Abstract for: System Dynamics Analysis of Organizational Accidents: A Review of Current Approaches

Organizational accidents are increasingly being studied using system dynamics (SD) tools. However, as compared to qualitative research of organizational accidents, most of the SD studies conducted so far lack grounding in actual data. Ironically, organizational accidents usually have available data in the form of inquiry reports and other public reports. This study reviews SD studies of organizational accidents and proposes ways to improve the rigor of SD analysis of organizational accidents. Eight relevant papers were identified and classified into two broad types: (1) practice-to-theorizing and (2) theorizing-to-practice. Practice-to-theorizing refers to deriving theories from analysis of actual organizational accidents, while theorizing-to-practice refers to use of pre-conceived theoretical model for research. The study found that both approaches can be improved through textual analysis techniques. The paper proposed data analysis procedures to improve robustness of SD analysis of organizational accidents.