The second complex system design theory, called "high reliability theory," accepts normal accident theory's framework, but not its conclusions.
High reliability theory claims to solve the problem that normal accident theory believes is unsolvable.
But what came to light after Blair was uncovered, and what happened after he committed his deception, will be familiar to anyone who has looked at normal accident theory. The same can be said of problems at other news organizations.
As a formal inquiry, normal accident theory began in 1984 with a Yale sociologist named Charles Perrow and his book "Normal Accidents: Living With High-Risk Technologies." Many characteristics of normal accidents, as he defined them, are common to problems news organizations experience.
Skilton and Robinson apply normal accident theory
to justify using complexity concepts.
Our theory development is informed primarily by normal accident theory
(Sagan 1993; Perrow 1999; Weick 2005), which is best known for the proposition that accidents are nearly inevitable in complex, tightly coupled production systems.