The Error Management Initiative just sent out its first newsletter. Please find it below, and contact us for subscribing in the future.
There might be a missing question in the debate about Facebook’s misdeeds with personal data. As in all corporate scandals, much of the discussion revolves around the question of “who’s done it?” Looming in the background is the fate of the natural guilty party: the CEO.
Many of Facebook’s woes may be analyzed as organizational errors.
One person or a group of persons in a company makes a decision, introduces a strategy, sustains a culture, in good faith, as part of their role. Then at some point, the decision, the strategy, the culture become erroneous. They diverge, they deviate from what should be done and can result in harm, perhaps disaster for the entire organization, its stakeholders and the world at large.
Thus the missing question is: How could executives at Facebook (and in all organizations) better manage the errors?
Never has the question been so critical to both executives and management researchers. Handling the error signals early on, intercepting the errors so as to thwart ruinous consequences, and in the long run improve organizational reliability becomes as pressing as safety is in aviation, the oil and gas and nuclear industries, for example.
The Error Management Initiative, born from our research at the Baillet Latour Chair on Error Management at Solvay Brussels School of Economics & Management, is focusing on this type of questions. This short newsletter* aims to engage you into the discussion. Do errors ring a bell? How do you see them developing under your eyes and ‘under your watch’? How are you managing errors in your own organization? Please let us know!
* See (un)subscription options at the bottom of this email.
We like to share our emerging knowledge and experience in researching organizational errors and error management. Among the resources you may want to use is a growing collection of teaching cases (including one on the Dieselgate at Volkswagen) with detailed teaching notes, most of them in various installments to illustrate in detail often long history of errors surfacing.
Finished cases you can find in the pages on TheCaseCentre website (search term: error management). Others are in progress. We also share a curriculum of a full elective course on Managing Errors in Organizations (ask us), probably a world premiere that, after a first pilot last year, attracted already more than 110 Masters students this year (see videos).
Please check our new website! Easy to remember URL: erromanagement.org. We kindly invite you to provide us feedback and new ideas, and report the errors you may notice!