Learning from errors and error management in organizations: antecedents, processes, and outcomes

Project: Research

Project participants

The research project deals with learning from errors in organizations and with the concept of error management culture (van Dyck et al., 2005). Because every organization is confronted with the potential of making errors, most organizations implicitly or explicitly adopt some shared practices and procedures of dealing with errors—i.e., a culture of dealing with errors or error culture. Error management culture is one particular form of such an error culture that puts an emphasis on error management and that has been shown to benefit organizational outcomes such as performance, innovativeness, and safety. The project aims at building on this research and extending it with regard to antecedents, processes and outcomes by addressing the following guiding research questions:
1. What error characteristics are essential for errors to instigate learning? Are there any factors that amplify,weaken, or even reverse these effects—both on part of the individual
2. Do individuals in organizations regularly make errors and do these errors instigate learning? Are these learning processes more pronounced in an error management culture and do these learning processes explain effects of error management culture on firm success that have been found in earlier research?
3. What team processes are positively affected by error management culture? What is the role of these processes for the effectiveness of error management culture? Do these processes go beyond a climate of psychological safety and how do they relate to team reflexivity?