Inducing Error Management Culture – Evidence From Experimental Team Studies

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Field studies indicate that error management culture can be beneficial for organizational performance. The question of whether and how error management culture can be induced remained unanswered. We conducted two experiments with newly formed teams, in which we aimed to induce error management culture and to explore whether we would also find beneficial effects of error management culture on performance in an experimental setting. Furthermore, we tested whether culture strength moderates the relationship between error management culture and performance. In Study 1, we used two tasks that require rational problem solving. In Study 2, we used a task that requires creative problem solving. We successfully manipulated error management culture in terms of an effect on perceived error management culture within the teams. While we did not find a direct effect of error management culture on performance, Study 2 revealed an indirect effect via communication in the teams. To our surprise, culture strength did not influence the hypothesized relationship. We discuss potential theoretical and alternative explanations for our results, and provide an outlook for future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number716915
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 21.01.2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Grant Numbers FR 638/38-1 and KE 1377/4-1). The publication of this manuscript has been funded by the Open-Access-Fund of the Helmut-Schmidt-Universität/Universität der Bundeswehr Hamburg.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Klamar, Horvath, Keith and Frese.

    Research areas

  • culture/climate change, culture/climate strength, domain-specific culture, errors, job and task performance
  • Business psychology