Nottingham University Business School
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Professor Carl Macrae

BSc (Hons) (University of Manchester), PhD (University of East Anglia)
Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Psychology

Division: Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management
Centre/Institute: Centre for Health Innovation, Leadership and Learning
E-mail: Carl.Macrae@nottingham.ac.uk
Location: C16 (North Building, Jubilee Campus)

Carl Macrae is an applied psychologist specialising in how organisations achieve high levels of safety, reliability and resilience and build cultures of learning and improvement. His research examines how risk events and other disruptive incidents are analysed and learnt from, and how organisational and regulatory systems can be designed to support adaptation and improvement. Currently he is researching the risk analysis and safety governance of artificial intelligence in complex sociotechnical systems like healthcare.

He regularly advises organisations, regulators and policymakers on challenging safety and risk issues. Recently, Carl's work has led to the establishment in England of the first national, learning-focused safety investigation body for healthcare, the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB), and he has acted as Specialist Advisor and been called as an expert witness to Parliamentary Select Committee inquiries.

Carl is a Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Psychology in the Centre for Health Innovation, Leadership and Learning at Nottingham University Business School. He is also a Professor II in the SHARE Centre for Resilience in Healthcare at University of Stavanger, Norway, a Research Associate at the London School of Economics Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation and a Chartered Psychologist.

Previously he has been a Health Foundation Improvement Science Fellow, Special Advisor at the NHS National Patient Safety Agency, Associate Director of Research and Evaluation at the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch and an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow. He has held academic appointments at Imperial College London, London School of Economics, University of Oxford and University of Leicester. He has also been an academic visitor at Stanford University, University of C alifornia San Francisco, Australian National University and Cranfield University.

system safety, incident investigation, risk regulation, organisational sensemaking, improvement science

Carl is currently leading on the following projects:

  • Stage 2: Patient and family involvement in serious incident investigation: a co-design approach to develop national and local guiding processes

Carl is currently collaborating on the following projects:

  • Patient and family involvement in serious incident investigations: Co-designing national and local
    guiding processes.

Carl is currently supervising the following Research Students:

Nguyen Anh Thoai Le

Older Publications

Older Publications

Journal Articles

Macrae, C, (2013), "Expert work and a blunt tool: understanding risk assessment in complex organisations", , Vol.16, 8-15.

Macrae, C, (2010), "Making Risks Visible: Identifying and Interpreting Threats to Airline Flight Safety", Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Vol.82, 273-293.

Pham, JC., Colantuoni, E., Dominici, F., Shore, A., Macrae, C., Scobie, S., Fletcher, M., Kevin Cleary, K., Goeschel, CA., Pronovost, PJ, (2010), "The harm susceptibility model: a method to prioritise risks identified in patient safety reporting systems", Quality and Safety in Health Care, Vol.19, 440-445.

Macrae, C, (2009), "Human Factors at Sea: Common Patterns of Error in Groundings and Collisions", Maritime Policy and Management, Vol.36(1), 21-38.

Chapters in Books

Macrae, C, (2013), "Reconciling Regulation and Resilience", in Resilient Health Care, Ashgate.

Macrae, C, (2010), "Regulating Resilience? Regulatory Work in High-Risk Arenas.", in Anticipating Risks and Organising Risk Regulation, Cambridge University Press.

Macrae, C, (2009), "From Risk to Resilience: Assessing Flight Safety Incidents in Airlines", in Learning from High Reliability Organisations, CCH.

Discussion Papers

Macrae, C, 2010, "Constructing Near-Misses: Proximity, Distance and the Space Between", Risk & Regulation, LSE Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation, 7-8.

Recent Publications

Journal Articles

Anderson,J; Ross, A; Macrae,C; Wiig, S. (2020), "Defining adaptive capacity in healthcare: a new framework for researching resilient performance", Applied Ergonomics, Vol.87.

Furnes yri, S., Braut, GS., Macrae, C. and Wiig, S. (2020), "Investigating hospital supervision: a case study of regulatory inspectors' roles as potential co-creators of resilience", Journal of Patient Safety, forthcoming 2020.

Furnes yri, S., Braut, GS., Macrae, C. and Wiig, S. (2020), "Hospital managers' perspectives with implementing quality improvement measures and a new regulatory framework - a qualitative case study", BMJ Open, forthcoming 2020.

Vincent, C., Oikonomou, E., Carthey, J., and Macrae, C. (2020), "Redesigning safety regulation in the NHS", British Medical Journal, Vol.368, m760.

Wiig, S.; Aase, K.; Billett, S.; Canfield, C.; Rise, O.; Nj, O.; Guise, V.; Haraldseid-Driftland, C.; Ree, E.; Anderson, J.; Macrae, C. (2020), "Defining the boundaries and operational concepts of resilience in the Resilience in Healthcare Research Program", BMC Health Services Research, Vol.20, 330.

Yuchen Xie, Dinesh V. Gunasekeran, Konstantinos Balaskas, Pearse A. Keane, Dawn A. Sim, Lucas M. Bachmann, Carl Macrae, Daniel S. W. Ting, (2020), "Health Economic and Safety Considerations for Artificial Intelligence Applications in Diabetic Retinopathy Screening", Translational Vision Science & Technology, Vol.9(22).

