Chapter

Bhopal: Catastrophe Making*

MITROFF IAN I. and LINSTONE HAROLD A.

in The Unbounded Mind

Published in print March 1996 | ISBN: 9780195102888
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854943 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195102888.003.0007
Bhopal: Catastrophe Making*

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In this chapter, the authors illustrate a vivid example of the failures of outmoded thinking and the importance of a multi-perspective analysis to avoid future disasters through the experience of the disaster at Bhopal, India. A general background of the issue is first displayed by the authors. A table depicting how the technical, organizational, and personal perspectives define and approach the analysis of risk is then presented. Each perspective is first examined separately in detail. However, these three types of perspective are not independent. Rather, as shown in this chapter, they influence each other. One cannot eliminate fully the possibility of catastrophic failures in complex systems that involve human operators. Thus, this chapter offers several methods to reduce the likelihood of catastrophic consequences with given systems and the application of Unbounded Systems Thinking on it.

Keywords: risk; Bhopal; complex systems; human operators; catastrophic consequences; Unbounded Systems Thinking

Chapter.  9275 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Innovation

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