Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

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Volume 17 Issue 3 (September 2009), Pages 143-202

The Failure of Organizational Learning from Crisis – A Matter of Life and Death? (pages 157-168)

The continuing failure of organizations to learn from crisis has many costs, social, political, financial and individual and may be attributable to a misunderstanding of learning processes. This paper maps out contributions to learning from crisis from a number of fields. Central to the paper's argument is that the separation of policy development from practice, in theory and action, has contributed to a failure to learn. The paper considers two cases where the failure of child protection services resulted in the deaths of the children concerned. These two cases, separated by seven years, were connected by the failure of the same local authorities and agencies. The paper concludes with a number of observations concerning the public inquiry process.

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