Failure Management : Malfunctions of Technologies, Organizations, and Society

  • 3h 13m
  • William B. Rouse
  • Oxford University Press (US)
  • 2021

Failures are a common phenomena in civilization. Things fail and society responds, often very slowly, sometimes inappropriately. What kinds of things go wrong? Why do they go wrong? How do people and organizations react to failures, and what are the best ways to react?

William B. Rouse takes an analytic approach to these questions and addresses eighteen well-known cases of high-consequence failures. He employs a multi-level framework to integrate findings across the case studies, and in turn uses these to outline a conceptual approach to integrated failure management. Though diverse in their causes and outcomes, his analysis shows that the conceptual design of an integrated approach to failure management can encompass each of the case studies, all of which would have benefitted from the same conceptual decision support architecture. This enables cross-cutting system design principles and practices, assuring that failure management in every new domain and context need not start with a blank slate.

About the Author

William B. Rouse, Research Professor, Georgetown University

William B. Rouse is Research Professor in the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. He is also Senior Fellow in the office of the Senior Vice President for Research, Professor Emeritus, and former Chair of the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Principal at Curis Meditor, a firm focused on the health of people, processes, organizations, and society. His research focuses on mathematical and computational modeling for policy design and analysis in complex public-private systems, with particular emphasis on healthcare, higher education, transportation, and national security. His recent books include Computing Possible Futures (Oxford, 2019), Universities as Complex Enterprises (Wiley, 2016), and Modeling and Visualization of Complex Systems and Enterprises (Wiley, 2015).

In this Book

  • Introduction and Overview
  • Multi-Level Framework
  • Failures of Complex Systems
  • Failures of Complex Organizations
  • Failures of Complex Ecosystems
  • Multi-Level Analyses
  • Failure Management
  • Enabling Change