Improvisation in Complex Sociotechnical Systems - A Systems Phenomenon?

16-2-3.jpg
16-2-3.jpg

Improvisation in Complex Sociotechnical Systems - A Systems Phenomenon?

9.95

Author(s): Michael G. Lenné; Paul M. Salmon; Margaret J. Trotter
No pages: 8
Year: 2013
Article ID: 16-2-3
Keywords: human factors, improvisation
Format: Electronic (PDF)

Add To Cart

Abstract: Improvisation has the potential to enhance safety and operational effectiveness in complex sociotechnical systems in situations for which no procedures exist, or more commonly, where circumstances prevent known procedures from being enacted as specified. Such situations commonly arise in fast-paced, high-risk, uncertain, dynamic environments such as the battlefield. Little is known regarding improvisation and what factors influence the ability to improvise appropriately and successfully. In order to generate system reforms designed to support appropriate improvisation, it is first necessary to confirm that improvisation is indeed influenced by factors outside of individual operators; that is, to confirm that it is a systems phenomenon. This paper describes the first three stages of a research program designed to confirm this and to establish a comprehensive, systems-based model of the factors influencing improvisation. In doing so, we report the findings from an extensive literature review, followed by two case studies of improvisation incidents. Finally we report the results of a survey designed to gather data on the factors influencing improvisation within a high risk, uncertain and dynamic context—the led outdoor activity domain. In closing, a prototype systems-based model of improvisation, developed based on the findings from the three studies, is presented.