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Organizational Safety and Health

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Organizational Safety and Health

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The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/1366-5626.htm

JWL 23,1

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE

56
Received 26 April 2010 Revised 15 July 2010 Accepted 15 July 2010

Safety capital: the management of organizational knowledge on occupational health and safety ˜ Imanol Nunez and Mikel Villanueva
´ Departamento de Gestion de Empresas, Universidad Publica de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain Abstract
Purpose – The concept of Safety Capital was developed by analyzing the creation and composition of the Intellectual Capital embedded in Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) systems. The paper aims to address this relationship. Design/methodology/approach – By drawing a theoretical link for the relationship between OHS activities and intellectual capital, guidelines for the management of organizational knowledge on OHS systems are outlined. Findings – The paper shows that occupational health and safety should be considered among the sources of intellectual capital of the firm. Originality/value – The theoretical framework is a potential guide for substantial improvement of advanced OSH management systems, a key element to visualize incentives to invest in safety and a powerful instrument for research in intellectual capital quantification. Keywords Occupational health and safety, Intellectual capital, Organizational processes Paper type Research paper

Journal of Workplace Learning Vol. 23 No. 1, 2011 pp. 56-71 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 1366-5626 DOI 10.1108/13665621111097254

1. Introduction Recent research on business economics reveal that the source of competitive advantage is taking an intangible nature relating to organizational knowledge and capabilities. In this context, we find that Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) activities are never considered within the sources of the intellectual capital of the firm. However, it is widely recognized that safer and healthier workplaces are, along with competitive...