Related Projects

Organisational Culture and Trust

This Activity runs from September 2000 - June 2003 . Progress Update


The notion of a safety culture is widely recognised and the enviable record of safe operation of organisations such as air traffic control is often considered to be reliant on the existence of such a culture. Similarly, reported experiences of high-reliability organisations such as carrier flight deck operations and nuclear plant operation suggest that the prevailing culture is a key factor in building mutual trust and hence the enhancement of overall system dependability. Although we have not found examples of this in the literature, anecdotal evidence suggests that a security culture exists in some organisations to maintain the integrity of the organisations information.

These organisations and their cultures are interesting in their own right but represent a small minority of organisations where dependability is a serious issue. They are characterised by co-located team work, small teams working under pressure, shared training and explicit enculturation. It would be unrealistic to suggest that the working practices of other organisations, such as the NHS, could change so that it could become a  ‘high-reliability organisation In this project, we will learn from high-reliability organisations and try to understand how some of their practices may be applied in a wider context; however, such organisations will not be the principal focus of our work. Find out more about the objectives of this activity.


The Manager of this activity is Ian Sommerville . The site(s) involved in this activity is/are [ Lancaster University ] . A full list of people involved in the activity is shown below.

Mark Rouncefield Lancaster University
Ian Sommerville Lancaster University
Karen Clarke Lancaster University


We welcome collaboration with industrial partners and users. We are interested in helping people design devices that meets the wider needs of society, and in the problems that people have in using technology. Collaboration can take several forms, from meetings to discuss particular issues, to working together on funded projects. If you are interested in collaborating with us please contact the Activity Manager in the first instance.


A list of publications associated with this Activity is available.

Related Projects

The projects listed below are related to this Activity.

A Multi-Agency Service Environment ( AMASE )

Electronic Health Record demonstrator ( EHR )

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