Errors in Organizations: An Integrative Review via Level of Analysis, Temporal Dynamism, and Priority Lenses

Zhike Lei, Eitan Naveh, Zhanna Novikov

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Errors are a recurring fact of organizational life and can potentially yield either adverse or positive consequences. Organizational researchers and practitioners alike have become increasingly interested in understanding the causes of errors and the coping strategies that foster organizational success. Although we have learned much about errors in specific research areas across specific organizational contexts, we know little about how multifaceted forces in organizations, especially when they contradict each other, might affect the pathways of errors in organizations. This review strives to integrate the literature on errors, not only by summarizing conceptual foundations and empirical findings, but also by discussing discrepancies, inconsistencies, and opportunities for research synthesis via level of analysis, temporal dynamism, and priority lenses. At the core of this integrative review is a call for future research to explain how to reduce the underlying causes and negative consequences of errors while promoting positive outcomes and learning benefits in organizations. We close this review by offering suggestions that help develop an integrative, rather than isolated, investigation of errors in organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1315-1343
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • error
  • error management
  • latent error
  • learning, temporal dynamism
  • system error
  • team error

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Finance
  • Strategy and Management


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