High Risk Organization

High Reliability Organizations (HROs) are organizations that operate successfully in an environment where accidents are likely to happen due to high risk and complexity.

HROs seem to be prototypes for reliable action in complex conditions. They concentrate less on their success than on their mistakes which are subject to deep analysis. They are skeptical towards their own expectations and supposed knowledge. This is why they are sensitive about and respond to minor deviations and incidents. They place much emphasis on reliability and economic efficiency.

They build out a complex picture of reality by gathering as many different perspectives on one problem as possible. This happens in a respectful atmosphere where it is possible to contradict each other as well as to admit one’s own mistakes. HROs “seek aggressively to know what they don’t know”.

HROs also remain aware of possible gaps within and weaknesses of their related systems and the tentativeness of their own rules.

HROs have the distinction of having a flexible role structure that allows for the shift of discretionary competence to the best professional expertise. They shift and use control as needed. They are hierarchically organized on one side so that they can turn their hierarchical order upside down. They can delegate power to informal groups or lower positions dependig on the needs of the situation.