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Article
Publication date: 18 December 2020

Pascale Benoliel and Izhak Berkovich

Schools are complex and imperfect organizations; thus, it is not possible for school leaders to completely avoid failures. The capacity to learn from failure is essential…

Abstract

Purpose

Schools are complex and imperfect organizations; thus, it is not possible for school leaders to completely avoid failures. The capacity to learn from failure is essential to the effectiveness of teachers as individuals and for teams and schools. However, it is hardly practiced in most schools. The present theoretical article seeks to offer an integrative conceptual framework in which intelligent failure is conceptualized as an organizational learning process. The purpose is twofold: first, to address the question of why school faculty fails to learn from failure; second, to show how learning from intelligent failure in the school context can be framed as a resource for school improvement.

Design/methodology/approach

The present theoretical article seeks to offer an integrative conceptual framework in which intelligent failure is conceptualized as an organizational learning process.

Findings

The present study draws upon the social capital theory as an overarching framework to develop a conceptual model that incorporates the learning settings and a leadership tolerant of “intelligent failure” that might enable us to identify the root causes of failure and the kinds of lessons that can be drawn from failure analysis. In the proposed conceptual model, school organizational features combine with a leadership tolerant of intelligent failures to enhance opportunities to analyze, manage and learn from intelligent failures in school settings.

Originality/value

An important lacuna in educational scholarship is that although detecting and correcting school failures is normal, investigating the root causes of these failures or pinpointing the behaviors necessary to avoid their reoccurrence is often neglected in both theory and practice. By integrating research from both non-educational and educational literature, this study may provide a new perspective for school management, since it emphasizes the reframing of intelligent failure as an organizational asset for school improvement. The present study broadens the literature on educational management and organizational learning and provides a new approach for school failures and failure management.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 59 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1999

Clinton O. Longenecker, Jack L. Simonetti and Thomas W. Sharkey

The purpose of this research is to review the perceptions of 359 front‐line management personnel as to why their organizations fail to achieve desired results and to draw…

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to review the perceptions of 359 front‐line management personnel as to why their organizations fail to achieve desired results and to draw lessons for organizational practice on how to prevent failure and improve organizational performance. Managers from 30 organizations were asked to rate the impact that 25 different performance factors have on their ability to get desired results. The results of the study identified a variety of people and leadership factors as the primary causes of poor performance, while factors such as technology, finances, and government regulations ranked significantly lower in the rankings.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 37 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Book part
Publication date: 3 October 2006

Henrich R. Greve and Hayagreeva Rao

Learning theory explains how organizations change as a result of experience, and can be used to predict the competitive strength of individual organizations and…

Abstract

Learning theory explains how organizations change as a result of experience, and can be used to predict the competitive strength of individual organizations and competitive pressures in organizational populations. We review extant learning theoretical propositions on how competitive strength is affected by experienced competition, founding conditions, and observed failures of other organizations. In addition, we propose that niche changes are an important source of learning. We test these propositions on data from the Norwegian general insurance industry. We find that historical density increases failure rates, contrary to some earlier findings, and also that the effect of founding density supports the density delay rather than trial-by-fire hypothesis. We find that failures of others before and during the lifetime of the organization reduce failure rates, and niche changes reduce failure rates for joint-stock companies but not for mutual firms. Overall the findings suggest that organizations learn more cheaply from the failures of others than from their own experiences, and that the stresses of competition can overwhelm the learning effects of competition.

Details

Ecology and Strategy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-435-5

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2003

Markos Goulielmos

Defines the concept of “organisational failure” in information systems (IS) development, and proposes a diagnostic model drawn from research done into IS consultancy firms…

Abstract

Defines the concept of “organisational failure” in information systems (IS) development, and proposes a diagnostic model drawn from research done into IS consultancy firms that develop systems using a variety of methodologies. The research involved a qualitative study aimed at the nature of the development process and the role of organisational issues in this process. The model’s elements and relationships were determined by the research findings. Presents two cases of failure that show how IS failure is rooted in organisational pathology and examine existing failure concepts. The concept and model proposed can be used by practitioners and management before and during a project for diagnosing organisational failure before it interferes with IS development and afterwards for extracting deeper rooted organisational learning from failure.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Guoquan Chen, Qiwei Zhou and Wei Liu

Based on a review of previous research of organizational learning from experience, this paper aims to point out the notable gaps and unresolved issues in the research area…

Abstract

Purpose

Based on a review of previous research of organizational learning from experience, this paper aims to point out the notable gaps and unresolved issues in the research area and proposes a “multilevel integrated model of learning from experience”, which could integrate current research findings and serve as the theoretical framework for further investigation.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is a theoretical review.

Findings

From the individual, team, organizational and multiple levels, in an order of the outcome of success and failure, this study reviews previous research about organizational learning from experience down to the last detail and points out some of their limitations, including relative fragmented-wise, lack of grope about the underlying motivations, lack of overall framework, etc. Then, this study proposes the “multilevel integrated model of learning from experience”, which provides a systematic and fine-grained framework for studies in this field.

Research limitations/implications

This paper emphasizes that true underlying motivations impelling learning from experience shall be identified and exploration for the antecedents shall be further deepened. Besides, this study figures out that various factors played their parts in the process and outcome of learning from experience through both subjective perception and objective experience. Thus, future research shall distinguish the influence of learning from experience, respectively, into “knowing” and “doing”.

Originality/value

This study is an attempt to review and integrate current research of learning from experience in multiple levels and further differentiates the influences of different experience outcomes (success vs failure). The proposed theoretical model provides clear suggestions of where future research should be directed.

