The Mortgage Meltdown as Normal Accidental Wrongdoing
Strategic Organization, 2010

In this paper Professor Michael Maher and Professor Donald Palmer analyze the mortgage meltdown as a “normal accident” (Perrow, 1984). They begin by briefly outlining normal accident theory; both Perrow’s original version and Mezias’ (1994) subsequent extension. They then use normal accident theory to analyze the mortgage meltdown and draw a few insights from our account. They then consider the relationship between normal accidents and wrongdoing; a vexing question for both normal accident theory and observers of the meltdown.