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The Next Catastrophe by Charles Perrow

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9 The Enduring Sources of FailureOrganizational, Executive, and Regulatory

This book has been about the inevitable inadequacy of our efforts to protect us from major disasters. It locates the inevitable inadequacy in the limitations of formal organizations. We cannot expect them to do an adequate job in protecting us from mounting natural, industrial, and terrorist disasters. It locates the avoidable inadequacy of our efforts in our failure to reduce the size of the targets, and thus minimize the extent of harm these disasters can do. But why are organizations so inadequate? First, there are the inevitable human failings of cognition, motivation, organizational designs, and so on, and the unpredictable and often hostile environment the organizations ...

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