Macrae, C, (2019), "Governing the safety of artificial intelligence in healthcare", BMJ Quality & Safety, Vol.28, 495-498.

Macrae, C, (2019), "Investigating for improvement? Five strategies to ensure national patient safety investigations improve patient safety", Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Vol.112(9), 365-369.

Macrae, C; Draycott, T, (2019), "Delivering High Reliability in Maternity Care: In Situ Simulation as a Source of Organisational Resilience", Safety Science, Vol.117, 490-500.

Macrae, C; Stewart, K, (2019), "Can we import improvements from industry to healthcare?", British Medical Journal, Vol.364, I1039.

Oikonomou, E; Carthey, J; Macrae, C; Vincent, C. (2019), "Patient safety regulation in the NHS: mapping the regulatory landscape of healthcare", BMJ Open, Vol.9(7), pp. 1-9.

Chatburn, E.; Macrae, C.; Carthey, J; Vincent, C. (2018), "The measurement and monitoring of safety: impact and challenges of putting a conceptual framework into practice", BMJ Quality & Safety, Vol.27, 818-826.

Goldhaber-Fiebert, S. N.; Macrae, C. (2018), "Emergency Manuals: How quality improvement and implementation science can enable better perioperative management during crises", Anesthesiology Clinics, Vol.36, 45-52.

Macrae, C, (2018), "When no news is bad news: communication failures and the hidden assumptions that threaten safety", Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Vol.111(1), 5-7.

Macrae,C, (2018), "Imitating incidents: how simulation can improve safety investigation and learning from adverse events", Simulation in Healthcare, Vol.13(4), 227-232.

Stewart,K.;Macrae,C.;Toff,N. 2018, "Safety investigation practices can be adapted from aviation for use in healthcare", in British Medical Journal, k2822.

Wiig, S; Macrae, C, (2018), "Introducing national healthcare safety investigation bodies", British Journal of Surgery, Vol.105, 1710-1712.

Macrae, C, (2017), "Remembering to Learn: The overlooked role of remembrance in patient safety", BMJ Quality & Safety, Vol.26(8), 678-682.

Macrae, C. and Vincent, C. (2017), "A New National Safety Investigator for Healthcare: The Road Ahead", Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Vol.110(3), 90-92.

Vincent, C., Carthey, J., Macrae, C. and Amalberti, R. (2017), "Safety analysis over time: seven major changes to adverse event investigation", Implementation Science, Vol.12(1), 1-10.

Macrae, C, 2016, "Author Response: From Analysis to Learning", in BMJ Quality & Safety, 134.

Macrae, C, (2016), "The Problem with Incident Reporting", BMJ Quality & Safety, Vol.25(2), 71-75.

Macrae, C, 2014, "Close Calls: The Invisible Work of Risk Management", in , 8-9.

Macrae, C. (2014), "Early Warnings, Weak Signals and Learning from Healthcare Disasters", BMJ Quality & Safety, Vol.23(6), 440-445.

Macrae, C. and Vincent, C. (2014), "Learning from Failure: The Need for Independent Safety Investigation in Healthcare", , Vol.107(11), 439-443.


Macrae, C, (2014), Close Calls: Managing Risk and Resilience in Airline Flight Safety, Palgrave Macmillan.

Reports for external body

CQC Evaluation Team and Macrae, C, 2020, "Evaluation of CQC's Regulatory Sandboxing Pilot.", in https://www.cqc.org.uk/what-we-do/how-we-work-people/evaluation-cqcs-regulatory-sandboxing-pilot, Care Quality Commission.

Macrae, C, 2020, "Written evidence submitted to the Health and Social Care Committee Inquiry into the Safety of maternity services in England.", in https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/11148/pdf/, Parliament.

Macrae, C. and Vincent, C. (, 2017, "Investigating for Improvement: Building a National Safety Investigator for Healthcare", in Clinical Human Factors Group, London: Clinical Human Factors Group.

Chapters in Books

Macrae, C, (2019), "Moments of Resilience: Space, Time and the Organisation of Safety in Complex Systems", in Exploring Resilience: A Scientific Journey from Practice to Theory, London: Springer.

Macrae, C; Wiig, S, (2019), "Resilience: From Practice to Theory and Back Again", in Exploring Resilience: A Scientific Journey from Practice to Theory, London: Springer.

Macrae, C, (2014), "Understanding Systems", in Healthcare Improvement and Safety at a Glance, Wiley-Blackwell.


Winkle, K., Jirotka, M., Lyngs, U., Macrae, C., Webb, H. and Winfield, A. 2020, "What could possibly go wrong? Logging HRI data for robot accident investigations.", in ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, ACM/IEEE, 517-519.

Book Reviews

Macrae, C, 2019, "Book review: \"Regulatory Crisis: Negotiating the Consequences of Risk, Disasters and Crises\"", in British Journal of Sociology, 1626-1628.



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