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The Financial Crisis: Caused by Unpreventable or Organized Failures?


  • Anke Müssig

    () (Institute for Accounting, Controlling and Auditing, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland)


In this paper, I analyze cutaways of the current financial crisis against the background of normal accident theory, high reliability theory, and disaster incubation theory. To avoid future financial crises I recommend reducing pressures to make profit and organizing the global financial markets like high reliability organizations. Furthermore I argue that risk management within organizations must no longer only be a symbolic gesture. The paper’s purpose is to break with the isolated financial view of the crisis’s causes and effects. It is a plea for a new understanding of the financial crisis, transferring the view from the crisis’s impact to its features and causal factors. The study at hand should be regarded as preparatory work for a more interdisciplinary approach to the current crisis and for special branches of science to cooperate

Suggested Citation

  • Anke Müssig, 2009. "The Financial Crisis: Caused by Unpreventable or Organized Failures?," International Journal of Business and Economic Sciences Applied Research (IJBESAR), Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology (EMATTECH), Kavala, Greece, vol. 2(1), pages 51-70, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:tei:journl:v:2:y:2009:i:1:p:51-70

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rudolph, Jenny & Hatakenaka, Sachi & Carroll, John S., 2002. "Organizational Learning from Experience in High-Hazard Industries: Problem Investigation as Off-Line Reflective Practice," Working papers 4359-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    2. Karlene H. Roberts & Suzanne K. Stout & Jennifer J. Halpern, 1994. "Decision Dynamics in Two High Reliability Military Organizations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(5), pages 614-624, May.
    3. Karlene H. Roberts, 1990. "Some Characteristics of One Type of High Reliability Organization," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 1(2), pages 160-176, May.
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    More about this item


    Financial Crisis; Normal Accident Theory; High Reliability Theory; Disaster Incubation Theory;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values


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