Organisational failure and public policy disasters

The global Corona crisis has revealed different degrees of vulnerability and resilience. We have good reason to acknowledge the ability of government and public administration to expose latent problems that, were it not for conditions of intense stress, would otherwise have remained undetected. Successful crisis management, however, depends on early warning and sufficient levels of preparedness, known in the literature as high reliability requirements. The question of how and why these requirements are frequently not fulfilled even under relatively favourable conditions is obviously relevant when it comes to learning and prevention. This course addresses that very question by instructing students in making in-depth inquiries into complex cases of ill-fated policies and organisations based on causal process tracing and a chosen theoretical framework. The subject is the analysis of organisational failure and public policy disasters from a variety of perspectives in an attempt to enable students to assess the risks of failure and to contribute to appropriate risk reduction and crisis management strategies.

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