
JournalSafety Science
Early online date22 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Disasters
  • Organisational learning
  • High reliability organisations
  • Maturity
  • Benchmarking
  • Organisational improvement
  • Framework


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