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Traditional organisations are characterised by status difference (Nembhard and
Edmondson, 2006). Feedback has been shown to promote learning and performance
both for individuals and teams. Reporting errors, even in situations that could lead to
serious patient injury or death was found to be problematic in health care environments
as widely reported (Barton, 2009). The healthcare environment is one where status
difference and image preservation is prevalent (Edmondson 2002). The behaviourist
learning theory stipulates “Knowledge is a repertoire of behavioural responses to
environmental stimuli”. There is either Motivation to take interpersonal risk or not,
based on the perceived stimuli. Maslow’s motivation theory shows the need and
importance of safety and self-protection and can probably explain the reason behind
the motivation to take interpersonal risk or not – the study seeks to make this deduction
from data gathered from respondents.
Previous studies on psychological safety have focused on its importance in creating
high performing teams and the motivations that drives the right behaviours.