Error Reporting

Key Info

Basic Information

Lehrstuhl für Innovation, Strategie und Organisation
Funding Body:
Erk Piening (ESCP Europe)
Partner Organisation:
NHS Ambulance Trusts


Accidents, errors and other unintended, potentially harmful deviations from planned courses of action constitute vital occasions for organizational learning. While major disasters and crises that occur only rarely, yet cause extraordinary human suffering and financial damage are likely to trigger systematic learning activities, failures of relatively small magnitude and high frequency often escape managerial attention. Specific mechanisms are therefore needed to alert decision-makers to small failures and to support them in deducing appropriate corrective actions. In particular, effective error reporting and learning from error capabilities will be needed, if organizations are to harness the learning potential of everyday errors, near misses and incidents. In this research project, we therefore seek to unpack the concepts of error reporting and learning from errors theoretically. We develop appropriate measurement instruments and empirically examine possible antecedents and consequences in the context of ambulance services. This setting is particularly appropriate for studying organizational learning from errors and related unintended deviations, as these occur not only relatively frequently in ambulance care, but also have the potential to cause considerable human suffering. In preparation for this research project, several studies examining related but broader concepts such as learning orientation and incremental learning were conducted.