AJIBM  Vol.4 No.2 , February 2014
How Coal Miners Develop Path-Dependence and Lock in to an Unsafe Behavioral Path

Path dependence in behavioral agents can influence their actions. Creation of path dependence is a process of agents locking in their behavioral trajectory, which will increase the possibility of their certain actions occurring repeatedly. In China, most of coal mines’ working place is located in deep underground, so coal miners must work in very complex environment. In such environment, once behavioral path occurred in the coal miners, the chance of incurring coal mining accidents will be heavily increased. This article provides an empirical study on how coal miners develop path-dependence and lock-in to unsafe actions. It expands upon the external and internal conditions that create path dependence in behavioral agents. Drawing on these conditions, we construct a process model of agents developing creation of path dependence and locking in their behavioral path, and then, by using the model, we elaborate why unsafe actions of coal miners in China frequently and easily occur, and why coal mine accidents reoccur in period.

Cite this paper: Xu, Z. , Cao, Q. and Zhang, N. (2014) How Coal Miners Develop Path-Dependence and Lock in to an Unsafe Behavioral Path. American Journal of Industrial and Business Management, 4, 80-84. doi: 10.4236/ajibm.2014.42012.

[1]   W. B. Arthur, “Increasing Returns and Path Dependence in the Economy,” University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor 1995.

[2]   R. Cowen and P.Gunby, “Sprayed to Death: Path Dependence, Lock-In and Pest Control Strategies,” Economic Journal, Vol. 106, No. 436, 1996, pp. 521-542.

[3]   D. C. North, “Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance,” Cambridge University Press, New York, 1990.

[4]   R. Cowan, “Nuclear Power Reactors: A Study in Technological Lock In,” Journal of Economic History, Vol. 50, No. 3, 1990, pp. 541-567.

[5]   M. Heffernan, “Path Dependence, Behavioral Rules, and the Role of Entrepreneurship in Economic Change: The Case of the Automobile Industry,” The Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 16, No. 1, 2003, pp. 45-62.

[6]   W. B. Arthur, “Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events,” Economic Journal, Vol. 99, No. 394, 1989, pp. 116-131.

[7]   M. P.Gartland, “Interdisciplinary Views of Sub-Optimal Outcomes: Path Dependence in the Social and Management Sciences,” The Journal of Socio-Economics, Vol. 34, No. 5, 2005, pp. 686-702.

[8]   E. Goodstein, “The Economic Roots of Environmental: Decline Property Rights or Path Dependence?” Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. 29, No. 4, 1995, pp. 1029-1043.

[9]   J. Vergne and R. Durand, “The Missing Link between the Theory and Empirics of Path Dependence: Conceptual Clarification, Testability Issue, and Methodological Implications,” Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 47, No. 4, 2010, pp. 736-759.

[10]   J. Sydow, F. Lerch and U. Staber. “Planning for Path Dependence? The Case of a Network in the BerlinBrandenburg Optics Cluster,” Economic Geography, Vol. 86, No. 2, 2010, pp. 173-195.

[11]   R. Martin and P. Sunley, “Path dependence and regional economic evolution,” Journal of Economic Geography, Vol. 6, No. 4, 2006, pp. 395-473.

[12]   C. E. H. Chua, W.-K. Lim, C. Soh and S. K. Sia, “Enacting Clan Control in Complex it Projects: A Social Capital Perspective,” MIS Quarterly, Vol. 36, No. 2, 2012, pp. 577-600.