Unexpected Consequences: Why The Things We Trust Fail explores the reasons these failures occur, examining them from technological, human, and organizational perspectives. Using more than 40 recent catastrophic events to illustrate its points, the book discusses structural and machine failure, but also the often-overlooked failure of people and of systems related to such things as information technology, healthcare, and security.
As the book demonstrates, faulty technology played a surprisingly small part in many of the scrutinized disasters. Author James William Martin finds cognitive factors and organizational dynamics, including ethics, are major contributors to most unexpected and catastrophic failures causing loss of life and extensive property damage. With that fresh perspective in mind, Martin is able to suggest remedies that address service failure and just may help prevent future disasters from taking place.