I was a totally new stranger to safety climate, which basically is a social psychology construct and serves as a managerial tool to curb unsafe behaviors.
That is to say, before I study it I need to be familiar with theories from psychology, social psychology, industrial and organizational psychology, organizational behavior and management.
What follows is how I finished the Ph D journey, from choosing a topic to thesis writing. In the first half year, I focused on a topic with which I was admitted into the HKU Ph D program.
I read through quite a wide range of literature related to that topic, but still could not locate a specific enough research problem.
As safety climate is widely accepted as employees’ “shared perceptions with regard to safety policies, procedures, and practices”, it is reasonable to infer that safety climate is first and foremost a social construct, i.e., it is derived from employees’ interpretation of safety infrastructure in the workplace.
Therefore, qualitative research methods, such as interview and archival analysis, which are based on social constructionism, would be appropriate at the first investigation stage. From February 2017 onward, I am a lecturer in Shanghai Normal University. Sue Sujuan ZHANG to present you how I survived my journey to Ph D. Rowlinson’s supervision I obtained Ph D degree from Department of Real Estate and Construction, The University of Hong Kong (HKU), in November 2013.The context was the construction industry, and therefore I need to read through relevant literature in construction management.To master and use research methods needs extensive reading and learning.My research topic was how to generate a positive safety climate on construction sites so that construction workers’ safety behavior can sustain.Basically, it dealt with factors at individual and collective levels which affect construction workers’ behavior, perception, and cognition.After locating the research topic, choosing appropriate research methods seems critical.Underlying various research methods there are ontology and epistemology, i.e., the philosophical stance determines which methods you would use.To accomplish this investigation, it would need theoretical support from domains such as social psychology, industrial and organizational psychology, organizational behavior, management, and construction project management.I chose a mixed methods approach to deal with this topic, not only because of the request by my supervisor but also because of my belief that multiple methods of different nature help gain a comprehensive understanding with regard to the topic given its complexity.