The Tension Between Worker Safety and Organization Survival

Mark Pagell, Mary Parkinson, Anthony Veltri, John Gray, Frank Wiengarten, Michalis Louis, Brian Fynes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
667 Downloads (Pure)


This research addresses the fundamental question of whether providing a safe workplace improves or hinders organizational survival, because there are conflicting predictions on the relationship between worker safety and organizational performance. The results, based on a unique longitudinal database covering more than 100,000 organizations across 25 years in the U.S. state of Oregon, indicate that, in general, organizations that provide a safe workplace have significantly lower odds and length of survival. Additionally, the organizations that would, in general, have better survival odds benefit most from not providing a safe workplace. This suggests that relying on the market does not engender workplace safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4863-4878
Number of pages16
JournalManagement Science
Issue number10
Early online date5 May 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Oct 2020


  • Government regulation econometrics
  • Workplace safety


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