We have a well motivated research question, namely: Do safety managers participate in and extend a particular collective practice for safety managers? In the context of organizational theory, the question can be reformulated into leadership perspective and say; do work safety leaders produce a particular quality in the organizing process, a quality which is particular for leadership related to work safety objectives?
In the case of work safety management, the external goods like compliance to safety legislation are recognized, and an established part of safety leadership. These external goods (like a documented safety system and symbols of low accident rate) are supported by institutions, and can be described as goods formulated external to the safety leadership process, often by society, institutions and international legislation. Many studies have shown that the institutional support to of work safety development and practice in companies, has been of extraordinary significance. Also safety managers and their organizations, point very often to institutional and external factors when they motivate internal organizational activities. So this is a field that receives a remarkable motivation from outside the company, and maybe outside the profession and practice of safety organizing. One can ask, if there at all can be identified similar significant motivations and structuring standards inside the profession of work safety leadership, as those that motivates and directs from the market and the external institutions.
‘Internal goods’ are those that are developed by the safety leaders’ activities to produce safety organizing processes and single activities in the companies. They are common goods definitive of the practice of safety leaders as far as such common practice exists. The situation of internal goods and standards of excellence in safety leadership is the objective of this project, and we ask if there seems to be such thing as an internal good produced through safety leadership, by safety managers.
• By ‘practice’ I am going to mean any coherent and complex form of socially established cooperative human activity through which goods internal to that form of activity are realized in the course of trying to achieve those standards of excellence which are appropriate to, and partially definitive of, that form of activity, with the result that human powers to achieve excellence, and human conceptions of the ends and goods involved, are systematically extended. (Manintyre 1985)
Practice is social which means that internal goods are recognized in a social qualitative perspective. As we try to identify internal goods, we relate to social processes and the safety leaders activities when they aim to create and know about change in work process quality.