I am an Industrial-Organisational Psychologist. My work centres around the psychology of risk and trust in high-hazard / safety critical organisations like energy companies, hospitals, construction firms, and the military. Specifically, I am interested in how people's automatic / pre-conscious attitudes about risk and trust influence their risk decision-making and risk-taking behaviours. I am also interested in using psychometrics (personality and ability tests) to profile people's risk decision-making and risk-taking predispositions.
I also work with colleagues from diverse fields (e.g. Public Administration, Engineering, and Operational Research) as part of an international risk research partnership between the University of Strathclyde and Dalhousie University (Canada). As part of this network, I am currently working on projects about cyber-security, water security, and people's resilience to loss of critical infrastructure after terrorist attacks.
HR 206 Organisational Behaviour
HR 207 Work & Organisational Psychology
HR 208 Work Psychology for HRM
41 402 Advanced Organisational Behaviour
MS 962 Foundations of Risk
MG 914 Managing People in Organisations
- International Journal of Risk and Contingency Management (Journal)
- Editorial board member
- External Examiner for PhD thesis
- External Examiner
- Group Processes and Intergroup Relations (Journal)
- Peer reviewer
- European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology
- Invited speaker
- EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) (External organisation)
- Journal of Organizational Behavior (Journal)
- Peer reviewer
more professional activities
- Evacuating the Halifax Peninsula: Multidisciplinary Analysis and Training to Improve Evacuation from Coastal Floods
- Quigley, John (Researcher) Burns, Calvin (Researcher)
- Our research will provide two principal outcomes. First, we will issue a publically available report that summarizes our findings and recommendations for improvement of evacuations during floods. Secondly, we will develop a prototype for a collaborative game that can be used to train emergency managers for different evacuation scenarios, focussing on interdependence, time constraint, unanticipated human reactions, judgement, cooperation and accountability. Experience can be difficult to obtain in the context of evacuations because they happen so rarely; our prototype will help to develop skills and judgement so emergency managers can be more aware of context and better prepared should an event occur.
- Period 01-Jan-2016 - 30-Apr-2017
- Adapting to vulnerabilities in the transportation system's critical infrastructure: drawing lessons for risk governance from the redecking of the Macdonald Suspension Bridge in Halifax
- Quigley, John (Researcher) Walls, Lesley (Researcher) Burns, Calvin (Researcher)
- Beginning in August 2015, Halifax Harbour Bridges (HHB) will undertake an 18-month, $150-million project to re-deck the suspended spans of the Macdonald Bridge. It is the second time in history the suspended spans of a bridge have been replaced at night and in use during the day. The impact will be significant---up to 48,000 vehicles, 700 cyclists and 750 pedestrians cross the Bridge every day---yet the consequences of disruption to the Macdonald Bridge have never been studied.
What constitutes 'critical infrastructure' (CI) and how we manage it are deeply embedded in social context (Boholm, 2012). The HHB's assumption of control over the project exemplifies a rationalist's bias: the project is being led by engineering firms; there is little community, and no social media planning; Bridge re-decking meetings are reserved for government regulators and CI owners and operators. To date, other than putting shuttle buses at the Bridge, the city has few plans for Bridge users. When re-decking begins, the impact will be felt broadly: people who use the Bridge off-peak will be under increased stress, particularly those who work non-standard work hours and disadvantaged groups with the least capacity to adapt, including low-income workers, the ill and elderly; there will be increased media coverage and a broader interpretation of a major CI event that is occurring in plain view in the Halifax Harbour.
The International Risk Governance Council's (IRGC) framework is a tool for developing a holistic approach to risk governance (Renn, 2008). Risk governance can be defined as the totality of actors, rules, conventions, processes and mechanisms concerned with how relevant risk information is collected, analyzed and communicated, and management decisions are taken. That different risk traditions exist, use different methods and tools and have different interpretations of events is not new. What is less clear, however, is how these competing rationales are acknowledged, accommodated and reconciled (or rejected) in a successful risk governance process. Equally, the model assumes a degree of consistency in the social context; less has been written about how the model can help us to understand a dynamic process in which the key issues are reframed from complex to uncertain to ambiguous (Renn, 2008), and how this re-framing influences human behaviour and risk processes.
The purpose of this research is threefold: (1) to understand the socioeconomic implications of restricting access to the Macdonald Bridge for extended periods; (2) to make recommendations about how communities can coordinate more effectively when infrastructure is disabled for extended periods; and (3) to make a contribution to the risk governance literature, examining competing risk rationales and risk tolerance and acceptance, in particular. We believe this a powerful learning opportunity for those studying the fuzzy concept of 'Smart City.'
We have assembled an international multi-disciplinary team of risk specialists, with expertise in risk perception, risk modeling, urban planning, social media and institutional responses to risk.
- Period 21-May-2015 - 21-May-2018
- System Risks In Information-Rich Environments: Monitoring For Safe And Cost-Effective Operation (Bridging The Gap) / RA4157
- Burns, Calvin (Principal Investigator)
- Period 05-Jul-2008 - 30-Apr-2010
- Platforms for Online Seminars for Risk Researchers
- Burns, Calvin (Academic) Quigley, John (Academic) Coulson, Andrea (Academic) Ramsay, Howard (Academic)
- £10 379 from the "Roberts Fund" for provision and evaluation of online seminar, tutorial and support platforms for the doctoral and post-doctoral community.
- Period 01-Oct-2008 - 30-Sep-2009
- Trading Social Risk and Social Responsibility
- Burns, Calvin (Academic) Quigley, John (Academic) Coulson, Andrea (Academic)
- £2000 funding from "Bridging the Gap" to conduct research and workshops on trading risk and social responsibility.
- Period 01-Oct-2007 - 30-Sep-2008
- Identifying and Effectively Communicating Cyber-Security Risks
- Burns, Calvin (Academic)
- $25 000 (Cdn) from Canadian federal government (Public Safety Canada, Contract No. 7181309).
- Period 01-Sep-2012 - 31-Mar-2013
Human Resource Management
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