Normalization of Deviance

Petroski, Henry
January 2012
Design News;Jan2012, Vol. 67 Issue 1, p14
Trade Publication
The article discusses the engineering phenomenon of normalization of deviance, in which design faults come to be accepted by engineers and product managers. The author provides the example of faulty blowout preventers, which caused the 2011 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He notes that normalization of deviance is a major problem for both the oil-drilling industry and the U.S. space shuttle program.


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