Details

Nankai Business Review International, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8749

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2014

Mohammad Mahdavi Mazdeh and Roozbeh Hesamamiri

Although the topic of knowledge management (KM) failure has emerged over the past several years, no specific theory has been proposed about the ability of an organization…

Abstract

Purpose

Although the topic of knowledge management (KM) failure has emerged over the past several years, no specific theory has been proposed about the ability of an organization to discover and manage unexpected failures in the organizational capabilities of KM. Thus, the main aim of this paper is to develop a theory of KM reliability by taking into account the availability of existing theory of high reliability for organizations. Furthermore, this study aims to empirically evaluate the impact of a reliable KM on organizational performance by developing a reliability measurement instrument.

Design/methodology/approach

The study develops and tests a theoretical framework whereby the reliable KM is supported on its reliability aspects and organizational performance on its financial, process, and internal aspects. Based on a questionnaire, data were obtained from a sample of 254 companies in North America. The measurement model was tested and confirmed by using structural equation modeling (SEM).

Findings

The results show that the reliable KM has a multi-dimensional structure as described by the proposed theoretical framework. Additionally, the results underscore the importance of KM reliability in creating conditions favorable for a firm's success.

Practical implications

It was verified that the reliable KM affects the measures of organizational performance, including financial, process, and internal performance. This is useful for researchers and executives looking for appropriate outcomes through the implementation of KM initiatives. Furthermore, this study provides a starting point for further research on KM reliability.

Originality/value

This study claims that a key to successful KM is to create a cognitive infrastructure that enables simultaneous adaptive learning and provides an organizational reliability infrastructure through the management of unwanted, unanticipated, and unexplainable failures in the KM's required capabilities.

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2019

Signe Bruskin

The purpose of this paper is to study the phenomenon of organizational change failure through an emic approach. Grounded in empirical examples, the paper unfolds why the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the phenomenon of organizational change failure through an emic approach. Grounded in empirical examples, the paper unfolds why the phenomenon seems to be missing from the literature of the becoming view (e.g. Tsoukas and Chia, 2002).

Design/methodology/approach

Inspired by the methodological strategy of “studying through,” organizational changes are followed through space and time within the setting of a Nordic bank, from where the empirical data have been collected via longitudinal study. The empirical data are generated through a combination of methods: shadowing, interviews, in situ observations and desk research in order to capture the ever-changing phenomenon of organizational change.

Findings

The paper finds that organizational changes drift away, either by slipping into the everyday practices of the organization, or by drifting away in time when history is reinterpreted. The paper concludes that organizational change failures suffer the same fate as organizational changes more generally and drift away in space and time.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the becoming view by illustrating how methodologically an ever-changing phenomenon such as organizational change can be studied. Further, it contributes to the field of organizational change failure by unpacking the fate of organizational change failure when change is natural and slippery in nature. The paper includes reflections on what the consequences might be for praxis.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2005

Markos Goulielmos

Proposes to analyze known case studies of information systems failure.

Abstract

Purpose

Proposes to analyze known case studies of information systems failure.

Design/methodology/approach

Uses the organizational failure diagnosis model.

Findings

Finds that there is the need to assess the organization's “health” prior to information systems development and to raise the organization's actual capacity for systems development to the necessary levels for success.

Originality/value

Previous studying of these cases has underplayed the role of technical problems as the surface manifestations of deeper‐rooted organizational pathologies causing the failure. The usefulness of the organizational failure diagnosis model is shown in recognizing these deeper‐rooted issues and a number of suggestions are made for the prevention of failure.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2015

Joseph Amankwah-Amoah

The purpose of this paper is to examine how decision-maker attributes unfold to precipitate organisational failure. The analysis brings to light how key attributes such as…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how decision-maker attributes unfold to precipitate organisational failure. The analysis brings to light how key attributes such as information-processing capabilities and human capital decay interact to bring about business decline and exit.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on an integrated review and conceptualisation of the literature.

Findings

The study articulates how a set of attributes of decision makers, i.e. human capital obsolescence, powerlessness, meaninglessness and institutional linkages, contributes to organisational failure.

Research limitations/implications

The paper concludes by setting out an array of strategies of learning from others’ failures.

Originality/value

In spite of a growing body of research on organisational failure, scholars have placed overwhelming emphasis on ecological explanations and business failure prediction models. The study moves beyond the ecological explanations to offer a more fine-grained analysis of firm-level factors that precipitate business failure.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 115 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 24 September 2020

John Israilidis, Evangelia Siachou and Stephen Kelly

This paper explores critical failure factors (CFFs) in the context of knowledge sharing. It provides further insights into what can cause knowledge- sharing failures

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores critical failure factors (CFFs) in the context of knowledge sharing. It provides further insights into what can cause knowledge- sharing failures, inflexible knowledge-sharing strategies and ineffective knowledge- sharing mechanisms. It also examines how practitioners can reduce or even mitigate such dysfunctions.

Design/methodology/approach

A case-based inductive approach was conducted. Data were collected from two studies applying mixed methods. The first data set included nine in-depth, semi-structured interviews with highly skilled personnel from an aerospace and defense organization. The second data source included 375 successfully completed questionnaires from participants employed at the same organization.

Findings

The paper identifies six CFFs with an impact on knowledge sharing. It also reveals that managing organizational ignorance can play a key role in generating new knowledge and averting failure. Study findings provide insights into the importance of identifying these failures when sharing knowledge and propose relevant mitigation strategies.

Originality/value

This paper identifies a range of empirically validated CFFs that complement the extant work on the complexity of knowledge sharing and have hitherto not been seen in the literature. It also provides a more nuanced understanding of why both organizations and their people often fail to share knowledge by exploring the role of organizational ignorance.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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