Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Systems Theory Approach for Studying Safety Management Systems for Operations of Small Helicopter Organizations
by Burgess, Scott S., D.B.A., Northcentral University, 2016, 126; 10169559
Abstract (Summary)

Implementation of safety management systems (SMS) in small helicopter entities is not widespread and the variation in different types of missions (segments) in the helicopter industry make this situation very complex.  In 2005, industry, government and manufacturers identified as the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) set out to reduce the global helicopter accident rates, and SMS implementation was one strategy. What was missing was measuring the effectiveness of SMS as related to incident or accidents (IA), or the relationship of these on operational effectiveness (OE).  Small helicopter entities are the most numerous organizations but experience the most IA in this high-risk sector of aviation, and the existence of SMS in these entities is not regulated. Implementing SMS could have a positive effect on OE and IA and this non-experimental study contained a systems theory framework using structural equation modeling (SEM) in a partially mediated model to determine the relationships between three variables.  Further, these results support industry initiatives to target the small helicopter segment. This model could also be useful in promoting SMS implementation by justifying the positive effects of SMS integration, and to address the influence of SMS across the industry. Participants included crewmembers of small helicopter entities in the United States. A total of 205 participants were gathered to participate in the study. The findings of the study indicated that (a) safety management systems can predict incidents and accidents; (b) incidents and accidents mediate the relationship between SMS and OE; and (c) incidents and accidents predict operational effectiveness. Future researchers may expand the results of this study by performing aviation-safety-specific research and by identifying operational benefits of the systems approach.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Anthony, Kimberly
Commitee: Shaw, Melanie
School: Northcentral University
Department: School of Business and Technology Management
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-B 78/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management, Sustainability, Systems science
Keywords: Aviation, Helicopter, Incidents and accidents, Operational effectiveness, Safety management systems, Systems theory
Publication Number: 10169559
ISBN: 9781369237474