Cognitive Work Analysis: Toward Safe, Productive, and Healthy Computer-Based Work

By Kim J. Vicente | Go to book overview

13
Designing for Adaptation: Safety, Productivity, and Health and the Global Knowledge-Based Economy

Unpredictability is a source of disturbances throughout the lifetime of the system. . . . attempts to fight against them are also continuous.

-- Norros ( 1996, p. 175)

Change is the invariant, not knowledge.

-- Blum ( 1996, p. 160)


PURPOSE
In this capstone chapter, we have three final objectives. The first is to discuss how the CWA framework is intended to improve safety, productivity, and worker health. Our second objective is to address a number of caveats that we hope put our claims in perspective and thereby minimize any misunderstandings. Finally, our third objective is to briefly discuss the trend toward a knowledge-based global economy and how this trend is increasing the requirement for adaptation on the part of workers, managers, organizations, and technology. Given the characteristics of the knowledge-based global economy, the need to design computer-based systems that support adaptation, and thus the need for CWA, will only increase in the future.
HOW DOES COGNITIVE WORK ANALYSIS ADDRESS SAFETY, PRODUCTIVITY, AND HEALTH?

Three Problems: Briefly Revisiting the Evidence
In chapter 1, we introduced three perspectives that can be used to evaluate the success of a complex sociotechnical system, namely safety, productivity, and worker health. An effective sociotechnical system should have an acceptable level of safety, should lead to a high level of productivity, and should not jeopardize worker health. We also cited a body of evidence to indicate that corporations are currently having difficulty satisfying each of these three criteria. To give just one example from each criterion, it has been estimated that:
Abnormal situations in the petrochemical industry have an annual impact of $20 billion on the U.S. economy alone ( Bullemer & Nimmo, 1994).

-337-

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Cognitive Work Analysis: Toward Safe, Productive, and Healthy Computer-Based Work
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgments xviii
  • Introduction- I 1
  • What''s in a Word? (Glossary) 3
  • 1- What''s the Problem? Scope and Criteria for Success 33
  • Why Work Analysis? an Ecological Perspective 2 47
  • Summary 57
  • Conclusion 58
  • II- Three Approaches to Work Analysis 59
  • 3- Normative Approaches to Work Analysis. "The One Best Way?" 61
  • Conclusions 86
  • 4- Descriptive Approaches So to Work Analysis 101
  • 5- Toward a Formative Approach to Work Analysis 136
  • III- Cognitive Work Analysis in Action 137
  • 6- Case Study- Process Control 147
  • 7- Phase I- Work Domain Analysis 155
  • Phase 2- Control Task Analysis 8 181
  • 9- Phase 3- Strategies Analysis 215
  • 10- Phase 4 245
  • 11- Phase 5 296
  • 12- Implications for Design and Research 303
  • Summary 334
  • Final Words IV 335
  • 13- Designing for Adaptation 337
  • Appendix- Historical Addendum 361
  • References 367
  • Author Index 383
  • Subject Index 389
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