A Blame culture is one that tends towards blaming and punishing people when mistakes are made, either at an individual or an organizational level. In this kind of culture, a root cause analysis as part of a post-mortem or retrospective is generally mis-applied, with a search for one thing that ultimately caused a failure or incident.
A departmental or organizational silo describes the mentality of teams that do not share their knowledge with other teams in the same company. Instead of having common goals or responsibilities, siloed teams have very distinct and segregated roles.
Root Cause Analysis
Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is a method to identify contributing and “root” causes of events or near-misses/close-calls and the appropriate actions to prevent recurrence. It is an iterative process that is continued until all organizational factors have been identified or until data is exhausted. Organizational factors are any entity that exerts control over the system at any stage in its lifecycle, including but not limited to design, development, testing, maintenance, operation and retirement.
Human error, the idea that a human being made a mistake that directly caused a failure, is often cited as the Root cause in a RCA. With this often comes the implication that a different person would not have made such a mistake which is a common in a blame culture when somebody has to be reprimanded for their role in an incident.