Established, since 1997, leading UK based training provider.

Advanced Management Training - Causality

Advanced Management training - Causality

Advanced Management Training: Causality

You will sometimes need to identify the causes of an event. If something fails, you need to identify the causes of the failure. That can be a complicated issue because most situations have multiple causes.

Today, I want to show you a model to help you to identify causes.

How to find out why something happened

Causality is defined as: The study of the logical relationships that exists between events.

There are four distinct kinds of causes:

Learn this list:

  1. Material cause
  2. Formal cause
  3. Efficient cause
  4. Final cause Let us look at each one and define them.

The Material cause

The Material cause refers to the nature of the things that act. I.e. what a thing is made of.

For example, you could say the sofa burned because it was made from non-treated foam, contrary to regulations.

When thinking about the material cause, you are looking at the substance, the chemistry, the materials involved in the event.

We do that because all things must act according to their particular physical properties and chemistry.

The formal cause

Formal cause is the way a thing is constructed, formed, patterned or organised.

The formal cause looks at issues of design, of form.

Example: You could say that the bolt sheered because the design of the walkway was such that the strain on the bolt exceeded its tolerance.

You might say that the aircraft was hijacked because the design of the interior aircraft door allowed access to passengers onto the flight deck.

The Efficient cause

Makes reference to the immediate power, condition or event that, given the preceding.

Material and Formal causes, could then be a "trigger" for the event under consideration.

The efficient cause is the obvious cause, which is almost self- evident, but is not, on its own, a full description of causality.

Example:
The window broke because the car drove into it.

The car was damaged because John put diesel fuel into it, not unleaded.

The Final cause

The final cause is the human motivation factor, or human error factor

The final cause is the motive or purpose that was in mind.

Example:
The twin towers disaster was caused by the terrorist's desire to injure America by striking at the most symbolic targets.

The car was damaged because John was trying to phone text his wife, whilst at the same time refuelling the car.

Whenever you need to analyse an event, you will need to break it down into categories, or classes, so that you can think more logically. Try using these four classes as the basis for your analysis.

You can use a mind map diagram

You can make four lists You could draw a fish-bone diagram.

Use whatever way is best for you.

Example:
Why did the Titanic sink?

1: Material

  • Ship was made of steel/iron
  • Calm sea

2: Formal

  • Bulkhead of limited height
  • Plates were riveted

3: Efficient The titanic struck the iceberg which tore a hole in her side.


4: Final There was a desire to break crossing record

Conclusion

The reason for learning this is so you can be more methodical and systematic.

Which is always helpful.

For more information about advanced leadership and management training courses visit the Corporate Coach Group website.

Blogs by Email

Do you want to receive an email whenever we post a new blog? The blogs contain article 5-10 minutes long - ideal for reading during your coffee break!

Your Comments

Further Reading in Leadership and Management

  • Where can I find leadership training courses?
    Where can I find leadership training courses? On our leadership training courses we help people by helping them to clarify their thinking about exactly what to do and say whist at work in order to get the best from themselves and others. In order to clarify thinking we use the method...
    Read Article >
  • Leadership and management development Part 5 of 6
    The ability to self-motivate; self-manage; to develop self-confidence and personal initiative Your leader managers need to develop six fundamental skills sets, if they are to be effective in their roles. They are as follows: To set and achieve your goals...
    Read Article >
  • The Top Ten Leadership Skills
    People who lack leadership qualities are inspired by those who do. Check out the top ten leadership skills and discover where you are strongest and where your weaknesses are.
    Read Article >
  • Management Training
    Every manager is unique, but the role of all managers is specific. Managers organise the daily workings of the team. Bad managers can negatively affect the team, therefore it is vital that all managers have training in good management practices.
    Read Article >
  • Leadership qualities: self control
    Leadership qualities: self control Many organisations are interested in developing some of their people into future leaders; so many organisations are interested in identifying potential leaders; which are those people who show good promise and will be worthy of further investment. Organisations need to identify those people who have leadership qualities...
    Read Article >