Implementing after-action review systems in organizations: Key principles and practical considerations

Cliff Scott, Alexandra M. Dunn, Eleanor B. Williams, Joseph A. Allen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Actors in high-reliability organizations often form meetings to discuss incidents and learn from them. Such after-action reviews (AARs) are structured opportunities for shared retrospective learning, innovation development, and continuous improvement. Research on AARs has examined the meeting-level antecedents and outcomes associated with various elements of AARs, but has generally stopped short of considering how they should influence and respond to the organizations in which they are situated. After connecting the functions of AARs using the theoretical frameworks of collective sensemaking, organizational learning, and knowledge management, this chapter presents an input-process-output model of AAR systems that accounts for a range of extra-meeting factors that influence and are influenced by the content of retrospective discussion. It also describes best practices and directions for future research associated with these inputs, processes, and outputs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Handbook of Meeting Science
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781107589735
ISBN (Print)9781107067189
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • After-action reviews
  • Group discussion
  • Group learning
  • Input-process-output models
  • Meeting facilitation
  • Organizational knowledge management
  • Postmortems
  • Sensemaking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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