Learning from errors: The role of after-event reviews

Shmuel Ellis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


An after-event review (AER) is a learning from experience procedure that gives learners (individuals, teams or larger organizational units) an opportunity to systematically analyze the various actions that they selected to perform or not to perform in carrying out a particular task or responding to a particular event, to determine which of them was wrong or not necessary, which was missing, which needed to be corrected, and which needed to be reinforced. AERs enable individuals and groups to reflect on their performance and to understand why interim objectives were not accomplished, to know what lessons can be drawn from their past experience, and to evaluate how these lessons can be quickly internalized to improve performance. The chapter has four sections. In the first section, I define and describe the concept of AER and its actual and potential applications. The second section is devoted to the influence AERs have on the cognitive processes of learning from experience: intensifying self-explanation, advancing data verification, providing process feedback, and enhancing self-efficacy. In the third section, I discuss the motivational impact of failures or errors on learning from experience, and in the last section, I summarize the theoretical framework and open new directions to research and applications of after-event reviews in organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProfessional and Practice-based Learning
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NameProfessional and Practice-based Learning
ISSN (Print)2210-5549
ISSN (Electronic)2210-5557


  • Causal Attribution
  • Knowledge Structure
  • Mental Model
  • Organizational Learning
  • Task Performance


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