|dc.description.abstract||The aim of this study was to identify how top managers’ health and safety (H&S)
management practices are affected by their motivations. The research focused on the
top organisational level because, under the European framework of enforced selfregulation, it is those managers who are responsible for appropriate H&S conditions in
workplaces. The study’s results should help to better understand managers’ decision
making, supporting H&S authorities and other stakeholders in promoting safety at work.
Managerial systems and underlying H&S motivations were investigated based on 24
semi-structured interviews with top-management representatives of medium-sized
organisations. The sample comprised four professional fire departments in each of the
selected countries: Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. Relying on a pragmatic
research paradigm, the interview data and related organisational documents were used
to develop cross-sectional case studies. These were subject to inductive within-case and
cross-case analyses, including the development of three country cases.
The findings have been aggregated into a typology of managers’ H&S motivations in
their managerial and regulatory context. A distinction is made between two types of
decision makers: Law Managers and Law & People Managers. The first type reacts to
the power of formal rules only, striving to implement legally required H&S procedures.
The second type additionally exhibits moral and personal motivations. These moral
views result in more effective approaches to H&S management. In contradiction with
legal requirements, Law & People Managers often use focused change projects to
improve H&S conditions, which was exemplified at organisations in all three countries.
The study contributes to the scientific and practical discourse by adding a new
managerial perspective on H&S. This can improve communication between managers
and authorities, allowing organisations to apply this study’s empirically tested model of
effective project-based H&S management. It is recommended that regulations and
corporate training aim at sensitising top managers to the moral aspects of H&S.||en