Managing the Unexpected

  • by Karl E. Weick, Kathleen M. Sutcliffe
  • Narrated by Judy Mahby
  • 7 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Since the first edition of Managing the Unexpected was published in 2001, the unexpected has become a growing part of our everyday lives. The unexpected is often dramatic, as with hurricanes or terrorist attacks. But the unexpected can also come in more subtle forms, such as a small organizational lapse that leads to a major blunder, or an unexamined assumption that costs lives in a crisis. Why are some organizations better able than others to maintain function and structure in the face of unanticipated change? Authors Karl Weick and Kathleen Sutcliffe answer this question by pointing to high reliability organizations (HROs), such as emergency rooms in hospitals, flight operations of aircraft carriers, and firefighting units as models to follow. These organizations have developed ways of acting and styles of learning that enable them to manage the unexpected better than other organizations.
Thoroughly revised and updated, the second edition of the groundbreaking audiobook Managing the Unexpected uses HROs as a template for any institution that wants to better organize for high reliability.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

From one of the Biggest Names in Org Theory

Would you listen to Managing the Unexpected again? Why?

I am not sure. I might, just for some of the particular examples of preparedness


What was one of the most memorable moments of Managing the Unexpected?

The simple and powerful idea that typically, we provide weak responses to weak signals of trouble, and in many situations that's inadequate. Weak signs of trouble require strong responses. That idea stunned me.


What aspect of Judy Mahby’s performance would you have changed?

I hate to sound mean, but I would prefer somebody else.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

NO. It is not a book for fun. It is a book for work.


Any additional comments?

Karl Weick is one of the most influential scientists studying how firms operate. His theory of sensemaking was extremely influential. In this book, there are some pretty interesting ideas on how to manage things in a way that terrible things do not happen.

What bothered me in this book is I could not necessarily see WHY would organizations go through all that trouble and the unpleasantness of executing the things needed, some sort of cost-benefit analysis if you will. In the examples that were provided it was pretty clear - sure, a terrible fire that could not be stopped is a horrible consequence. But let's face it, most of us work in far less critical environments and the worst that would happen - well maybe there'd be a scandal and the place would close. Is the added trouble worth it? I would like to see that addressed a bit more.

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- Zina

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-13-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios