Errors in Organizations

Despite the importance and prevalence of errors in organizations, there has been no attempt within the field of Industrial and Organizational psychology to create a single source that summarizes what we know regarding errors in organizations and provides a focused effort toward identifying future directions of research. This volume answers that need and provides contributions by researchers who have conducted a considerable amount of research on error occurring in the work context. Students, academics and practitioners in a wide range of disciplines, i.e., industrial organizational psychology, medicine, aviation, human factors and systems engineering, will find this book of interest.

David A. Hofmann, Michael Frese

Publisher: Routledge
Pubication Date:5/20/2011
ISBN: 9780805862911
Pages: 384

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"I found this book an interesting and well-presented read, full of ideas for understanding and dealing with errors in organizations. It will trigger academic debate and inspire practice, and so should be on the bookshelf of anyone interested in risk management." - Denham Phipps, occupational psychologist, Human Reliability Associates, Lancashire, UK in The Psychologist, January 2012 "Attempts to manage human error in high-hazard domains were initially (and often still are) concentrated on what went on between the ears of the perpetrators. Remedial efforts focused on blaming, shaming, retraining and the like - but these measures largely isolated the people in question from the context in which the unsafe acts occurred. One of the most significant facts about errors is that the same kinds keep occurring in similar situations involving a wide range of different individuals. These recurrent ‘error traps’ make it clear that the origins of unsafe actions go well beyond the individual and encompass the workplace, the team dynamics and the organization as a whole - particularly its safety culture. This understanding has led to an increasing concern with the broader systemic issues. This collection is the latest and best of these systemic treatments, covering as it does the gamut of error research over the last 40 years. Hofmann and Frese have brought together within a single volume a glittering assembly of top-rank contributors. Their chapters provide fresh insights as well as providing a coherent account of these diverse contexts. This book will be essential reading for all error researchers of whatever disciplinary persuasion for many years to come." - James Reason, University of Manchester, UK "If you think that all errors are to be prevented, think again. While recognizing that preventing errors is often beneficial, Hofmann and Frese provide extensive support for the fact that the goal of the elimination of all errors in organizations is neither possible nor desirable. Their edited book, with internationally acclaimed chapter authors, convincingly demonstrates the superiority of focusing on error management rather than error prevention for individuals, teams, and organizations in settings varying from IT software development to top management teams. This book is indispensible for anyone interested in understanding performance errors and harnessing them for attaining effective performance through training and the design of tasks, teams, organizations, or any other system." - Daniel R. Ilgen, Michigan State University, USA "With the unexpected seemingly becoming a larger chunk of everyday organizational life and growing evidence showing that crises and accidents often start with the small stuff, we can understand why scholarly interest in errors has mushroomed. Thus, David Hofmann and Michael Frese’s Errors in Organizations could not be more important or timelier. This comprehensive volume includes essays by a renowned set of scholars who provide not only keen insight into the phenomenon, but also shrewd guidance about future research avenues." - Kathleen M. Sutcliffe, University of Michigan, USA