Catalogue


Minding the machines : preventing technological disasters /
William M. Evan, Mark Manion.
imprint
Upper Saddle River, NJ : Prentice Hall PTR, c2002.
description
xxiv, 485 p. : ill.
ISBN
0130656461
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
Upper Saddle River, NJ : Prentice Hall PTR, c2002.
isbn
0130656461
catalogue key
4671586
 
Includes bibliographical references and indexes.
A Look Inside
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
SciTech Book News, September 2002
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Summaries
Unpaid Annotation
Technological disasters effect every area of a corporation's infrastructure, not to mention their reputation, bottom line, and possible costly liability lawsuits. This book explores various preventive strategies for technology disasters -- organizational, professional, political and legal -- that can help organizations reduce the incidence of technological disasters and mitigate their vast human costs. The authors explore a crisis management program, which is an essential preventive strategy. They recommend more citizen participation in technology policy decisions to minimize the risks of technological disasters. Staying informed and learning from the disasters of the past is one way to prevent them from happening in the future.-- Analysis of nearly three dozen case studies of technological disasters and the lessons learned from them-- Explores the role of engineering schools, corporations, and scientific and engineering societies in preventing technological disasters-- Takes a systematic analysis of technological risksTechnological breakthroughs, such as the computer and the Internet in the 20th century, have revolutionized our everyday lives. Some of these breakthroughs have also inadvertently led to disasters. One need only mention the Three-Mile Island accident, the Chernobyl catastrophe, the Challenger shuttle tragedy, the Bhopal gas leak in India, Love Canal, and the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Such disasters -- Acts of Man, not acts of God --
Main Description
A provocative and authoritative guide to understanding the questions surrounding technology disasters that occur, with a blueprint for the prevention of future disasters, this book looks at over three dozen case studies and the lessons learned from them.
Back Cover Copy
Praise from readers "A superb book on how to prevent and minimize technological disasters." P. Roy Vagelos, M.D. Retired Chairman and CEO, Merck & Co., Inc. "If you want to know how serious technological disasters can be, how poorly we tend to handle them, and what can be done to reduce or eliminate the dangers associated with them, this is the book for you." Russell L. Ackoff, Professor Emeritus of Management Science at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania "A thorough compendium of technological disasters, complete with detailed descriptions, analyses of what happened, what went wrong, and why. This lucid book candidly addresses human and societal failings that need to be corrected if future disasters are to be prevented." Severo Ornstein, Internet Pioneer and Founder of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility "Minding the Machines provides us with insights that are greatly needed to cope with the major technological disasters that are endemic to our times." David A. Hounshell, David M. Roderick Professor of Technology and Social Change, Carnegie Mellon University "An excellent, balanced, and highly readable book emphasizing human, social, and organizational elements universally present in technological disasters." Carver Mead, Gordon and Betty Moore Professor Emeritus of Engineering and Applied Science at the California Institute of Technology, 1999 Lemelson-MIT Prize Winner "This book presents a systematic analysis of the root causes of technological disasters, accompanied by many riveting examples. More importantly, the authors provide the reader with an enlightening discussion on how we can prevent them." David J. Farber, the Alfred Fitler Moore Professor of Telecommunication Systems in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Professor of Business and Pubic Policy at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania Description A complete blueprint for preventing technological disasters in the 21st century. Why do technological disasters occur, and how can we prevent them? How do we design technological systems that enhance human life rather than imperil it? How do we live with the technology we have created? In Minding the Machines, William M. Evan and Mark Manion offer a systematic and provocative guide to preventing technological disasters. They reveal the hidden patterns and commonalities beneath more than 30 of the worst technological tragedies of recent history and identify powerful preventive measures that address every key area of risk. Minding the Machines throws light on: * Technological disasters: theories and root causes From systems theory to terrorism and counter-terrorism measures * Strategic responses to key risk factors Attacking the four key causes of disaster * Technical design failures and the organizational failures connected to them How communications failures lead to system failures, and what to do about it * Socio-cultural failures: the lessons of Bhopal Two comparable Union Carbide plants: one safe in West Virginia, one murderous in India * the responsibilities of institutions, the responsibilities of individuals What corporate managers, engineers, scientists, and government officials can do * Participatory technology: the central role of the citizen Why citizens must play a far more active part in decisions about technology In Minding the Machines, two leading experts in technological risk assessment analyze more than 30 disasters from the Titanic sinking to Exxon Valdez oil spill, the Challenger shuttle disaster to Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe, the Love Canal toxic waste contamination to Bhopal poison gas release. They present lessons learned and preventive strategies for all four leading causes of technological disasters: technical design factors, human factors, organizational systems factors, and socio-cultural factors. They also identify appropriate roles for every participant in technological systems from corporations to regulators, engineering schools to individual citizens. Technological disasters can kill thousands, and destroy the organizations in which they occur. In recent decades, much has been discovered about the causes and prevention of technological disasters, but many organizations have not learned the lessons or implemented appropriate preventive strategies.
