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Research in nearly failure-free, high-reliability organizations: having the bubble

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2 Author(s)
Roberts, K.H. ; Sch. of Bus. Adm., California Univ., Berkeley, CA, USA ; Rousseau, D.M.

The authors note that high-reliability organizations such as nuclear power plants, air traffic control units, and aircraft carriers pose special challenges to organizational researchers. These organizations, where the consequences of failure can be catastrophic, are made relatively inaccessible to organizational research by their technical complexity and sensitivity to scrutiny. Methods for conductive research in these organizations are explicated along with the consequences of failing to bring organizational knowledge to high-reliability work units. The authors define some major characteristics of high-reliability systems and discuss how they affect research on such organizations. They address issues of entre, problem formulation, data collection, data interpretation, researcher relationships with the organizations, and product presentation.<>

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Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:36 ,  Issue: 2 )