Episode Summary

How do orgasnisations balance reliable performance and spontaneous innovation? This is the key question that the paper we are discussing today tries to answer.

Episode Notes

This paper by Daniel Katz was published in 1964 and, scarily still has some very relevant takeaways for today’s safety procedures  in organisations. We delve into this research and discover the ideas that Katz initiated all those years ago. The problem is that an organization cannot promote one of these concepts without negatively affecting the other. So how are organizations meant to manage this?

We share some personal thoughts on whether or not the world of safety research has since found an answer to dealing with these two contradictory concepts.


  • Introduction to the paper
  • Introduction to the Author Daniel Katz
  • The history of the safety research industry
  • Three basic behaviors required from employees in all organizations
  • People’s willingness to stay in an organization
  • Managing dependable role performance
  • Spontaneous initiative
  • Favourable attitude
  • Creating this motivation in employees to follow rules
  • Cultivating innovative behaviour
  • How this paper remains relevant in current safety research
  • No answer to this question of balancing these two behaviours


“Katz is really one of the founding fathers in the field of organizational psychology.” – Dr. Drew Rae

“It’s not just that you’re physically getting people to stay but getting them to stay and still be willing to be productive.” – Dr. Drew Rae

“When we promote autonomy, we need to think about what that does to reliable role performance.” – Dr. Drew Rae

“Complex situations, clearly need complex solutions.” – Dr. David Provan


Griffith University Safety Science Innovation Lab


Episode 2

The motivational basis of organizational behavior (Paper)