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Digging deeper! Insights from a multi-method assessment of safety culture in nuclear power plants based on Schein’s culture model

Schöbel, Markus; Klostermann, Anne; Lassalle, Ruth; Beck, Johannes; Manzey, Dietrich

FG Arbeits-, Ingenieur- und Organisationspsychologie

This article describes the development, application and validation of a safety culture assessment approach for nuclear power plants based on Schein's culture model. The developed multi-method approach aimed to unfold deeper levels of culture, and, at the same time, to be applicable by practitioners and transparent in producing meaningful results. In Study 1 we describe the development of the method and its application in a German nuclear power plant. Study 2 presents a crossvalidation of the approach in a second German nuclear power plant. The evaluation results of the approach reveal adequate validity with regard to the obtained results and its perceived congruence to safety culture in both plants. It becomes evident that the approach allows for deriving basic assumptions of plant members and demonstrating their significance for safety performance. Moreover, it can be shown that it is worthwhile to go beyond the assessment of artifacts and espoused values in understanding cultural dynamics on a plant level. Finally, insights and limitations of the developed approach are discussed and reflected.