Team cohesion and error culture in risky work environments

Laura Sophie Fruhen, Nina Keith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


The joint influence of safety specific team processes and general team processes on safety outcomes is not fully understood. This study investigates how cohesion (task and social) and error culture (error management and error aversion culture) relate to accident occurrence in low and high risk situations. A sample of 30 fire fighting teams (N = 199) completed questionnaires. The results indicated significant effects of error management culture, error aversion culture and task cohesion on accident occurrence in low and high risk situations. Error management culture was found to mediate task cohesion’s relationship with accident occurrence. Social cohesion was not found to relate to accident occurrence. These results complement the safety literature with its focus on leadership as an antecedent of safety specific team process and provides an opportunity for practitioners to broaden the focus of their interventions to include some of the here investigated team processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-27
Number of pages8
JournalSafety Science
Early online date23 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • error culture
  • team cohesion
  • accident occurence
  • fire fighters


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