Corporate tragedies are often attributed to human error. Whether it’s a train crash or a forgotten surgical sponge, many catastrophes can actually be attributed to what researcher James Reason and others call Organizational Error, or OE.

OE’s occur when both latent and active errors run in the background of man’s ability to screw up. So, if a construction company has a policy that all employees should wear hard hats, but also has a culture of leniency, this is the perfect feeding ground for Bob to forget his hardhat on the bench after lunch.

OE occurs in all types of organizations when policies and culture don’t match.

Action – What systems, structures or circumstance just don’t match up in your company (or team)? Where is policy simply given lip service?

Find these starting points for organizational error because sometimes the cost is an annoyed client but at other times the costs are immeasurable.

    3 replies to "Organizational Error"

    • Vadim

      Good reminder for managers to do their work better.

      • Nancy Morris

        And for those in the Boardroom to support the managers.

    • Subramanya

      True – Clearly visible in present context of mismatch in what company policy and what check system are there to enforce it .
      Thanks Nancy

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