After the publication of his book ‘Les décisions absurdes’ in 2002 (pub. Gallimard), Christian Morel analysed important areas which involve a high degree of risk in order to study the processes which promote well-informed decision-making. In areas such as aviation, the Navy and the nuclear industry, the aim (and generally the result) of many procedures is to obtain a high degree of reliability. Morel’s study, which also drew on examples from unusual areas such as high altitude trekking in winter and operating theatres in hospitals, aimed to shed new light on what are regarded as ‘good working principles’. He devised a series of ‘meta-rules’ which enable people to make highly reliable decisions. These rules include working on a collegiate basis whereby power and authority is shared among colleagues, not punishing unintentional mistakes, viewing transgressions as case law, improving communication, and a better understanding of human factors,… Can these rules which have helped to improve security in high-risk facilities, be applied to management in companies ? Jean-Marc Oury has his doubts.
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