Chicago Tylenol murders: Information and mindfulness

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In 1982, J&J faced the Tylenol crisis successfully that was considered as an example. This study aims to observe if an organisation that suffered a severe crisis was capable of bouncing back in a short time period, so the crisis was analysed following the Informed Safety Culture and Mindfulness Infrastructure theories. A Case Study was developed, using secondary data retrieved from the World Wide Web. The selected documents were sorted, coded following a pre-established categories’ list and subject to a content analysis using Atlas-ti. Yin (2009) criteria for study quality were followed. Evidence of both theories’s application was found suggesting resilience and an effective safety culture that was able to manage and learn from the crisis. The results highlighted similarities between the two theories. The information culture seems to be an overarching component, the reporting culture is related with all the principles of mindfulness infrastructure. Some components and some principles stood by themselves. Similarities between components and between principles were found indicating the possibility of criterion overlapping. The limitations were the use of only secondary data and one coder. The responses to the crisis show the importance of information management, passing the information obtained on to those who really needed to receive it. It was shown that effective safety culture was operated dynamically, getting feedback from the system. Future research is suggested to focus on cases with unsuccessful outcomes, to understand the actions that should not be taken when dealing with crisis, adding to Reason’s and Weick and Sutcliffe’s frameworks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106190
JournalSafety Science
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • Effective safety culture
  • Mindfulness infrastructure


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