Peter M. Madsen

Principal Analyst

Dr. Madsen specializes in organizational learning from failures, accidents, incidents, and near-misses. His research focuses on understanding how organizations and their members extract knowledge and draw lessons from negative outcomes. This research also examines how various characteristics of failure investigations influence the effectiveness of organizational learning through investigation. He also studies the design and operation of high reliability organizations and the development and maintenance of organizational safety culture. Dr. Madsen is an Associate Professor in the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University, where he serves as leader of the OBHR group in the Department of Management. Dr. Madsen is also a faculty affiliate at the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management at U.C. Berkeley. He has carried out consulting or applied research projects for many large private- and public-sector organizations, including: Belcan, Boeing, NASA, Orange S.A., PCC Airfoils, Pratt & Whitney, Spirit AeroSystems, Statoil, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, U.S.D.A. Forest Service.


Ph.D., Organizational Behavior & Industrial Relations, University of California Berkeley, 2006

M.S., Organizational Behavior & Industrial Relations, University of California Berkeley, 2006

B.S., Chemical Engineering, Brigham Young University, 2001

Selected Publications and Presentations

Madsen, P.M., Dillon, R.L., & Tinsley, C.H. (2016). “Airline Safety Improvement through Experience with Near-Misses: A Cautionary Tale” Risk Analysis, 36 (5): 1054-1066.

Dillon, R.L., Tinsley, C.H., Madsen, P.M., Rogers, E.W. (2016). “Organizational Correctives for Improving Recognition of Near-Miss Events.” Journal of Management, 42 (3): 671-697.

Dillon, R.L., Madsen, P.M. (2015). “Faster-Better-Cheaper Projects: Too Much Risk or Over-reaction to Perceived Failure?” IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 62 (2): 141-149.

Madsen, P.M., Rodgers, Z. (2015). “Looking Good by Doing Good: The Antecedents and Consequences of Stakeholder Attention to Corporate Disaster Relief.” Strategic Management Journal, 36 (5): 776-794.

Red, E.W., French, D., Jensen, C.G., Sillito, S.D., and Madsen, P.M. (2013). “Emerging Design Methods and Tools in Collaborative Product Development.” Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering, ASME.

Madsen, P.M. (2013). “Perils and profits: A re-examination of the link between profitability and safety in U.S. aviation.” Journal of Management, 39: 763-791.

Tinsley, C.H., Dillon, R.L. and Madsen, P.M. (2011). “Preventing catastrophe by learning from near-misses.” Harvard Business Review, 89: 90-97.

Madsen, P.M. and Desai, V.M. (2010). “Failing to learn? The effects of failure and success on organizational learning in the global orbital launch vehicle industry.”  Academy of Management Journal, 53: 451-476.

Madsen, P.M. (2009). “These lives will not be lost in vain: Organizational learning from disaster in U.S. coal mining.” Organization Science, 20:861-875.

Madsen, P.M., Desai, V.M., Wong, D. and Roberts, K.H. (2006). “Designing for high reliability: The birth and evolution of a pediatric intensive care unit.” Organization Science, 17: 239-248.

Roberts, K.H., Madsen, P.M., Desai, V.M. and Van Stralen, D. (2005). “A case of the birth and death of a high reliability healthcare organization.” Quality and Safety in Health Care, 14: 216-220.

Wong, D., Desai, V.M., Madsen, P.M., Roberts, K.H. and Ciavarelli, A. (2005). “Measuring organizational safety and effectiveness at NASA.” Engineering Management Journal, 17: 18-26.