The Open UniversitySkip to content

Turning hindsight into foresight - our search for the 'philosopher's stone' of failure

Fortune, Joyce and Peters, Geoff (2001). Turning hindsight into foresight - our search for the 'philosopher's stone' of failure. Systemic Practice and Action Research, 14(6) pp. 791–803.

Full text available as:
PDF (Not Set) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (120Kb)
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This paper tells the story of work using Systems thinking to study failure. It describes the methodological developments that have taken place in this area at the Open University and looks at how the emphasis has shifted from the examination of past failures to the prediction and prevention of future failures and the facilitation of organisational learning through the analysis of failures. It ends with an outline of some of the work on systems failures that is currently underway.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 1094-429X
Extra Information: The original publication is available at
Keywords: systems failures; methodology; learning
Academic Unit/Department: Mathematics, Computing and Technology > Computing & Communications
Item ID: 5116
Depositing User: Joyce Fortune
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2011 17:09
Share this page:


Scopus Citations

Actions (login may be required)

View Item
Report issue / request change

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340