Long Description
For students in any course on technology and society, or technological risk. Technological breakthroughs have revolutionized our lives, but some of them have also led to catastrophe. In this book, two leading experts in technological risk assessment and mitigation analyze nearly three dozen disasters from Chernobyl to Challenger, the Bhopal gas leak to the Exxon Valdez oil spill. They present lessons learned and preventive strategies for all four leading causes of disaster: technical design, human factors, organizational system factors, and socio-cultural factors. They also identify appropriate preventive roles for every participant in technological systems, from corporations to individual citizens.
Back Cover Copy
Praise from readers "A superb book on how to prevent and minimize technological disasters."P. Roy Vagelos, M.D. Retired Chairman and CEO, Merck & Co., Inc. "If you want to know how serious technological disasters can be, how poorly we tend to handle them, and what can be done to reduce or eliminate the dangers associated with them, this is the book for you."Russell L. Ackoff, Professor Emeritus of Management Science at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania "A thorough compendium of technological disasters, complete with detailed descriptions, analyses of what happened, what went wrong, and why. This lucid book candidly addresses human and societal failings that need to be corrected if future disasters are to be prevented."Severo Ornstein, Internet Pioneer and Founder of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility "Minding the Machines provides us with insights that are greatly needed to cope with the major technological disasters that are endemic to our times."David A. Hounshell, David M. Roderick Professor of Technology and Social Change, Carnegie Mellon University "An excellent, balanced, and highly readable book emphasizing human, social, and organizational elements universally present in technological disasters."Carver Mead, Gordon and Betty Moore Professor Emeritus of Engineering and Applied Science at the California Institute of Technology, 1999 Lemelson-MIT Prize Winner "This book presents a systematic analysis of the root causes of technological disasters, accompanied by many riveting examples. More importantly, the authors provide the reader with an enlightening discussion on how we can prevent them."David J. Farber, The Alfred Fitler Moore Professor of Telecommunication Systems in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Professor of Business and Pubic Policy at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania DescriptionA complete blueprint for preventing technological disasters in the 21st century. Why do technological disasters occur, and how can we prevent them? How do we design technological systems that enhance human life rather than imperil it? How do we live with the technology we have created? In Minding the Machines, William M. Evan and Mark Manion offer a systematic and provocative guide to preventing technological disasters. They reveal the hidden patterns and commonalities beneath more than 30 of the worst technological tragedies of recent historyand identify powerful preventive measures that address every key area of risk. Minding the Machines throws light on: * Technological disasters: theories and root causes From systems theory to terrorism and counter-terrorism measures * Strategic responses to key risk factors Attacking the four key causes of disaster * Technical design failuresand the organizational failures connected to them How communications failures lead to system failures, and what to do about it * Socio-cultural failures: the lessons of Bhopal Two comparable Union Carbide plants: one safe in West Virginia, one murderous in India * The responsibilities of institutions, the responsibilities of individuals What corporate managers, engineers, scientists, and government officials can do * Participatory technology: the central role of the citizen Why citizens must play a far more active part in decisions about technologyIn Minding the Machines, two leading experts in technological risk assessment analyze more than 30 disastersfrom the Titanic sinking to Exxon Valdez oil spill, the Challenger shuttle disaster to Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe, the Love Canal toxic waste contamination to Bhopal poison gas release. They present lessons learned and preventive strategies for all four leading causes of technological disasters: technical design factors, human factors, organizational systems factors, and socio-cultural factors. They also identify app
