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Organisational Behaviour Essay

4334 words - 18 pages

Operational Decision-Making: Integrating New Concepts into the Paradigm
Ronald John Lofaro, Ph.D Captain Kevin M. Smith United Air Lines

The views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the authors and, are not to be seen as the policies, positions or beliefs of any public, private or governmental organization.
ABSTRACT Over the past 8 years, the authors have been developing a training-oriented paradigm for operational decision-making in the cockpit. While our emphasis has been on the civil aviation side, both the paradigm, and any training developed from it, can be easily adapted for the business or general aviation venues. The paradigm began to form during an aeronautical ...view middle of the document...

Ground breaking work was done in what was then called ‘pilot judgement” by people such as Ruffell-Smith, Jensen and Bennell. However, the emphases on CRM and SA blocked out large-scale efforts in decision-making R&D, training development and delivery. This was especially true for pilots/crews of major carriers, with their highly complex, automated craft and their responsibility for hundreds of lives each time they fly. While many realized aeronautical decision-making's (ADM) importance and worth, not much R&D money was made available for decisionmaking; compared to CRM and SA, it was a poor relation. Some eight or more years ago, the authors, with others, began what we considered a long overdue and necessary 1 In 1996/7, at American, Delta and United, there were realizations that CRM was not the silver bullet; that the relationship between CRM and safety - which was and is the prime rationale offered for teaching CRM - had not been proven; that CRM is a process, not an outcome. (Sprogis, 1997), (Maurino, 1999). American Airlines, in July of 1996, set aside some of CRM as they were doing it (Ewell and Chidester, 1996). American's new focus is on preparing flight crews for the daily challenges of normal and abnormal operations encountered flying the line. Delta Airlines, in the same time frame, revamped their "CRM for New Captains" course and called it "In Command." As with American, Delta is emphasizing leadership, responsibility and performance. Lastly, even re-look at pilot judgement/pilot decisionmaking/aeronautical decision-making. During this eight to ten year period, ADM was a back burner issue since the common wisdom held that good pilots made good decisions almost naturally, aided by (some) increased experience. The facile assumption that additional experience alone will teach pilots to make better decisions has proven to be a dangerous fallacy. Experience can be a nasty teacher, often giving the test before, or without, giving the lessons and materials needed for the test. Experience can also reinforce poor decisions and behaviors that seemingly "worked" (blind luck?) in certain situations. We also had the commonly accepted view that ADM is but one of the components of CRM. This was, and is, a gross error. CRM, with its emphases on communication and team function, is a major enabler of good decisions and, as such, is a part of decision making, not vice-versa. Our focus was decision-making in the operational, air carrier environment; we termed this operational decision- making (ODM). As we identified and developed components of our ODM paradigm, we came to believe that certain of our ideas were of a breakthrough nature; breakthrough in that they are the necessary enablers for the development of an ODM training program. We believed, and still believe, that decision making is the primary function of a pilot and that good decision making skills are the primary tool in a pilot’s safety arsenal. We see decision making as THE key pilot...

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