1st Edition

It Should Never Happen Again
The Failure of Inquiries and Commissions to Enhance Risk Governance

ISBN 9781472413857
Published August 28, 2013 by Routledge
286 Pages

USD $160.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

In It Should Never Happen Again, Dr Mike Lauder questions the value of public inquiries. Every day, we hear about another inquiry being set up, or why the last one failed to deliver the hoped for outcomes. A great deal of time and taxpayers’ money is spent on inquiries and even more on implementing their recommendations, but the author suggests that those conducting inquiries might be considered (by their own test) criminally negligent in the way they do so and that it is no surprise that they do not lead to the learning they should. The focus of Mike Lauder’s research is the gaps between what is known, what knowledge is used by practitioners and those who judge them. He contends that the difference between the judicial perspective and that of practitioners who are judged by the inquiry process creates barriers that impede others from learning. Crucially, inquiry outcomes do not assist the leadership of organisations to improve risk governance. It Should Never Happen Again is based on research into high profile public inquiries and presidential commissions in the UK, the USA, Continental Europe, and elsewhere. Embracing issues ranging from terrorist attacks to pollution, fire and air disasters; criminal cases; banking and bribery scandals; and the state of public services, Mike Lauder contrasts the judicial perspective of those who inquire, the academic perspective of those who know and the practical perspective of those who are required to act, and offers new models for understanding risk and its governance.



Dr Mike Lauder MBE has worked in risk management for the last 30 years. He is now an independent researcher and a visiting fellow at Cranfield School of Management, where he undertook his doctorate studying risk governance and the process, outcomes, effectiveness and efficacy of public inquiries. He has a wide range of experience in this field covering his time in the military and as a consultant. He has practical experience of risk management as a military engineer, including work in bomb disposal and as a security specialist. He has worked in both construction and procurement project management and has wider experience of logistic operations and corporate financial planning. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and has published in Risk Management Professional, the magazine of The Institute of Risk Management. Mike Lauder lectures on the topics raised within this book.


’It should never happen again, but too many recommendations just make the situation worse. Every private and public sector executive needs to read this book so they understand how their decisions and actions can solve some problems whilst inadvertently creating others.’ Michael Bourne, Cranfield University, UK ’Although we all know that we don’t learn from just doing things right, but rather from doing the right things and having the mental space to make mistakes and learn from them, we recoil when things go badly wrong. In this magnificent book, Mike Lauder precisely (and with painful accuracy) points out how we miss the opportunity to learn from incidents and mistakes over and over again. Mike masters the art of transforming an extremely complex topic into a practical relevant and absorbing text. Based on both an extensive academic and practical knowledge of the field, he underpins his arguments with real life examples and empirically proven evidence. This book is a must read for policy makers, emergency service leaders, mayors and governors, as well as leaders in various fields of risk management, as Mike’s knowledge and insights -when applied with courage and rigour - will definitely help to forestall the next tragedy.’ Hugo Marynissen, Managing Partner, Crisis Management Consultancy ’Such care with language can only be applauded - as can this fascinating book on a subject about which we should all be better informed.’ The RoSPA Occupational Safety & Health Journal, March 2014