Table of Contents
List of Tablesp. xv
List of Figuresp. xvi
Prefacep. xix
Invitation to Our Readersp. xxi
Acknowledgmentsp. xxiii
Introductionp. 1
Technological Disasters: An Overviewp. 3
Dangerous Technologiesp. 4
Selected Examples of Technological Disastersp. 5
Causes of Technological Disastersp. 17
Strategies for Preventionp. 20
Who Should be Concerned?p. 22
Conclusionp. 25
Referencesp. 26
Natural and Human-Made Disastersp. 29
Natural Disastersp. 30
Human-Made Disastersp. 37
Comparison of Natural and Human-Made Disastersp. 47
Conclusionp. 52
Referencesp. 53
Endnotep. 56
The Prevalence of Technological Disastersp. 57
The Year 2000 (Y2K) Debacle: An Ironic Failure of Information Technologyp. 59
The Overall Impact of Y2Kp. 62
Anticipation of the Problemp. 68
The Causes of the Problemp. 69
The Scope of Y2Kp. 73
The Costs of Y2Kp. 76
Conclusionp. 78
Referencesp. 78
Theories of Technological Disastersp. 81
A Systems Approach to Technological Disastersp. 81
Feedback Mechanisms and the Design of Engineering Systemsp. 84
Perrow's Theory of "Normal Accidents" (NAT)p. 86
High Reliability Theory (HRT)p. 96
A Sociotechnical Systems Analysis of Technological Disastersp. 100
Conclusionp. 103
Referencesp. 105
The Root Causes of Technological Disastersp. 107
Technical Design Factorsp. 108
Human Factorsp. 118
Organizational Systems Factorsp. 126
Socio-Cultural Factorsp. 132
Terrorism in the Nuclear-Information Agep. 138
Terrorism and Counter-Terrorismp. 148
Conclusionp. 153
Referencesp. 153
Technological Disasters Since the Industrial Revolutionp. 161
Three Industrial Revolutions and Beyondp. 163
Three Technological Revolutionsp. 164
The First Industrial Revolutionp. 167
The Second Industrial Revolutionp. 171
The Third Industrial Revolutionp. 175
A Fourth Industrial Revolution?p. 186
Conclusionp. 194
Referencesp. 196
Endnotesp. 200
A Matrix of Technological Disastersp. 201
Testing Three Hypotheses about the History of Technological Disastersp. 203
Conclusionp. 205
Referencesp. 205
Endnotesp. 206
Analysis of Case Studies of Technological Disastersp. 207
Twelve Exemplary Case Studies of Technological Disastersp. 209
USS Princeton Explosionp. 212
Titanic Sinkingp. 219
Aisgill Train Wreckp. 223
Johnstown Floodp. 230
DC-10 Crashp. 236
Tenerife Runway Collisionp. 242
Santa Barbara Oil Spillp. 251
Love Canal Toxic Waste Contaminationp. 259
Apollo I Firep. 264
Three Mile Islandp. 269
Challenger Disasterp. 279
Bhopal Poison Gas Releasep. 289
Lessons Learned From the Case Studies of Technological Disastersp. 298
Specific Lessons Learnedp. 298
General Lessons Learnedp. 302
Conclusionp. 312
Referencesp. 312
Strategic Responses to Technological Disastersp. 315
The Responsibilities of Engineers and Scientistsp. 317
The Role of Engineering Schoolsp. 318
The Role of Engineering Societiesp. 324
The Role of Science and Scientistsp. 332
Conclusionp. 340
Referencesp. 341
The Role of Corporations in the Management of Technological Disastersp. 346
Corporate Management versus Mismanagementp. 346
Case Studies in Crisis Managementp. 348
Crisis Management Theoryp. 362
Conclusionp. 373
Referencesp. 377
Endnotep. 380
The Role of the Legal System in Technology Policy Decisionsp. 381
The Executive Branchp. 381
The Legislative Branchp. 386
The Administrative Branchp. 389
The Judicial Branchp. 392
The Legal Professionp. 396
Relative Effectiveness of U.S. Legal Subsystems in Technology Policy Decisionsp. 400
Conclusionp. 406
Referencesp. 406
Assessing the Risks of Technologyp. 411
Probabilistic Risk Assessmentp. 412
Risk-Cost-Benefit Analysisp. 420
Technology Assessmentp. 427
Conclusionp. 428
Referencesp. 429
Technology Decisions and the Democratic Processp. 432
Technocratic versus Democratic Assessments of Riskp. 432
Participatory Technologyp. 438
Mechanisms for Citizen Participationp. 444
Toward an Alliance of Citizens' Organizationsp. 448
Conclusionp. 461
Referencesp. 463
Name Indexp. 468
Subject Indexp. 474
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