Skip to main content
Dennis Gioia
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Human Dimensions of Fire Management
Decisionmaking & Sensemaking
Organizational Learning & Innovation

NRFSN number: 16215
Record updated:

This article gives a personal account of Gioia’s experience with the Ford Motor Company during a defective vehicle recall. As the recall coordinator, Gioia had to manage a busy office and keep up with a large amount of information that he needed to process. In comparing himself to a fireman, he states that his job felt like putting out the big and small “fires” that came through his office. Using his experience with the recall process with Ford’s Pinto in the late-1970s, Gioia articulates the way script schemas “provide a cognitive framework for understanding information and events as well as a guide to appropriate behavior to deal with situations faced”. Using the Pinto car fires as a case study, Gioia discusses how organizations use scripts and schemas to describe experiences and how employees use them to make individual choices. He ends the article by asking how moral considerations, which are usually not included in scripts, can be incorporated into them.


Gioia D. 1992. Pinto fires and personal ethics: a script analysis of missed opportunities. Journal of Business Ethics 11, p. 379-389.

Access this Document