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NKS Programme Area:
Organisation and safety culture
Management of change in the nuclear industry - Evidence from maintenance reorganizations
, Pia Oedewald, Carl Rollenhagen & Ulf Kahlbom
The nuclear industry and especially the maintenance activities have been under various restructuring initiatives in addition to continuous incremental change due to e.g. new technologies, ageing plants, deregulation and the change of generation. These changes have been experienced as causing stress and uncertainty among the workers. Also, changes have lead to e.g. lowered sense of control, goal unclarity and lowered sense of personal responsibility over one’s work. Organizational changes clearly are issues that have potential effects on safety. Both positive and negative cases on safety effects of organizational changes exist, and various accidents have been pinpointed to organizational changes in the company. In this report the challenges of management of change at nuclear power plants are considered mainly from organizational culture -perspective. The cultural perspective taken in this paper strives to combine technical approaches to human resources approaches. The report focuses on evidence gathered from studies made at Nordic NPP maintenance units, but the results and models depicted in the report are of general relevance in the nuclear industry. The report is based on four case studies of reorganizing in NPP maintenance units and on a literature review of change management at various other safety critical organizations. The report presents a framework for considering organizational changes and their safety consequences.