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The coordination between train traffic controllers and train drivers: a distributed cognition perspective on railway
Uppsala University.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0159-9628
Uppsala University.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4714-5253
University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. (Interaction Lab (ILAB))ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0946-7531
2019 (English)In: Cognition, Technology & Work, ISSN 1435-5558, E-ISSN 1435-5566, Vol. 21, no 3, p. 417-443Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although there has long been a call for a holistic systems perspective to better understand real work in the complex domain of railway traffic, prior research has not strongly emphasised the socio-technical perspective. In operational railway traffic, the successful planning and execution of the traffic are the product of the socio-technical system comprised by both train drivers and traffic controllers. This paper presents a study inspired by cognitive ethnography with the aim to characterise the coordinating activities that are conducted by train traffic controllers and train drivers in the work practices of the socio-technical system of Swedish railway. The theoretical framework of distributed cognition (DCog) is used as a conceptual and analytical tool to make sense of the complex railway domain and the best practices as they are developed and performed “in the wild”. The analysis reveals a pattern of collaboration and coordination of actions among the workers and we introduce the concept of enacted actionable practices as a key concern for understanding how a successfully executed railway traffic emerges as a property of the socio-technical system. The implications for future railway research are briefly discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 21, no 3, p. 417-443
Keywords [en]
Distributed cognition, DCog, Railway, Rail human factors
National Category
Interaction Technologies
Research subject
Interaction Lab (ILAB)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-16036DOI: 10.1007/s10111-018-0513-zISI: 000478042500005Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85051644932OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-16036DiVA, id: diva2:1236802
Available from: 2018-08-06 Created: 2018-08-06 Last updated: 2019-08-15Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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