Organizational Culture as a Source of High Reliability

  title={Organizational Culture as a Source of High Reliability},
  author={Karl E. Weick},
  journal={California Management Review},
  pages={112 - 127}
  • K. Weick
  • Published 1 January 1987
  • Engineering
  • California Management Review
Organizations in which reliable performance is a more pressing issue than efficient performance often must learn to cope with incomprehensible technologies by means other than trial and error, since the cost of failure is too high. Discovery and consistent application of substitutes for trial and error—such as imagination, simulation, vicarious experience, and stories—contribute to heightened reliability. Organizational culture is integral to the creation of effective substitutes. Using… 
The Negotiated Order of Organizational Reliability
A critical problem facing modern organizations in a variety of settings is the erosion of slack. Given narrowing performance margins allowed many organizations, managers are tempted to "lock in"
Some Characteristics of One Type of High Reliability Organization
This paper is concerned with defining organizational processes necessary to operate safely technologically complex organizations that can do great physical harm to themselves and their surrounding
The price of success? Security-oriented cultures and high reliability organizations
A review of culture studies in high reliability organizations demonstrates the predominance of a highly controlling security-oriented culture in such diverse organizations as the Federal Aviation
Working in Practice But Not in Theory: Theoretical Challenges of “High-Reliability Organizations”
Public administration practitioners and scholars harbor no illusions about organizational perfection (cf. Jaffee 1973).1 They do not expect bureaucracies to be error-free. People make mistakes,
High Reliability Organizations: Unlikely, Demanding and At Risk
The HRO project is cast within a broader socio-political context, by first, reviewing its practical origins, its conceptual/logical framework, and a summary of the project's provisional findings,
Organizational Culture in High Reliability Organizations: An Extension
This paper compares organization culture assessments in two high reliability organizations (HROs) with each other, with similar assessments done in other HROs, and with assessments done in other
Organizational Learning for the Incident Management Process: Lessons from High Reliability Organizations
Through a case study of the IT Incident Management process at a large European financial services provider, this work investigates how people involved in a process of such a mainstream organization can learn from HROs to achieve a greater reliability while working efficiently.
The Relational Aspect to High Reliability Organization
The literature on ‘high reliability organizations’ demonstrates how central reliability is to organizing in certain highly demanding settings. In more mundane settings, however, where there may not
Making Sense of Organizational Failure: The Marconi Debacle
Abstract Organizational failure is usually explained with linear causality, attributed to either environmental change or managerial behavior. This paper attempts to capture the dynamic interplays of


The power of obedience.
Nicole Woolsey Biggart and Gary G. Hamilton Organizational roles provide actors with moral constructs for the enactment of power. Indeed, actors evaluate each other's acts of power in part on the
That reminds me of a story: Speech action in organizational socialization
This study demonstrates how the use of stories relates to the socialization of members of an organization. Research questions concerning the form, subject matter, and function of stories are
Argument and Narration in Organizational Communication
This review highlights the relevance of argumentation and narration for organizational communication, which is the exchange of information among organizational participants from which meaning is
Language and Organization
This paper argues that insight into organization functioning is related to the fit between language of description and type of organizational phenomenon. Natural language may be more powerful than
Review and Evaluation of Empirical Research in Troubleshooting
An approach that forces people to use their system knowledge explicitly is a promising alternative to explicit instruction in algorithms or diagnostic heuristics, but such an approach is not supported by data from transfer studies.
An Information-Processing Interpretation of Air Traffic Control Stress
The air traffic controller's job is inherently stressful, resulting in a variety of stress-related symptoms and illnesses. Unusually high information-processing demands are placed upon controllers
Midair Collisions: The Accidents, the Systems, and the Realpolitik
This paper examines collisions from a human factors perspective, seeing them as system-induced errors, resulting from an air traffic control system that emphasizes airspace allocation and political compromise, rather than dealing directly with the various problems facing controllers and pilots operating within the National Airspace System.
A Stress Analysis of Future Battlefields," in
  • G. Hunt and]
  • 1985