Putting into practice error management theory: Unlearning and learning to manage action errors in construction

Peter E.D. Love, Jim Smith, Pauline Teo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Error management theory is drawn upon to examine how a project-based organization, which took the form of a program alliance, was able to change its established error prevention mindset to one that enacted a learning mindfulness that provided an avenue to curtail its action errors. The program alliance was required to unlearn its existing routines and beliefs to accommodate the practices required to embrace error management. As a result of establishing an error management culture the program alliance was able to create a collective mindfulness that nurtured learning and supported innovation. The findings provide a much-needed context to demonstrate the relevance of error management theory to effectively address rework and safety problems in construction projects. The robust theoretical underpinning that is grounded in practice and presented in this paper provides a mechanism to engender learning from errors, which can be utilized by construction organizations to improve the productivity and performance of their projects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-111
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Early online date1 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


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