Risks and responsibilities in the workplace
Employees discussing evacuation situations
Keywords:risk communication, evacuation, responsibility, dominant discourse, positioning, workplace communication
This study analyses experiences with and in relation to issues of risk, responsibility and evacuation in workplace settings as discussed in four focus groups in Sweden and Swedish-language Finland. The discussions, and in particular the participants’ positionings in their ‘small stories’, are analysed from two perspectives: that of narratives, and that of interpretive repertoires. The main question under investigation is how employees at different workplaces discursively construe their sense of responsibility in the face of risk and evacuation situations. The findings show that these issues are handled very differently in different workplaces, but at all in accordance with the participants’ implicit responsibility positionings and what we see as the interpretive repertoires (organisational, instinctual, skills-based and informational) they draw on. Whereas previous studies have considered workplaces with high-stakes settings, the present study is set in workplaces where risk is not thematised on a regular basis, making the results applicable not only to workplace scenarios, but to society at large.
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