Achieving Organisational Alignment, Safety and Sustainable Performance in Organisations

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Abstract

When looking at socio-technical systems from a systems thinking and systemic perspective, it becomes clear that mental models govern the behaviours and determine the achievements of socio-technical systems. This is also the case for individuals, being systems themselves and, as such, being elements of those socio-technical systems. Individual behaviours result from individual perceptions (mental models). These individual behaviours ideally generate the desired outcomes of a system (team/organisation/society) and create value. However, at the same time, mental models and the associated individual behaviour also bring about unwanted consequences, destroying or diminishing value. Therefore, to achieve safety and to attain sustainable safe performance, understanding and managing mental models in organisations is of paramount importance. Consequently, in organisations and society, one needs to generate the required mental models that create successes and, at the same time, to avoid or eliminate damaging perceptions and ideas in order to protect the created value. Generating and managing mental models involves leadership; leadership skills; and the ability to develop a shared vision, mission and ambition, as this helps determine what is valuable and allows for aligning individual mental models with those that preferably govern the system. In doing so, it is possible to create well-aligned corporate cultures that create and protect value and that generate sustainable safe performance. To achieve this aim, a systemic organisational culture alignment model is proposed. The model is based on the model of logical levels of awareness according to Dilts (1990), Argyris’s ladder of inference (1982) and the organisational alignment model proposed by Tosti (1996). Furthermore, ISO 31000 (2009, 2018) and its guidance are proposed as a practical tool to accomplish this alignment and sustainable safe performance in organisations. Altogether, these elements define Total Respect Management as a concept, mental model and methodology
Original languageEnglish
Article number10400
Pages (from-to)1-35
JournalSustainability
Volume13
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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