Cover of Organizing for Reliability by Edited by Ranga Ramanujam and Karlene H. Roberts
Organizing for Reliability
A Guide for Research and Practice
Edited by Ranga Ramanujam and Karlene H. Roberts


February 2018
336 pages.

Cloth ISBN: 9780804793612



Increasingly, scholars view reliability—the ability to plan for and withstand disaster—as a social construction. However, there is a tendency to evoke this concept only in the face of catastrophes, such as the British Petroleum oil spill or the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. This book frames reliability as a fundamental issue in the study of organizations—one that can also improve day-to-day operations.

Bringing together a diverse cast of contributors, it considers how we can account for the ability of some organizations to maintain high reliability and what we can learn from them. The chapters distinguish reliability from related lines of inquiry; take stock of relevant research from different disciplinary perspectives; highlight implications for practice; and identify directions, questions, and priorities for future research. The first of its kind in over twenty years, this volume delivers a dynamic base of shared knowledge and an integrative research agenda at a time when organizational reliability has never been so important.

About the authors

Ranga Ramanujam is Professor at Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management. He serves on the editorial board of Stanford's High Reliability and Crisis Management series.

Karlene H. Roberts is Professor Emeritus at The Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, where she is also Chair of the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management. She is co-editor of Stanford's High Reliability and Crisis Management series.

"Contributing fresh insight on reliability, this book has the potential to rejuvenate interest and stimulate substantial new research in the field."

—Sara J. Singer, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School

"Integrating organizational perspectives from what are quite fragmented fields—human error, safety and disasters, resilience, and more—this book extends the research on high reliability and reliability management in organizations."

—Kenneth Pettersen, University of Stavanger