Cogprints

The Application of the Hermeneutic Process to Qualitative Safety Data: A Case Study using Data from the CIRAS project

Wallace, Dr Brendan and Ross, Dr Alastair and Davies, Professor John (2003) The Application of the Hermeneutic Process to Qualitative Safety Data: A Case Study using Data from the CIRAS project. [Journal (Paginated)]

Full text available as:

[img]
Preview
PDF
180Kb

Abstract

This article describes the new qualitative methodology developed for use in CIRAS (Confidential Incident Reporting and Analysis System), the confidential database set up for the UK railways by the University of Strathclyde. CIRAS is a project in which qualitative safety data are disidentified and then stored and analysed in a central database. Due to the confidential nature of the data provided, conventional (positivist) methods of checking their accuracy are not applicable; therefore a new methodology was developed - the Applied Hermeneutic Methodology (AHM). Based on Paul Ricoeur's `hermeneutic arc', this methodology uses appropriate computer software to provide a method of analysis that can be shown to be reliable (in the sense that consensus in interpretations between different interpreters can be demonstrated). Moreover, given that the classifiers of the textual elements can be represented in numeric form, AHM crosses the `qualitative-quantitative divide'. It is suggested that this methodology is more rigorous and philosophically coherent than existing methodologies and that it has implications for all areas of the social sciences where qualitative texts are analysed.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:accidents; hermeneutics; interpretation; qualitative; quantitative; safety
Subjects:Psychology > Social Psychology
ID Code:3092
Deposited By:Wallace, Dr Brendan
Deposited On:03 Aug 2003
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:55

References in Article

Select the SEEK icon to attempt to find the referenced article. If it does not appear to be in cogprints you will be forwarded to the paracite service. Poorly formated references will probably not work.

Bernstein, R. Beyond objectivism and relativism. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania

Press, 1983.

Bleicher, J. Contemporary hermeneutics. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980.

Borg, W. & Gall, M. Educational research. London: Longman, 1989.

Frese, M., Brodbeck, F., Heinbokel, T., Mooser, C., Schleiffenbaum, E. & Thiemann, P.

Errors in training computer skills: On the positive function of errors. Human–Computer

Interaction, 1991, 6, 77–95.

Gadamer, H.-G. Truth and method, 2nd revised edn. Translation revised by J. Weinsheimer

& D.G. Marshall. New York: Continuum, 1994. (First published 1960.)

Habermas, J. A review of Gadamer’s Truth and method. In F. Dallmayr & T. McCarthy

(Eds), Understanding and social enquiry. London: University of Notre Dame University,

1977.

Hans, J. The question of value. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1989.

Heidegger, M. Being and time. London: SCM Press, 1962. (First published 1926.)

Hekman, S. Hermeneutics and the sociology of knowledge. Oxford: Polity Press, 1986.

HSE. Successful health and safety management. London: HSE Books, 2000.

Hutter, B.M. Regulation and risk. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M. Philosophy in the flesh. New York: Basic Books, 1999.

Lucas, D.A. Organisational aspects of near miss reporting. In T.W. van der Schaaf, D.A.

Lucas & A.R. Hale (Eds), Near miss reporting as a safety tool. Oxford: Butterworth-

Heinemann, 1991, pp. 127–47.

Mallery J.C., Hurwitz, R. & Duffy, G. Hermeneutics: From textual explication to computer

understanding? In S. Shapiro (Ed.), The encyclopaedia of artificial intelligence. New

York: John Wiley and Sons, 1987. Available online at http://www.ai.mit.edu/

people/jcma/papers/1986-ai-memo-871

March, J. How decisions happen in organizations. Human–Computer Interaction, 1991,

6, 95–119.

Palmer, R. Hermeneutics. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1969.

Perrow, C. Normal accidents: Living with high-risk technologies. Princeton, NJ: Princeton

University Press, 1999.

Pidgeon, N. The limits to safety? Culture, politics, learning and man-made disasters. The

Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 1997, 5(1), 1–13.

Rauterberg, M. About faults, errors, and other dangerous things. In C. Ntuen & E. Park

(Eds), Human interaction with complex systems: Conceptual principles and design

practice. Norwell: Kluwer, 1995.

Reason, J. Managing the risks of organizational accidents. Aldershot: Ashgate, 1997.

Rennie, D. Qualitative research: A matter of hermeneutics and the sociology of knowledge.

In M. Koppala & L. Suzuki (Eds), Using qualitative methods in psychology. Thousand

Oaks, CA: Sage, 1999.

Rescher, N. The coherence theory of truth. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973.

Ricoeur, P. The model of the text: Meaningful action considered as a text. In F. Dallmayr

& T. McCarthy (Eds), Understanding and social enquiry. London: University of Notre

Dame Press, 1977.

Ricoeur, P. Hermeneutics and the human sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,

1981.

Robson, C. Real world research. Oxford: Blackwell, 1993.

Salkind, N. Exploring research. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2000.

Shrivastava, P. Bhopal: Anatomy of a crisis. London: Paul Chapman, 1992.

Shrivastava, P., Miller, D. & Miglani, A. The evolution of crises: Crisis precursors. The

International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, 1991, 9(3), 321–37.

Spradley, J. The ethnographic interview. Orlando, FL: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1979.

Svyantek, D. & DeShon, R. Organizational attractors: A chaos theory explanation of why

cultural chance efforts often fail. Public Administration Quarterly, 1993, Fall, 338–55.

Taylor, D.H. The hermeneutics of accidents and safety. In J. Rasmussen, K. Duncan & J.

Leplat (Eds), New technology and human error. Chichester & New York: Wiley, 1987.

Toft, B. Learning from disasters: A management approach, 2nd edn. Leicester: Perpetuity

Press, 1997.

Turner, B. Causes of disaster: Sloppy management. British Journal of Management, 1994,

5, 215–9.

Turner, B. & Pidgeon, N. Man-made disasters. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1998.

Vaughan, D. The Challenger launch decision. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

Von Bertalanffy, H. General systems theory: Foundations, development, applications. New

York: George Braziller, 1976.

Wallace, B., Ross, A., Davies, J.B. & Wright, L. The creation of a new minor event coding

system. Cognition Technology and Work, 2002, 4, 1–8.

Winograd, T. & Flores, F. Understanding computers and cognition: A new foundation for

design. Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1986.

Metadata

Repository Staff Only: item control page