Workshop: Compliance versus Resilience


In the scientific parlance on safety, resilience is often portrayed in contrast to compliance or “safety by rule” as a counterpart. However, in most practical cases, achievement of safety is not an either/or choice between compliance and resilience. Resilience research cannot escape the fact that the prevalence of safety by rule is institutionalized all the way from laws and regulations to the expectations of the individuals facing a possibly dangerous (work) situation (and not void of sound reason). The challenge of achieving resilience can therefore also be seen as a challenge of coexistence between compliance and resilience.
From a resilience (engineering) point of view, this challenge is increased when powerful information technology is deployed for the purpose of increased scope and reach of managerial control. Attempts of hyper-Taylorization or –bureaucratization are not unusual, and fit (too) well with the ideas of safety by rule. This may not be the ideal condition for resilience to develop in heterogeneous systems and organization. Aspirations and foundations of resilience should not be content with residing in the shadows of compliance, or just come to rescue the “rational facades” from time to time.

Workshop description

The workshop will investigate the (dialectical) relation between compliance and resilience. The contrasts between (“strict”) compliance and (“utter”) resilience may be used as a contrast fluid in order to spot the main differences, yet a key premise will be that these practices will be infiltrated in each other.

Workshop Goal

The main goal is to position resilience in relation to compliance and other rule-based approaches to safety. Although recognizing the premise of infiltrated practices, development and organizing of resilience per se should have a holistic orientation that comprises individual/group performance, technology and workplace conditions, as well as organizational facilitation.
A related goal is to identify the conditions for resilience to develop and unfold from the “contextual shadows of compliance”, and to identify the key trade-offs to be made.

Workshop Presenter

The workshop will be presented by Tor Olav Grøtan

Other information

like key references, preparation advised etc. will follow