How organizational structure impacts upon operational safety

Episode 14 - Featuring Gilsa Monteiro

Embracing Differences podcast_Gilsa Monteiro


Listeners may recall a recent podcast with Professor Andrew Hopkins where we discussed the role of organisational structure in creating a culture. In this week’s podcast, we take this concept one step further with Gilsa Monteiro, a process safety specialist in one of the leading Oil and Energy companies in the world, and a PhD student who understudied Professor Andrew Hopkins.

Gilsa’s study is concerned about process safety and accident hazards in an operational context. The central question of this podcast is – ‘How organisational structure impacts upon operational safety?’

To answer this question, Gilsa systematically addresses the following sub-questions whilst carefully balancing her research skills with in-depth operational know-how:

  • What is centralized and decentralized decision-making?
  • What are the dangers of a decentralized structure?
  • How do we design the organization to strengthen operational safety?
  • What are the arguments against a more centralized and independent approach to operational safety?
  • What are the factors that could lead to the failure of centralized structure?
  • Toward the end Gilsa provides some practical tips for creating a centralised structure to manage operational safety with a clear forewarning that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions


How do organizational structures impact operational safety? Part 1 – Understanding the dangers of decentralization

How do organizational structures impact operational safety? Part 2 – Designing structures that strengthen safety

This episode is sponsored by Confidus.io

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