Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > 'An error is feedback’


Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

'An error is feedback’: the experience of communication error management in crisis negotiations

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Police Practice and Research
Issue number1
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)17-30
Early online date22/05/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English


A range of studies have examined what should be said and done in crisis negotiations. Yet, no study to date has considered what happens when an error is made, how to respond to an error, and what the consequences of errors and responses might be on the negotiation process itself. To develop our understanding of errors, we conducted 11 semi-structured interviews with police crisis negotiators in the Netherlands. Negotiators reported making errors of three types: factual, judgment, or contextual. They also reported making use of four types of response strategy: accept, apologize, attribute, and contradict. Critically, the negotiators did not perceive errors as solely detrimental, but as an opportunity for feedback. They advocated for an error management approach, which focused on what could be learned from another person’s errors when looking back at them. Suggestions for improvement of the communication error management experience in crisis negotiations are discussed.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Police Practice and Research on 22/05/2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/15614263.2017.1326007