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Fatal flaws: The acquisition of imperfect mental models and their use in hazardous situations

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This paper is concerned with the relationship between poor learning processes and the acquisition of imperfect mental models, and their consequences in workplace situations which are hazardous. Seven different factors which may influence mental models to become flawed are proposed. The links between these flaws and three recent Australian industrial disasters are then explored. The paper concludes by discussing the benefits of a greater understanding of poor learning processes as a basis for more focused and contextualised approaches to organisational development.
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Keywords: Intellectual Property; Liability; Model; Organizational Development; Organizational Learning; Safety

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-10-31

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