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.