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Education
May 14, 2021

Are Companies Really Learning From Failure?

Sponsored Content provided by Robert Burrus - Dean , Cameron School of Business - UNC-Wilmington

Dr. Alex Vestal, assistant professor of management at the Cameron School of Business at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington recently had research highlighted by the AACSB. Vestal and co-author Dr. Erwin Danneels, associate professor of management at the Muma College of Business at the University of South Florida, argued that while companies are moving to embrace failure for the sake of learning, this new workplace culture may not have the desired outcome if recovery discussions are not properly structured. “Even though tolerance for failure has been touted as beneficial for innovation by academics and journalists alike, surprisingly there has been no systematic empirical study to support this belief,” Vestal and Danneels state.
 
Their research suggests that companies should consider conjoining failure tolerance with structured conversations that steer employees in a direction of productivity rather than embarrassment or resentment by peers.

They have concluded that “because analyzing failure involves expressing controversial and challenging opinions, people are generally reluctant to discuss failures or do so only in superficial ways...Organization members need to make explicit efforts to learn from failure and do so in a climate where people feel safe to talk about the tough issues.”

Read the full write up by the AACSB BizEd here.
 
https://bized.aacsb.edu/articles/2020/may/how-companies-can-make-the-most-from-failure
 

Robert T. Burrus, Jr., Ph.D., is the dean of the Cameron School of Business at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, named in June 2015. Burrus joined the UNCW faculty in 1998. Prior to his current position, Burrus was interim dean, associate dean of undergraduate studies and the chair of the department of economics and finance. Burrus earned a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree in mathematical economics from Wake Forest University. The Cameron School of Business has approximately 90 full-time faculty members and 30 administrative and staff members. The AACSB-accredited business school currently enrolls approximately 2,600 undergraduate students in three degree programs and 750 graduate students in four degree programs. The school also houses the prestigious Cameron Executive Network, a group of more than 200 retired and practicing executives that provide one-on-one mentoring for Cameron students. To learn more about the Cameron School of Business, please visit http://csb.uncw.edu/. Questions and comments can be sent to [email protected].

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