© 2020

Mistakes, Errors and Failures across Cultures

Navigating Potentials

  • Elisabeth Vanderheiden
  • Claude-Hélène Mayer

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Individual and Cultural Perspectives on Mistakes, Errors and Failure

  3. Mistakes, Errors and Failure in Society

  4. Mistakes, Errors and Failure in Organisations

About this book


This volume provides comprehensible, strength-based perspectives on contemporary research and practice related to navigating mistakes, errors and failures across cultures. It addresses these concepts across cultural contexts and explores any or all of these three concepts from a positive psychology or positive organisational perspective, highlighting their potential as resources. The volume further discusses the consequences of errors and failures at individual, organisational and societal levels, ranging from severe personal problems to organisational and collective crises, perspectives how those can be turned into opportunities for contingent and sustainable improvement processes. The book shows that there are significant cultural differences in the understanding, interpretation and handling of errors and failures. 

This volume provides practical guidance for transcultural understanding of mistakes, errors and failure through new models, ideas for self-reflection, therapeutic and counselling interventions and organisational change management processes. 

This book is a must for researchers and practitioners working on mistakes, errors and failures across cultures and disciplines!


Mistakes, errors and failure in cultural contexts Mistakes, errors and failures in organizations Communication Failures in Hierarchical Relationships The Stigmatization of Sexuality Work Embodiment in the Digital Age Failure in Intercultural Communication Political failures Handling Mistakes at Work Online Damage Control for Corporate Crises Error Management in Medical Care

Editors and affiliations

  • Elisabeth Vanderheiden
    • 1
  • Claude-Hélène Mayer
    • 2
  1. 1.Catholic Adult Education of GermanyRömerbergGermany
  2. 2.Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa, Institut für Therapeutische Kommunikation und SprachgebrauchEuropa Universität ViadrinaFrankfurt (Oder)Germany

About the editors

Elisabeth Vanderheiden is Managing Director of the Catholic Adult Education, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany and the federal chairwoman of Catholic Adult Education, Germany. She has published articles and books in the context of vocational qualifications, in particular qualification of teachers and trainers, as well as current topics of general, vocational and civic education and intercultural opening processes.

Claude-Hélène Mayer is a Full Professor in Industrial Psychology at the University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa, an Adjunct Professor at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany and Senior Research Associate at Rhodes University, South Africa. She is the author and editor of many journal articles, special issues, text collections, book chapters and books  on women leadership in diverse contexts, mental health and salutogenesis in cultural contexts, transcultural conflict management and mediation and shame.

Bibliographic information