Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics Theses

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Submitted to the Program of Organizational Dynamics in the Graduate Division of the School of Arts and Sciences in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania

Advisor: Keith Hornbacher


This paper demonstrates how adoption of High Reliability Organization Theory (HROT) delivers value to mainstream organizations. It presents the terminology that encompasses High Reliability Organizations (HROs) and how researchers define the characteristics and core principles of such organizations. These organizations have been well studied by professionals from numerous disciplines allowing us to understand what makes an HRO successful. This paper will add to this by exploring how HROT may be applied to mainstream organizations and elaborates on the importance of mindfulness specifically as it relates to sensitivity to operations. The findings are synthesized into an actual project that successfully leveraged HROT principles to improve reliability and address operational risk. The paper concludes that there are considerable opportunities to exploit HROT in project, program, and process management to achieve high reliability and value in a non-HRO.



Date Posted: 27 March 2013