By C. F. Larry Heimann

Complicated and dicy technologies--technologies resembling new medications for the remedy of AIDS that promise nice advantages to our society yet hold major risks--pose many difficulties for political leaders and the coverage makers accountable for overseeing them. Public organisations corresponding to the foodstuff and Drug management are advised through political superiors to not inhibit very important technological advances and will also be charged with selling such improvement yet also needs to ensure that no significant injuries ensue less than their watch. Given the massive expenditures linked to catastrophic injuries, most people and elected officers frequently call for trustworthy or failure-free administration of those applied sciences and feature little tolerance for the mistake. study during this region has result in a schism among those that argue that it truly is attainable to have trustworthy administration suggestions and competently deal with complicated applied sciences and others who contend that such regulate is hard at most sensible. during this booklet C. F. Larry Heimann advances an incredible approach to this challenge by means of constructing a normal idea of organizational reliability and enterprise choice making. The publication seems at either exterior and inner affects on reliability in company selection making. It then assessments theoretical propositions constructed in a comparative case learn of 2 companies concerned with the dealing with of dicy applied sciences: NASA and the manned house flight application and the FDA's dealing with of pharmaceuticals--particularly new AIDS treatments. Drawing on innovations from engineering, organizational idea, political technological know-how, and choice concept, this ebook can be of curiosity to these drawn to technological know-how and know-how coverage, bureaucratic administration and reform, in addition to these attracted to overall healthiness and house coverage. C. F. Larry Heimann is Assistant Professor of Political technological know-how, Michigan kingdom college.

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It is important to note that these costs are not usually borne by the agency directly, but by its constituency. The agency does not remain unscathed, however, for there are often political costs associated with failure. These political losses-such as damage to reputation and influence-are the primary motivation for agency decisions. Although these losses are not directly measured in terms of dollars, political costs may have economic consequences, such as budget cuts. Furthermore, political costs are often correlated with the level of economic damage caused 17 18 Acceptable Risks by agency failure.

In these cases, we note the following: that political superiors can, and do, initiate oversight with little prodding from interest groups (Foreman 1988). Indeed, some errors are so obvious that it would be difficult for political superiors to ignore them. The explosion of the space shuttle Challenger is a good example of this. 30 Acceptable Risks PROPERTY 4. Policy prej"erellces induced from political incentives may lead the agency to di\·ide its efforts and resources between type I and type II reliability in a non-cost-effective manner.

In either case, we would expect that there would be significant rewards for politicians who come down hard on the agency. Second, as effort increases to prevent failure, the punishment associated with failure tends to decline. An agency that expended a great deal of effort to prevent a failure that occurred anyway can be seen as a victim of unfortunate circumstances and random chance. In contrast, an agency that has been less diligent is its effort to prevent failure can be chastised for its idleness.

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