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Collegiate Aviation Review International




Organizational safety resilience is a key factor in sustaining an effective safety management system (SMS) in high-reliability organizations (HROs) such as aviation. Extant research advocates for monitoring, assessing and continuously improving safety in an organization that has a fully-functional SMS. Safety resilience provides a buffer against vulnerabilities. Extant research also suggests a paucity in terms of a measurement framework for organizational safety resilience in collegiate aviation operations. A quantitative approach using Reason’s safety resilience concept (Reason, 2011) is used to assess organizational safety resilience in a collegiate aviation program with an active conformance SMS accepted by the FAA. A sample of 516research participants responded to an online survey instrument derived from Reason (2011). Structural Equation Model (SEM)/Path Analysis (PA) techniques are used to assess models that measure the strength of relationships between three cultural drivers (Commitment, Cognizance, Competence)of safety and safety resilience. There were strong significant relationships between these cultural drivers and safety resilience. Path analysis suggests that Commitment significantly mediates the path between Cognizance and Competence and highlights its important role in sustaining safety competencies. There were significant differences in the perceptions of safety resilience among top-level leadership, flight operations and ground operations. Flight operations and ground operations had higher mean scores on safety resilience than top-level leadership. Study provides a validated model of safety resilience that is essential for SMS improvements in collegiate aviation programs. Future studies will utilize this safety resilience model to assess other collegiate aviation programs in various phases of SMS implementation, airlines, and air traffic control operations.



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