Inderscience Publishers

Chapter 5 - analysing technological failures: the 3 x 4 matrix

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To provide a theoretical framework for analysing technological failures, we propose a 3 by 4 matrix that takes into account temporal as well as structural factors. The temporal factor includes the three industrial revolutions discussed in Chapter 4. The structural factor includes the four causative factors discussed in Chapter 3. Our matrix combines a synchronic or a structural set of causes, factored through a diachronic or a temporal schema of technological history – the three industrial revolutions In reviewing our case studies of technological failure, it became evident that technology is becoming increasingly complex as we move from the first to the third industrial revolution; in addition, increasing technological complexity increases the probability of failure.

Keywords: technological failure

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