Despite technological improvements, the number of maritime accidents is still high. The human element still plays an important role in maritime operations and leadership and communication issues are two key elements that can threaten safety, as happened in the Costa Concordia and El Faro disasters. In this paper we investigate the possibility of introducing shared leadership principles in the current vertical model, interviewing 11 seafarers belonging to two international maritime associations. We conducted Skype interviews and we qualitatively analyzed them using the software Atlas.ti. We describe six elements – organizational culture and ship's climate, error isolation, leadership, mentoring, multiculturalism and teamwork – that, combined together, can foster or inhibit safety. Results highlight the dual role of the captain as mentor and leader, suggesting the need to share responsibilities among crewmembers. Additionally, results emphasize the pivotal role that organizations have in defining the safety environment for preventing errors. Therefore, this study advances the proposition that the maritime system could implement the shared leadership model into the vertical hierarchy.
Smoothing the corners of hierarchy: Integrating shared leadership to mitigate maritime disasters / Casareale, C.; Marincioni, F.; Kendra, J.. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF DISASTER RISK REDUCTION. - ISSN 2212-4209. - 64:(2021), p. 102471. [10.1016/j.ijdrr.2021.102471]