Technology introduction on ships: The tension between safety and economic rationality

Suresh Bhardwaj, Syamantak Bhattacharya, Lijun Tang*, Kerry E. Howell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


This paper examines technology introduction on ships guided by three questions: (1) what drives technology introduction; (2) how seafarers are involved in the process; (3) what the consequences are in shipping. The data were collected through semi-structured interviews with ship managers and senior seafarer officers as well as a questionnaire study with seafarer officers. They reveal a discrepancy between the regulatory intention of technology introduction and the actual implementation process on ships. While the former is spurred by safety concerns, the latter is driven by economic rationality. This discrepancy makes technology a double edged sword in shipping. On the one hand, it plays an important role in improving safety, and on the other, it brings about work intensification and increased surveillance at workplace.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-338
Number of pages10
JournalSafety Science
Early online date26 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


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