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Description - Organization at the Limit by William Starbuck

Organizational disasters destroy not only lives but also reputations, resources, legitimacy and trust. The failures of electricity networks, the outbreak of epidemic diseases, the malfunctioning of intelligence services before 9/11, and corporate financial scandals are distressing reminders of how things can go wrong, particularly in large, and often highly regarded, social systems. Tragic events like the Columbia disaster afford opportunities for reflection, learning and improvement. Although we embrace new technologies eagerly, we are reluctant to accept the risks of innovation. Moreover, some technologies and organizations may be too complex to control effectively. Why is it that some organizations are relatively immune to failure and others are more prone to accidents? Do the very measures that are taken to increase safety contribute to accidents? Finally, can societies, organizations, and individuals learn from failures and reduce or remove dangers? Against this backdrop, Professors Bill Starbuck and Moshe Farjoun at New York University's Stern School of Management have invited a diverse group of experts to contribute to an edited volume about the Columbia accident and the organizational lessons that can be learned from it. During the process of gathering contributions to the book they found out that other individuals, some of whom helped the Investigation Board with its report, have wanted to write about the disaster. The book thus gradually became the focus of a coordinated effort spanning many experts, institutions and academic specialties, to understand step by step the complex factors that led to disaster. It tackles vital issues such as the role of time pressures and goal conflict in decision making, and the impediments for effective learning; Questions how organizational risk is managed and how technological and organizational complexities interact; And assesses how large, medium, and small organizations can, and in fact must, increase their resilience.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781405131087
ISBN-10: 140513108X
Format: Hardback
(254mm x 171mm x 27mm)
Pages: 384
Imprint: Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Publish Date: 18-Jul-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - William Starbuck

William H. Starbuck is ITT Professor of Creative Management in the Stern School of Business at New York University. He has been the editor of Administrative Science Quarterly and chaired the screening committee for senior Fulbright awards in business management; he was the President of the Academy of Management, and he is a Fellow in the Academy of Management, American Psychological Association, American Psychological Society, British Academy of Management, and Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He has published more than 120 articles on accounting, bargaining, business strategy, computer programming, computer simulation, forecasting, decision-making, human--computer interaction, learning, organizational design, organizational growth and development, perception, scientific methods, and social revolutions. Moshe Farjoun is an associate professor at the Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto. His research interests lie in the intersection of strategic management and organization. His research has explored market and organizational dynamics, particularly as they pertain to the processes of strategy formulation, implementation and change. His articles have appeared in Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, and Academy of Management Review.

Books By William Starbuck

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