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Does a strong corporate culture lead to fewer safety violations?

Photo: Nitat Termmee/gettyimages

Helsinki — A strong corporate culture is linked to many positive workplace safety attributes, a recent research review concludes.

Corporate culture, or company culture, refers to a set of beliefs and behaviors that guide how an organization’s management and workers interact and handle external business transactions.

Finnish researchers reviewed literature from previous studies, including one that relied on machine learning to detect certain words and phrases from company earnings calls. They found that organizations with a stronger corporate culture had fewer safety violations, incurred lower fines, and had “significantly lower” injury and illness rates. They also spent more on safety.

“While shareholders have previously been found to benefit from a stronger corporate culture, we highlight the positive effects of a strong corporate culture for employees and society at large,” study author Dennis Sundvik, an associate professor of accounting at the Hanken School of Economics, told Safety+Health. “In short, our study underscores that employees need not fear a stronger corporate culture.”

The study was published in the Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting.

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