chapter  8
14 Pages

Professionals at Work

This chapter turns to the professional side of occupational identity and explores how this impacts on decision-making. Professionalism is associated with qualities such as loyalty within the profession, a sense of vocation, identification with the goals and values of the profession, integrity and public trust. The chapter builds on those professional characteristics and considers how they impact decision-making. Stories play a key role for operational managers in their thinking about safety. Storytelling is an important means of continuing professional learning for the operational managers – increasing their technical knowledge of the behaviour of the system, as well as having emotional value in dealing with working in a dangerous industry. Stories are valued and shared within their professional group as a way of increasing specialist knowledge and expertise. The specialist nature of these stories and the form of the information mean that there are only weak links to broader organizational incident reporting systems.