Safety intelligence: how to design a safe CEO

Laura S Fruhen, Kathryn J Mearns, Rhona Flin, Barry Kirwan

Research output: Contribution to conferenceUnpublished paper


The present study investigates what characteristics of a CEO are viewed by subordinates as contributing to safety. The impact of senior managers, including CEOs, on safety has frequently been highlighted by the academic literature and practitioners, but it has not been fully investigated how these managers exert their impact. A sample of senior managers (n=38) who work in Air Traffic Management filled out questionnaires regarding behaviours and characteristics of an ideal CEO in relation to safety. A range of skills and traits including social competence, safety knowledge, motivation, personality, safety prioritization and leadership style are identified as relevant by the present sample. The authors suggest researching these findings further from the perspectives of CEOs which can help to provide a stronger basis for the present findings.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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