Team reflection makes resilience-related knowledge explicit through collaborative sensemaking: observation study at a rail post

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Abstract

Resilience is defined as the ability to adaptively deal with system boundaries in the face of the unexpected and unforeseen (Branlat and Woods in AAAI Fall Sympoisum, 2010. http://www.aaai.org/ocs/index.php/FSS/FSS10/paper/viewPaper/2238). We hypothesize that drawing upon resilience-related knowledge is a prerequisite for such adaptivity. This paper proposes team reflection (Ellis et al. in Curr Dir Psychol Sci 23(1):67–72, 2014) as a macrocognitive function to make the resilience-related knowledge explicit. This knowledge is implicitly available with individual team members active at the sharp end but is never explicitly shared due to invisibility of goal-relevant constraints. To overcome this invisibility, we suggest an application that makes changes in the current rail socio-technical system visible in terms of the three system boundaries, a variation of the originally proposed by Rasmussen (Saf Sci 27(2/3):183–213, 1997): safety, performance and workload. This allows a team of rail signallers to analyse movements towards system boundaries and share knowledge on these movements. An observational study at a rail control post was conducted to assess the value of team reflection in making resilience-related knowledge explicit. For this purpose, we developed a first prototype of the application concerning the performance boundary only. Using naturalistic observations of a team during a week, we observed how they reflected at the end of their shift on salient system changes. A global content analysis was used to show the relevance of the content to resilience and to test the increase in the resilience-related knowledge throughout the observation period. A specific case of a human approaching the rail tracks, as a potential suicide, was analysed in detail. The results show the value of team reflection on system movements towards their boundaries, thus making goal-relevant constrained knowledge explicit within the operational rail environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-142
JournalCognition, technology and work
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • METIS-320101
  • IR-102787

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