Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952613 | Print ISBN: 9781412905794 | Online ISBN: 9781412952613| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Paul R. Schulman
Increased dependence on high-performing technologies in critical infrastructures such as transportation, energy, and telecommunications is a hallmark of modern societies in a technological age. At the same time, many technologies, such as nuclear weapons, nuclear power plants, and large jet aircraft, are highly hazardous, with costly if not catastrophic consequences attending accidents, failure, or, more recently, terrorist assault. The reliable management of these crucial or hazardous systems is now a major concern of the modern state. The term high-reliability organization (HRO) has been used to refer to an organization charged with the management of a hazardous or crucial technical system under the highest level of operational reliability. For an HRO, avoiding accidents, failure, or the worst consequences of a terrorist attack is a requirement for societal safety and security, as well as for continued acceptance and possibly survival in an unforgiving political and regulatory niche it is forced to This ...