Although “managing by exception” is often regarded as a reasonable principle on which to work, particularly where effective management resources are in short supply (and where are they not?), very little has appeared in the literature as to exactly what an exception is. This is indeed curious as the lack of definition of an exception totally precludes the possibility of managing by exception. For the purposes of this article an exception will be defined as a significant change with an identifiable cause. This definition requires of itself a definition of a significant change, and it is with this apparently simple task that this article is principally concerned.
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