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Organizations, Technology and Error. Robert Dingwall Institute for the Study of Genetics, Biorisks and Society University of Nottingham. The Origins of Error. Errors are not the result of ‘inevitable’ human failures They can only be marginally influenced by Selection and training

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organizations technology and error

Organizations, Technology and Error

Robert Dingwall

Institute for the Study of Genetics, Biorisks and Society

University of Nottingham

the origins of error
The Origins of Error
  • Errors are not the result of ‘inevitable’ human failures
  • They can only be marginally influenced by
    • Selection and training
    • Monitoring, supervision and regulation
  • Do we have reliable and valid knowledge of the hazard and good indicators of performance?
  • Does extra complexity improve performance?
modelling error prevention
Modelling Error Prevention
  • Aware of each point channelling relevant information
    • Clarify ambiguity
    • Not overlook information
    • Dispel ignorance
  • Continuous feedback and constant realignment of actions to fit environments
what prevents error prevention
What prevents error prevention?
  • What stops people acquiring and using relevant information?
  • The information is not available to them at an appropriate time in a usable form
types of information failure 1
Types of information failure 1
  • That which is completely unknown
    • improve searching
  • Known but not fully-appreciated
    • False sense of security
    • Pressure from competing tasks
    • Distrust of information source
    • Decoyed by different problem
    • Inability to classify or extract relevant from irrelevant information
types of information failure 2
Types of information failure 2
  • Known but not fully assembled
    • Information distributed between different actors so the whole picture is invisible to any of them (social cognition)
  • Available to be known but does not fit current frames
    • Necessity of ‘bounded information zones’
can technology help
Can technology help?
  • Actor-network theory
    • Actors are moments in a network
    • Material objects can also be actors
  • Technology is not a solution but an additional variable
  • The meaning and use of technology depends on its location in a social and cultural system
sources
Sources
  • B.A. Turner (1978) Man-Made Disasters
    • Second edition B.A. Turner and N. Pidgeon (1996).
  • See also
    • D. Vaughan (1996) The Challenger Launch Decision
    • C. Perrow (1984) Normal Accidents