|Title:||Occupational health and safety management in fashion and textiles industry : the value of slack resources and occupational health and safety management system|
|Advisors:||Lo, Chris (ITC)|
|Subject:||Industrial safety -- Management.|
Industrial hygiene -- Management.
Clothing trade -- Safety measures.
Clothing trade -- Health aspects.
Textile industry -- Safety measures.
Textile industry -- Health aspects.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
|Department:||Institute of Textiles and Clothing|
|Pages:||151 pages : color illustrations|
|Abstract:||A series of recent high-profile workplace accidents have increased public concern over corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices in the global fashion supply chain. Media and non-government organizations condemn that fashion businesses are pursuing maximum profits while putting worker's health and safety at risk in the production operations. The public condemnation upon occupational health and safety (OHS) issues could hurt consumer's buying intention and consequently the competitiveness of supply chain. Despite most OHS problems often happen in operational settings, current OHS literature lacks an operations management (OM) perspective, with limited implications for operational managers to manage OHS properly so as to achieve sustainable financial performance.This dissertation first provides a Citation Network Analysis review to the current OHS studies in OM literature. This review enables us to identify the research gap on OHS issues in OM. Based on the two popular safety management theories, normal accident theory (NAT) and high-reliability organization theory (HRT), two empirical studies were conducted to examine the relationship between safety and financial performance. The first empirical study reveals the operational antecedent of safety incidents and the practices of OHS management in the operation processes of fashion and textiles manufacturers. Safety incident is an undesirable circumstance that has the potential to cause workplace injuries and illnesses. Results find that tightly coupled operation is a significant predictor of safety incidents (violation of safety regulations), while retaining financial slack resources could reduce the harm of tightly coupled operations. The second empirical study shows that the adoption of OHSAS 18001, a popular occupational health and safety management system certification, could improve firm's safety and financial perfonnance. The firms operating in complex and tightly coupled settings could benefit more from the adoption.|
This dissertation has essential theoretical contributions to OM and safety research scholars. First, the citation network analysis review identifies five major research domains and backbone knowledge structure of each domain objectively. The future research opportunities of OHS topics in OM literature are proposed. Second, the findings from the two empirical studies syntheses NAT-HRT views on safety and financial perfonnance relationship. The results show that tightly coupled operations would encounter higher safety risk, and the slack resources can be a useful buffer for tightly coupled operations. Third, the finding provides evidence to resolve the productivity-safety paradox and the results suggests that improved safety performance caused by OHSAS 18001 adoption leads to improved financial performance, implying that the merit of safety management is larger than its constriants to the operational efficiency. This dissertation provides several managerial implications to the operations managers in fashion and textiles manufacturers. First, fast fashion manufacturers should be aware that the higher OHS risk in their operation processes results from the tightly coupled operations nature of fast fashion. Second, fast fashion manufacturers should maintain financial slacks to minimize OHS risk. Third, the managers who plan to adopt occupational health and safety management system (i.e., OHSAS 18001 certification) can expect improvement in firm's safety, sales, and productivity performance, especially when the manufacturers are labour and R&D intensive, and the inventory level is volatile.
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