Joseph Dagen

Joseph Dagen
Coaching & Leadership Development at BP

Joe Dagen received his undergraduate degree from Western Michigan University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Nevada, Reno. Dr. Dagen joined BP in 2012 to guide the company’s behavior-based safety (BBS) efforts and to contribute to safety leadership programs. In 2014, he joined BP’s talent and learning team where he now provides coaching and leadership development programs for leaders ranging from the front-line to the executive team. Dr. Dagen has contributed to BP’s incident investigation procedures, safety guidance documents, and he sits on the Human Performance Capability Team. He is a trustee of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies (CCBS) and a former member of the CCBS BBS accreditation committee. He is passionate about applying behavioral science to improving leadership capability in all domains, particularly in those where the consequences for failure can be ultimate.


The Intersection of Behavior Science and Major Accident Prevention


Catastrophic accidents often occur in industries of tremendous social importance, and their impact is felt on a global scale. For example, many people are familiar with high-profile major accidents such as Chernobyl, Space Shuttle Columbia, and Deepwater Horizon. Countless professionals have dedicated their energy to understanding and preventing these kinds of catastrophic accidents, and many industries (e.g., aviation) now operate with relatively low failure rates. The success of safety professionals in reducing the risk of major accidents is built on interdisciplinary collaboration, and behavioral science has an important contribution to make in the ongoing global effort to further reduce the risk of major accidents. Dr. Dagen will share his experience applying the science and philosophy of behavior analysis in the context of a global business operating in a high-hazard industry. Specifically, the discussion will explore the intersection of behavioral science with major accident prevention methods, high-hazard operations, process safety, and leadership development. The discussion will also provide avenues for future behavior analytic research that would contribute to the global challenge of understanding and preventing catastrophic failures in high-hazard operations.