Organizational Factors Associated With Safety and Mission Success in Aviation Environments
Anthony J. Adamski
Eastern Michigan University
This chapter examines the organizational factors in aviation safety and mission success. The organizations involved cover the entire range of aviation organizations, from airline operations departments to airports, manufacturing organizations, air traffic control, and corporate flight departments. Organizational factors include such things as organizational structure, management, corporate culture, training, and recruitment. Although the greater part of this chapter is focused on civil aviation, we also devote some attention to space and military issues. We also use examples from other high-tech systems for illustration of key points. Obviously, full treatment of a field so broad could result in a publication the size of this book. So we concentrate on key organizational processes involved in recent studies and major accidents. These will open the general issues.
The authors have tried to integrate empirical studies within a broader framework, a model of effective operation. We believe failures occur when various features of this model are not present. In choosing any model we risk leaving out some critical factors. This is a calculated risk. We believe that further discussion will proceed best with such an integrative framework.
The underlying basis for this chapter is a model of high integrity for the development and operation of equipment and people. The model is guided by adapting a principle stated by Arthur Squires. Squires was concerned about the integrity of the engineering design process in large systems. Considering several major failures, Squires ( 1986) proposed this criterion: "An applied scientist or engineer shall display utter probity toward the engineered object, from the moment of its conception through its commissioning for use" (p. 10). Following Squires' idea, we propose to state the principle in this way: